Musings on m
y life as a busy opera singer, voice teacher, photographer and mom - not necessarily in that order! I consider myself immensely fortunate to have carved out a way of doing all of these things which mean so much to me - it may sometimes get a little crazy, but it's always worth it. Welcome to the madhouse!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hard Times

It's been a tough week. The first wave of personally-affecting bad news from the economic kaboom hit not merely close to home but AT home, as my local opera company declared bankruptcy and cancelled the remainder of the 08-09 season and all future plans which sadly includes a couple of (good) contracts of mine. This has of course been bad news for me personally, but is also distressing for the longer-term impact on the local arts community, the opera industry in general and the sadness that goes with the loss of a respected institution. People are shaken, to say the least. It wasn't entirely unexpected - there'd been rumours - but it's still something of a shock. As a performer, you get used to the idea that you won't necessarily have the security of a permanent position, but once you HAVE the contract in hand for a gig, that's always felt safe. Not any more, it seems.

Thinking it all through, I realise that the demise of another company away from home - even if it had cost me the same amount of lost work - probably wouldn't have shaken me as much as this has done. There's something about the collapse being here, where I live, in my face that makes it more unsettling. And, of course, one of the reasons we've stayed where we are is because having two good-sized companies who both used me regularly made family life much easier by providing quality performing opportunities within commuting distance, allowing me to avoid being on the road all the time. The loss of a good company less than 7 miles from my front door will be a big change in my personal professional "geography" for the foreseeable future; the world has shifted, in however small a way.

My understanding is that the company's plan is to restructure, regroup, and resurface, but at this point? Who knows where it will all go (or not); worst of all, I'm powerless to do anything other than watch the rest of this particular drama unfold - it's currently all up to the unions, lawyers and economic outlook, and we artists really can only sit back and wait to hear the next installment after it happens, which is a pretty unsettling position. Watch and wait.

But, life goes on and now the process of moving sideways to move forwards begin; we've redrawn our family budget, auditions are continuing and all I can do is look beyond the immediate changes around me and keep pressing ahead. I keep thinking of that line from The Sound of Music about "Where a door closes, a window opens" and am most profoundly hoping it's true!

1 comment:

White said...

And so it begins. The cyclical nature of economies tells us that it all had to go downwards anyway. Maybe not so far or as fast might have been a good thing.
How is Bill getting on in all of this?