Hey friends, adding to the abundance of bad news that has been floating around recently, it has been a rough couple of weeks for opera as well. If you have made it to this small corner of the interwebz then I do not need to rehash those news stories. However, there has also been a glut of sarcastic responses running on reputable sites. But, what if you sat down today and actually wondered how you could help your local opera company? What if you were well-aware of how a local opera company can affect a local economy and wanted to help secure that future? What if you couldn’t give a s&*^ about opera singer fat jokes and just want to help your neighbor make a living in the area in which they are incredibly skilled? What then?
For those of you who have an ounce of interest in a culturally literate population or you give a passing care to a vibrant arts economy – here’s a starting point.
From your computer:
- “Like” and “follow” your local opera companies. Pay attention to their upcoming events – bonus points for when you write them down in your own calendar!
- Share and retweet their upcoming events even if you cannot attend.
- Forward their e-blast to a friend who might be interested.
- Singing in a production? Don’t leave it to the marketing team only to spread the word. Tell people why you love doing what you do. Others want to participate in your success. Give them as many opportunities as possible.
- As a musician: celebrate your colleagues’ successes! Spread the news that opera is alive and often doing well across the country and around the world.
- Participate positively in the comments section on reviews. Encourage inspiring discussion about the art form we love.
- Buy a ticket. Buy a few tickets. Buy a bunch of tickets.
- Donate. Chances are your local opera company is working on a fundraising campaign at this very moment.
- Watch a cat video > feel warm fuzzies > remember that opera makes you feel good feelings too > donate online to your local opera company.
- Encourage your family members in discussing music. Demonstrate an understanding that opera isn’t just a joke genre used in bad annuity commercials.
- Support music lessons for your family members. An understanding of musical concepts will help lower the boundaries to classical music.
- Support music education in your schools and greater community. Music education is everywhere – K-12 formal education, outreach programs offered by your local opera company, Opera on Tap at your favorite bar – support as you can.
- DVR your shows and make some time to go out and experience live performance!
- Make plans to attend a performance at your local opera company as a family event. You might even start a new tradition!
In real life…
- Go to the opera.
- Donate to events such as silent auctions.
- Encourage your business/company to put an ad in the program.
- Put your own ad in the program.
- Offer to hang a poster at your office or business location.
- Host a fundraising event at your home.
- Volunteer. Be an usher or be on the board or anywhere in between but offer your abilities!
- As a board member: be a stickler about financial well-being!
- As a musician: offer your highest musicianship at every opportunity. You are an integral part of making sure the performances are of the highest calibre.
- Talk about your local opera company. When you are at the dog park, when you are pushing your kids on the swings, when you’re having a martini at happy hour, when you’re discussing weekend plans with your coworkers – there really is not a bad time to inspire others to give opera a try.
Like I wrote above, this is just a starting point. Perhaps you’d like to add more positive suggestions on ways to participate in the health and well-being of your local opera company? Share them in the comments below or by tweeting me @mezzoihnen or on the Sybaritic Singer Facebook page.