Saturday, March 26, 2011

City Opera Monodramas

New York was fun yesterday. My music class had a fascinating 90-minute talk with George Steel, Yale alumnus and general manager of the New York City Opera. We felt especially privileged to have this kind of access because yesterday was the opening night of Monodramas, three one-act avant-garde pieces like no other opera I've seen.

The sets were beautiful and the show incorporated creative multimedia, with modern dance, animated film, and even pyrotechnics. I'll grant that my tastes aren't the most cerebral or sophisticated -- think cheese and crackers and "Family Guy." -- so I sometimes find cutting-edge shows tedious and bizarre. Then again, exercise is also tedious and bizarre, and it's good for me, so I try to take the same attitude with art and theater. I do, however, maintain some Midwestern roots and refuse to spell theater with the t and r beside each other.

Today, I attended an afternoon seminar on music and digital rights, learning that when I complete my album of original music this summer, as soon as I put it out onto the Web, my life will be ruined. I'm going to do it anyway. In the spirit of my music class, which is taught by the dean and thus provides us with amazing access, this seminar was followed by a private lunch with the guest speaker. I had a great opportunity to ask lots of questions.

The deeper I've gotten into school, the more I've realized that my woes about the journalism industry, which to some extent prompted my return to school, aren't the least bit unique to that industry. Time and again I meet people who have the same struggles and complaints about their fields, be it music, education, architecture, etc. I guess it's a changing world in many more ways beyond the fact that kids don't like to read newspapers. Go figure.

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