Many of the young singers of our acquaintance who focused on having a career in Opera worked their way up the many voice competitions, young artist programs, and all the other intermediate stages that separate a young operatic artist’s career from playing a secondary role in La traviata in Tulsa to a MET debut in the title role of Carmen or the tenor lead in The Barber of Seville.
Time was when our friend P.A.A.O. could expect his years as a member of the ensemble in a small regional opera house in Germany to eventually pay off and reward him with a Rodolfo in La boheme on the stage of his home theatre and beyond.
My wife taught at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati during several years until her retirement three years ago. During that time, CCM would graduate its students in Musical Theatre and send them to a showcase performance in New York in front of agents and casting directors. We saw the majority of these student hopefuls succeed in getting management and often being cast in shows off-Broadway and on national tours. Quite a few quickly moved to ensemble parts on Broadway. Some lucky ones ended up getting featured parts on Broadway barely months out of school. Things were looking oh-so-good for young artists who had worked for years to achieve their life-long dreams of having a career in the theatre!
But then Covid 19 struck and life changed.
N.R., a superb actor of our acquaintance traded his main gig from journeyman theatre artist to real estate agent in order to provide security for his young wife and a recently-born baby boy.
Another friend hung his hoofer hat and tap shoes after a score of Broadway successes and now sells high-flying real estate in New York. Yet another former hopeful from the glory days at CCM has now parlayed his dancing skills for horticultural ones, after starting a landscaping business with his life partner.
Some artists have honed their multiple artistic skills into survival ones, rather than switching their fields of endeavor. John Holiday, African-American, 35, a hugely talented countertenor who was scheduled to make a MET debut recently turned on a musical dime in front of millions watching THE VOICE on TV by switching from Handel to Stevie Wonder and wowing the judges.
Some friends have turned to self-producing on line. Some are starting to concentrate on recordings while live performances remain non-existent. Some in their twenties and thirties have come home to live with their parents in the hope that the national nightmare will soon run its course.
The stories are many. We have sent out a message to many of our friends asking for their comments. We will share as they come in.
Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com