Editor’s Note Front of House www.operanow.co.uk www.operanow.co.uk
EDITORIAL Phone +44 (0)20 7333 1701 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief Ashutosh Khandekar Associate Editor Helena Matheopoulos Consultant Editor Keith Clarke Contributing Editors Francis Muzzu, Tom Sutcliffe Robert Thicknesse (UK), Francis Carlin (France), James Imam (Italy), Karyl Charna Lynn (USA), Andrew Mellor (Scandinavia), Ken Smith (Far East) Design Louise Wood ADVERTISING Phone +44 (0)20 7333 1716 Title Manager Craig Dacey, email@example.com Group Sales Manager Alisdair Ashman firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Production Daniela DiPadova, +44 (0)20 7333 1727, email@example.com SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BACK ISSUES Phone UK 0800 137201 Overseas +44(0)1722 716997 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions Manager Bethany Foy UK Subscription Rate £70 PUBLISHING Phone +44(0)20 7738 5454 Publishing Director Owen Mortimer Director of Marketing & Digital Strategy Luca Da Re Marketing Manager John Barnett Group Institutional Sales Manager Jas Atwal Production Director Richard Hamshere Circulation Director Sally Boettcher Managing Director Paul Geoghegan Chief Executive O€ cer Ben Allen Chairman Mark Allen
Thinking outside the box
Opera companies are coming up with ever more ingenious ways to make sure that live opera can return with confidence this summer. Longborough’s great circus tent and Nevill Holt’s great outdoor arch are just two bold examples of how opera, after being cowed by the pandemic in 2020, is fighting back this summer, providing safe, airy spaces for an unusually health-conscious public. One of the legacies of the last few months will surely be that we have so many new ways of creating and experiencing opera performances. Live streams, mini-operas and virtual stagings would have seemed peripheral and gimmicky a year ago. Today, digital initiatives are offering ways for a new public to experience opera, as well as allowing even the smallest local opera companies the opportunity to play to an international audience.
As live opera thankfully returns to our theatres, we should continue to learn from the technological and sociological lessons that the pandemic has taught us. Older generations have now become much more conversant with accessing performances on computers and watching opera online. Video and streaming technology itself has improved in leaps and bounds over the last year, so that now, the online world can be a real adjunct to live performance helping us to deepen our appreciation of opera by taking us behind the scenes and into historic archives. Exploring YouTube has given a new lease of life to my appreciation of singers from the past. Recently, I watched a film of Pagliacci featuring the great tenor Franco Corelli (whose birth centenary we celebrate in this issue). Made for television by Italy’s national broadcaster RAI in 1954, it’s a superb example of how opera adapted relatively quickly to a new medium, drawing mass audiences in with a naturalism and intimacy that works surprisingly well on a small screen, even in fuzzy black and white.
The idea that opera, to be experienced at its best, has to be performed on a stage within the four walls of a traditional opera house is fading fast. One of the legacies of the pandemic is that all the world really is a stage and that anyone can make space for opera – whether it’s in a country house garden, a car park or on the screen of your mobile phone.
Opera Now captures the drama, colour and vitality of one of the most powerful of all the performing arts. In our print and digital issues, we showcase the creative spirit of opera, both on stage and behind the scenes, with profiles of opera companies, singers, directors and designers. Our in-depth features reflect how diverse cultural elements have influenced opera, including travel, history, literature, art, architecture, politics and philosophy. Our lively reviews and opinion pages are a platform for writers and critics drawn from all over the world. Our aim is to inspire our opera-loving readers to broaden their knowledge and deepen their passion for this fascinating and stimulating artform.
OperaNow May/June 2021 5