Editor’s Note Front of House



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Does identity compromise music?

When it comes to the life of a performer, it’s often been accepted that life on- and off-stage are to be kept separate. Does the audience need to know about personal experiences, identities and opinions of performers? Is it compromising the music if we make space for singers

to express their own identities?

Our world is becoming ever-squeezed of artistic funding and resources. The boom of the internet and increased pace of life has knock-on effects, leading often to burn-out and mental health struggles of creatives. Touring, gruelling rehearsal schedules and physical health struggles all take their toll.

If we ask artists to keep personal identities hidden, is the singer able to perform and live freely, or is there always an element of restriction? This issue of Opera Now looks at identity and how singers, conductors and directors are making it part of their artistic vocation to celebrate and campaign for individuality.

Our cover story with Greek National Opera meets a company asking its audience to consider identity through new commissions on its alternative stage. Although holding complex connotations, these questions of gender and trans experience aren’t going away, and the arts has a role to play in portraying the reality, asking questions of its audience.

In July, Pride month celebrations continue in London. We speak to Elgan Llŷr Thomas ahead of the release of his album, Unveiled, looking into homosexual experiences through songs by LGBTQ+ composers and poets. We also talk to two American tenors in this month’s pages: Davóne Tines speaks about the Barbican’s Classical Pride concert, and Brian Jagde, soon to take on the role of Don Carlos at Covent Garden, opens up about the importance of therapy in supporting his career and prioritising psychological wellbeing.

Opera is a brilliant, yet complex profession. It is a sign of our ever-opening society that so many are willing to bring music along with vulnerability, connecting more fully with an audience who share many of the same experiences.

same experiences.

sic along with vulnerability, connecting more fully with an

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.

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