Monday, August 15, 2011
The performing arts are not well respected in the United States in my opinion. I was recently in Verbier Switzerland, and there was a much higher level of respect for the arts. I was there for ten days for the Verbier Music Festival, and it was a surreal experience. There was beautiful music making in a town surrounded by the Swiss Alps. This area of the world should be called one of the seven wonders of the world. I remember siting in Harold's Internet Cafe, and they were watching the classical music concerts live on a big screen. Harold's is essentially a bar. How often would a classical music performance be playing on a big screen tv in a bar in the United States? I would say that the odds are pretty low. It is a shame that the performing arts are not more respected in this country. I love my country and am damn lucky to be a citizen here. Don't get me wrong. I think our values need a bit of fine tuning. Any type of performing arts is good for the brain and soul. It is not the fault of people in this country. They are not exposed to the arts, nor is it of much importance most of the time. However, there are some people who dedicate their whole lives to enriching artists. In this case, I am talking about young opera singers. Last month, I had the pleasure of performing with dell'Arte Opera Ensemble, a non profit opera company run by Maestro Christopher Fecteau and his wife soprano, Karen Rich. These are two people who are all about enriching the lives of young singers. Talk about supporting the arts. Pretty cool, huh? They aren't in it for the money. They are in it because they care about the arts. Now that is what dedication is all about. Maestro Fecteau demands that a singer try their best in this program. However, he is demanding out of love for each person in the program. My point in writing this is that I am my own worst critic to excess sometimes. I focus on what I am lacking. Blah, blah, blah... I forget how grateful I am. My whole summer has been performing. Small opera companies such as dell'Arte Opera Ensemble are saving the world. There are many others as well, I am focusing on dell'Arte Opera Ensemble because performing with them was my experience this past summer. Do not underestimate the healing power of the arts. Considering the mess our country is in, we need healing. I have great hope for the world and I am optimistic that things can change. We need to do it now.