The election of our new President gives me great hopes for possibilities ahead. And yet my happiness is tainted with sadness about two other events that happened today.

The first is that it seems proposition 8 has been voted through in California, which means they are actually going to amend the constitution to prevent gays from marrying each other. It makes me wonder why when one door opens, another one closes. It's supposed to be the other way around, but in this situation, we as a country have made great strides in the equality of all people by electing a black president, and yet there are still people who are willing to remove rights from gay people. Why is it acceptable for people to discriminate against anyone? My only hope is that with this step forward in electing Barack Obama, we will continue to move forward in the equality of rights of all people.

The other thing that happened today that is deeply distressing is that Opera Pacific, where I was just performing Barber of Seville, has announced that they are canceling their season, and barring a miracle, possibly shutting their doors for good. You can find the articles in the L.A. Times here and the O.C. Register here. Opera Pacific is suffering badly because of the state of the economy, and has been struggling for many seasons, and they have now laid off all but two staff members, and put their facilities in Santa Ana up for sale to pay their debts. It is terribly frightening to see a company as prestigious as Opera Pacific shut it's doors, and it makes all of us artists worried for our future and for the future of the art form. The saddest part to me is that the cultural institutions in this country are forced to rely on donors to keep their doors open instead of being partially funded by the government as an important part of our society the way they are in Europe. Art should be like air - necessary and vital. Not expendable when we have a problem with cash flow. I can only hope that the next 8 years will be better for everyone, and that our cultural institutions will be able to bounce back.