to blog anything that isn't bad news in the arts at the moment. Another regional opera company bit the dust this week and has publicly announced they are ceasing trading and I think we're all getting worn down by article after article expressing concerns over the future of the arts in general. While this last collapse didn't affect me directly, the demise of the company where I held contracts for the spring means this is now dead time for me, and I have too much time on my hands to think about it all. I have things to look forward to later in the year, but this current period is the first time in many years that I have had this much downtime between gigs and I can't deny that I miss being onstage dreadfully.
As the saying goes, however, I've been "making lemonade". Without being at the mercy of the "daily schedule" (professional companies seldom give you a solid schedule more than 24hrs ahead of time, and the only BINDING schedule is the one that comes out the previous evening, meaning you're pretty much on permanent standby during the rehearsal period), I can actually plan my own activities ahead a little and, as luck would have it, my teaching day at the college meshed perfectly with a studio lighting class in the photography department - serendipity! I'm very pleased to be able to take advantage of this opportunity which, in any "normal" year, would have been impossible for me to squeeze into the schedule. I'm looking forward to the experience immensely, especially since I even get to use the well-equipped studio onsite!
So there are silver linings and new opportunities, but there's still a terrible feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop as the country - arts and otherwise - lurches forward in attempts to move on from the last few months. I have no doubt that opera as an artform will survive, but I also truly believe that it there is different professional landscape on the horizon from the one most of us currently active on the scene have experienced, and we're all just waiting to see what happens next.
To end on a good note, however, one recently emerged bright spot: kudos to a group of enterprising and highly talented colleagues for starting Baltimore Concert Opera - here's to their succesful launch!