Being an opera artist today can be one of the most difficult jobs out there but also one of the most rewarding. We’ve got this incredibly dated art form that most of the world wants to keep in that box. Then you have a group of artists who are going above and beyond to show how relevant, powerful and special this is.
I was raised to treat everyone with great respect. To value all people from all walks of life and for me, that makes sense. Why would you treat someone differently than someone else? I’ve carried this understanding with me as I entered what is perceived to be a very elitist industry.
I started as a Supernumerary (Super for short) in a production of Carmen at the Canadian Opera Company. I had a mythical sense of what opera was, but I got to witness it firsthand. As a super, I could watch from the wings, see who would talk to me, see who wouldn’t and took in a lot.
That education fueled how I approached my career. I want to be someone who treats the security guard the same way as I would treat the General Director.
It is about being fair, equitable and not being afraid to embrace change.
I’m an artist who has always asked questions and one who will always look to gather as many wonderful people together as possible.
I like to give as much time as I can to artists who have something to say. I believe we all do, but we’re in different chapters of knowing what that is. How many Figaro’s have there been and why is this time more important than any other? When we give agency and power back to the artists who are putting themselves out there, then there is ownership and accountability equally throughout a production.
Creatives work with singers, who work with musicians in the pit, relying on technicians, all for the public, who are taken care of by an opera company’s admin team all for patrons, our community.
As we continue to navigate the rollercoaster performing arts world that we’re living in, I will continue to make art with good people, for companies that treat people well and strive to make the world a better place in all I do.