Wow. Do I get the proverbial FAIL for this long lapse in actual content?
It's been a tough winter, no doubt about it. The constant bad news in the world at large and continued traumatic impact on the opera biz, sub-zero temperatures for most of January and February, winter colds and general gray malaise has made it hard to find something to blog about that didn't simply sound like whining.
But life goes on and, finally, things seem to be picking up. I'm not sure one can say it's "back to normal" (I think that's a definite no-go for the short-term, and unlikely in the medium- and even long-), but at least the "cat on a hot tin roof" underlying panic seems to be easing. Future seasons are being spoken of with more certainy, and offers are trickling out into the world, however slowly.
It's not all rosy, however - among my friends I know of nobody who hasn't been affected in some form, whether through cancellations, fewer advance bookings, lowered fees, or reduced performances. The status quo, if there ever really was such a thing, definitely no longer exists.
But even that seems like an improvement over recent months.
Speaking for myself, it is an absolute joy to be preparing for forthcoming concert opera performances. Not only am I savouring the anticipation of working with wonderful colleagues on an amazing piece of music, but the process of preparing for the gig puts me back into the swing of things in sessions with my coaches, teachers and colleagues in a way that I've desperately missed while being "benched" in the wake of my economy-forced cancelled contracts.
While I've put my time on the sidelines to good use - photographic activities have picked up far more than I could ever have imagined and have kept me very busy! - it feels beyond wonderful to be back in the saddle musically speaking. Life is good!
PS Happy Birthday to the blog, which I started last April. What a year!