Editor’s Note Front of House



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Editor Hattie Butterworth

Associate Editor Helena Matheopoulos

Consultant Editor Keith Clarke

Contributing Editors Francis Muzzu, Tom Sutcli˜e

Robert Thicknesse (UK), Francis Carlin (France), James Imam (Italy), Karyl Charna Lynn (USA),

Andrew Mellor (Scandinavia), Ken Smith (Far East)

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OperaNow, ISSN 0958-501X, (USPS 9346) is published monthly by MA Music, Leisure & Travel Ltd, St Jude’s Church,

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Opera’s life cycle

Opera has the power to deliver a huge impact on us. As a society, an industry and individuals, we are drawn to art to feel connected and empowered through performance. Of course, we can’t deny that we will be impacted, then, by the ongoing cuts to opera, and wider classical music, within the UK and it’s been heartening in recent weeks to see the classical community so vocally arguing its case.

Taking over the helm of this magazine, I am privileged to work with writers and companies who are continually excited by the opera world and passionate about communicating and exploring it, not only as a means for entertainment, but also as a°way of processing emotion, reflecting societal landscapes and providing meaningful°collaboration.

It’s an art form that we strive to cover throughout its entire journey. I’ve therefore introduced a new young artist feature towards the front of the magazine to celebrate young opera talent, listening openly to what they need and why they do what they do.

Opera’s history is also punctuated this month by saying goodbye to two high-profile artists: countertenor James Bowman and soprano Virginia Zeani. As we raise the voices of younger artists, we inevitably mourn others, giving thanks for their singing – and in the case of these two artists, premiering some of the century’s most celebrated operas.

Our cover star Mary Bevan is someone who equally will never not inspire me. Defiantly studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge was followed by balancing single parenthood and life as an international artist. She reminds us that life is rarely straight-forward, but that maintaining authenticity as an artist will likely draw audiences closer.

Finally to introduce myself! I studied the cello at Chetham’s and the Royal College of Music with Raphael Wallfisch, and then used the years since the pandemic to learn and grow within the world of arts journalism.

As an opera lover, I always say that my life changed when I watched the ROH’s production of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. It showed me opera as an artform that brings together history, music and art with that deep vocal colour that Shostakovich’s writing mastered. I was also a member of a Gilbert and Sullivan Society when I was a teenager, along with my dad and sisters…

I look forward to getting to know you as the readers of this magazine, as well as the artists and supporters of opera, without whom I know my life wouldn’t be even half as exciting!

Have a wonderful May!

Hattie Butterworth

@operanow fb.com/operanow

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.