After about a hundred billion voice lessons, a master's degree from Juilliard, and countless productions of The Barber of Seville, who would have guessed that the internet and not my voice would be the thing to catapult my face into people's sight lines. Okay, it was my voice that first got me the review that lead to the blog, that lead to today's shout out on The Daily Beast. But still, the internet is a powerful agent, even for those of us whose music comes from before the time of the dinosaurs (that is a highly misleading and unfair representation of opera - there are several operas composed BY dinosaurs, so we shouldn't pretend they are all prehistoric.) Anyway, here's the blurb that appears in today's "The Week in Culture":
"Opera is rarely seen as “cool” anymore, especially on the Web, but perhaps mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera can help bridge the gap a bit. This week, the young singer got a rave review from the L.A. Times for her work in the Bard College Music Festival in New York, and also a shout-out to her witty blog, Trying to Remain Opera-tional. For what it’s worth, the blog is a tell-all look behind the scenes of opera life, from onstage makeouts to world travel. It’s a fascinating and funny read, and in some small way, does its part to increase opera’s cool factor (a tall order, to be sure)."
Seriously - what a crazy juxtaposition. In the opera world, we are preserving an art form that is really old school, and thank goodness, because otherwise no one would know what it sounds like to hear someone make a single sound without a mike jammed down their throat. Yup - I think opera is pretty much the only place you can still hear an unamplified voice in all it's guts and glory. And of course, opera companies are doing great things to bring Mozart into the 21st century, often by updating productions and casting hot young singers that look and sound great. But the internet is this whole other animal that has yet to be fully exploited by those of us in the opera world, and as we've seen in my little case, can spread news like wildfire even to the mainstream public that wouldn't necessarily know about opera.
So, I would like to take this opportunity to ask any of you who may have navigated to this blog from the Daily Beast (maybe you meant to check out the Olsen twins new clothing line but you ended up with me instead - sorry - but at least I washed my hair this morning) to please allow me to convince you that opera IS cool. It is more than cool, it is way badass. Although the fact that I just used the word badass sort of makes me an immediate dork. But I digress. The thing Europeans seem to be more aware of that I hope Americans will start to learn, is that opera can be like seeing a Quentin Tarantino movie with singing. It gives you so much stimulation both visually and aurally, makes you laugh, makes you cry, and something about hearing a voice without a microphone stirs your soul in a way that, in this day and age of constant editing and photoshopping, is not really explainable. Opera still gets to your ears raw, and often it comes out of lips you would like to kiss as well. Plus, it's a known aphrodisiac - I'm not making this up. Okay, I made up the aphrodisiac thing, but I'm probably right.
I will certainly do my best to continue to spill all the juicy details. Stay tuned. And now I really must go because I leave for Berlin tomorrow, and in my highly glamorous and amazing life as an opera singer, I must go do my laundry.