Humanistic Approach Hopelessly Loses to Laws, Management, & Market Law

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on January 15, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

This week, I tried to flee from the grave feelings I experienced last week working on my piece about the situation with the Met Orchestra Musicians, so before diving further into this issue next week, I turned my attention to the situation in Germany, where the government supports culture and musicians in ensembles keep their income, while the…


How One Old Decree Continues to Threaten Italian Opera after the Pandemic

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on January 29, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

Back in 1996, the Italian government altered its approach to organizations representing priority national interests in the music sector. According to Legislative Decree #367, all institutions were to be transformed into private foundations. These novelties canceled government support for the opera houses and approved municipal funding in the amount not exceeding funds raised from private investors. …


Haymarket Opera Company 2020 Review: Acis and Galatea

Michael St. Peter — Acis
Kimberly Jones — Galatea
David Govertsen — Polyphemus
Kaitlin Foley — Damon, Chorus
Mallory Harding — Chorus
Ryan Townsend Strand — Chorus
Jianghai Ho — Chorus
Dorian McCall — Chorus

Craig Trompeter — Music Director
Chase Hopkins — Creative Producer
Garry Grasinski — Film Director
Haymarket Orchestra

October 30 — November 8, 2020
This review originally appeared on Operawire.com on November 7, 2020.

They say people tend to see what they want, but the tremendous professionalism of the team at Haymarket Opera convinces me that what I see is real.

No matter how anxious we…


Support & Donations Without Hope of Fighting for Real Changes

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on January 8, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

The way you enter the New Year sets the tone for the whole year ahead, the old superstition said.

And I wonder whether we should then expect this year to be indifferent, treacherous, insulting, and almost hopeless for the musicians and the whole opera industry after the Met Opera’s management left its musicians out of work during the…


Labor Unions Also Offer Up Major Obstacle to Making Progress for the Met Opera Workers

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on February 26, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

The last few weeks were noisy on the battlefield between Gelb and the unions representing the rights of the Met Opera workers:

Peter Gelb continued unveiling future plans for Metropolitan Opera’s upcoming seasons as he prepares the latest in his “Met Stars Live in Concert” series — without a single mention of the Met’s missing employees.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin…


Despite Failed Petition, Russian Musicians May Be Fighting for Bigger Changes

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on February 19, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

On February 9, violinist Misha Nodelman recorded and published the Musicians’ Open Letter on the Eve of the Civil War, addressed to the Russian Government. In a video message, created with a help of opposition channel Dozhd (TV Rain), 15 musicians, six of whom are no longer Russian residents, demanded an end to violence, the release of political…


The World of Institutionalism Proves its Inadequacy (Again)

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on February 12, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

“Real music is right in the heart of what we struggle. Our task is not to be a leisure activity, but to go the places where no political or economic will to go. We need to be there with full hearts, not just ‘Please, listen to us’ but ‘How can we listen?’ Can we create a new structure…


This interview originally appeared on OperaWire.com on February 11, 2020

The recent performance of “Eight Songs for a Mad King” from Bayerische Staatsoper provoked so many thoughts in my head. It questioned the humanity and sanity in our world. It reflected modern times so vividly. It struck with the intensity of a live performance, so I could not take my eyes away.

The evening teased the discoveries that come when you find a source of incredible knowledge. …


How Much Politicians’ Games Across La Manche Will Cost Musicians

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on February 5, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

At the very end of December of an already very difficult 2020, the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

This document, among other things, regulates the working relationship between companies and entrepreneurs from countries on different sides of the channel. From now on, UK…


To Evolve, We Have to See & Hear Each Other, & Then We Can Speak & Be Heard

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on January 22, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

Almost five years ago, working on a social news media product concept, I wrote: “It starts with a whisper…” I remember, this single phrase won the whole team over and got us money from the investors. The whisper, assuring us that people will start talking about what’s important to them, that we’ll raise their voices, was the most…

Polina Lyapustina

Journalist, Opera Critic, Essayist, UX and Product Designer, Heavy Reader

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