Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adventures at Loft Opera

This past week or so, I've had the privilege of being part of the team working on Loft Opera's production of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  I was just a volunteer, doing little jobs here and there to help the production crew along, but I had such a blast working with the team.  While there, I got to hang out with tons of super cool people, including two other volunteers (and bloggers!) Maayan and Michael.  I also got to meet soprano Michelle Trovato, who I've been tweeting with for a while now.  She was so sweet and she sang the role of Berta like no one's business.

I had so much fun meeting people passionate about opera and getting the inside scoop on Loft Opera's mission and origins.  It's amazing to think that such a successful company (they were sold out!) has started from two guys who love opera saying "Let's start an opera company" and then working hard to make it happen.  Every person working on the production had the same passion and genuine interest in the art.  And, to make things even better, they were all sweet and fun people.  I have worked with quite a few smaller opera companies in the past and I am glad to report that Loft Opera is one of my favorites.  They are some of the best, and hardest working, people you can find in NY.  They always made me feel right at home and appreciated.  It was exhilarating to be part of such a dedicated group.

They made the mistake of giving me free reign in decorating the bathroom.


After all the nay-saying about opera and the future of the art form, it is such a breath of fresh air to find that something like Loft Opera is happening.  It's making opera fun, relevant, and accessible.  They told me that 70% of their audience are first-time opera goers.  That is fantastic!  And they let you drink beer during the show.  What else can you ask for?  The space itself (The Green Building in Brooklyn) was really cozy and the production remained up-close-and-personal to the audience, utilizing the space economically and creatively.

Outdoor bar


The other exciting aspect of the experience, for me, was being able to be a part of the opera community again.  It's crazy to think that a year ago today, I was too weak to even cut up my own dinner.  But this week I was building sets and barbacking without any trouble.  It was so fantastic to be useful again and to just be able to physically do things without worrying about collapsing.  Recovery is a beautiful thing and it was so great to have it happening in tandem with opera-related activities.

I am just so grateful to live in a place where opera is happening and I can be a part of it.  I can't thank Loft Opera enough for the opportunity and I can't wait to get even more involved this year in opera in all different places.

Dress Rehearsal, Act I