Companies producing staid, traditional productions of very popular operas in order to appeal to the public. I wish we were more like Europe, where they challenge audiences with inventive productions and new operas. I think playing it safe perpetuates stereotypes and is not what the people want.
Opera is not a museum piece -- it's a living art! I saw the director of Opera Philadelphia speak -- the gist of it was how they did all sorts of amazing fundraising and planning in order to raise enough capital to produce new operas and create a community of opera lovers and not fall apart completely. New operas! New audiences! And it is working.
What's your day job?
I'm director of development at Curious Theatre Company, so I do fundraising for my favorite Denver theater.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Dreamy. I would do everything I'm doing now -- singing and spreading the gospel of opera to the masses. I'd just have way more time to do it without needing to pay the bills. And I would travel and see great art and music everywhere. And then, I'd spread the wealth so any artist making good work can have the time and materials to focus solely on making the world a more beautiful, interesting place.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Offer free space to artists to create and present and perform -- and fail! -- in order to incubate and develop works without the pressure of overhead and deadlines and review panels. Then I'd create a forum for the art that comes out to be presented in a big way -- to everyone, not just other artists.Continue reading for more from Eve Orenstein.