Anne Midgette, well-known blogger and columnist for The Washington Post, has recently completed a two-part exposé on the state of American opera today. Citing numerous recent productions across the country, including AOP-developed projects Democracy and Before Night Falls, Midgette described the myriad changes the opera world appears to be undergoing.
American opera is at a crossroads. A production of a new work at a large house costs millions of dollars — hundreds of thousands in commissioning fees alone. It’s a lot to spend on something geared toward the tastes of a narrow target audience, for which there is no mass demand, at a time of shrinking budgets. … The continuing spate of new works shows that the field is at least poking at the idea of creativity, and audiences, however gingerly, are starting to go along with it. The field’s next challenge is to find better ways to reward the good.
- Anne Midgette, “Is Anybody Listening?”, The Washington Post
AOP takes pride in being at the forefront of this movement towards new American opera. To read the full blogs, start with part one, “Is anybody listening? American opera faces crossroads as audiences for performing arts slide”, then proceed to part two, “New American operas are going the way of smaller venues, on smaller scales”.
Certainly a lot of food for thought. Enjoy!