63 blogs written by 19 writers, read from 74 different countries. 8000 reads.
On the 22nd of November 2015, Louis Hurley and myself launched our website and blog, The O Word. When we first began, we had no idea of the successes that we would share throughout the year. The idea of The O Word came about from a number of events throughout 2015. A lot of passionate rants were shared between Hurley and myself, as we talked and cried over the misunderstandings of the Opera world. As young students, we were desperate for people to love this art form as much as we do!
In September 2015, Louis and I attended an Opera Lover’s event featuring WA Opera’s Artistic Director, Brad Cohen. Brad talked about the profession of opera and the future of Perth’s opera company and at one point began talking about Perth’s local talent. He mentioned that a concert with the word ‘Opera’ in it would sell worse than a show with no mention of the art form. “Opera” had become a toxic word. I then went to go see Louis in a performance of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I happened to sit in front of some adults, around my age (21), who sat there the entire time laughing and poking fun. I found myself so upset and worked up about it. After the show, I texted Louis, asking him why these people wouldn’t give this show a chance? What is it about opera that makes people turn their nose before they’ve even heard it? After an hours worth of opera texts between the two of us, it became very clear that we weren’t talking to the right people. There was no point expressing our thoughts and opinions to each other: we shared the same beliefs! By ranting to each other, we were only working ourselves up and getting nowhere. We wanted questions answered, opinions formed, and a chance to give this art form a new voice. And so, The O Word was born.
Whilst there are many highlights of this year of blogging, Vocal Voyages has been a personal favourite of mine (and of our readers!). Once a month, we receive a blog from local Australian performers pursuing their dreams of opera worldwide. Beginning with the amazing Richard Symons, who wrote a 5 blog series, we were thrilled to find out what these local, young artists were up to. How interesting and exhilarating it is to read of their different experiences and opportunities and find out about events and performances that, without The O Word, we might never know. We are so lucky to have such talented peers and colleagues who are willing to share their stories.
We have strived since our beginnings to make this art form more accessible. To debunk myths and educate from the perspective of two young students who are also learning about this wonderful art form. We have had great successes, many flops and have learnt a lot in the last year… and we are super excited to be continuing our journey as Opera Bloggers! Our team of two becomes a team of three this month as Emma Ashton, a soprano colleague of mine (and past O Word writer!), joins our team to help make blogs more exciting and interesting!
2017 will see a development of The O Word as we go from WAAPA students to young performers seeking our next step in this journey and profession. We hope that you will jump on board and enjoy this journey with us and continue to support The O Word as you have done this year. There are many exciting plans and blogs ahead… so don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our blog (On the right!). Once again, thank you for supporting us and giving us the chance for our Voices to be Heard.
Written by Katherine Goyder
30.09.2016: What Happens Next?
23.09.2016: Debunking Opera Myths
16.09.2016: Coping with Post Show Depression
09.10.2016: WAAPA presents ‘Albert Herring’
02.10.2016: VV: Follow ze Lieder
25.09.2016: Jessica Gethin: From the Eyes of the Conductor
18.09.2016: A Week in the Life of an Opera Singer
11.09.2016: Emma Matthews: Agony and Ecstasy
04.09.2016: VV: The Homogenisation of Opera
28.08.2016: Always Music: An Interview with Pumeza Matshikiza
21.08.2016: Taryn Fiebig: From School to Stage
14.08.2016: Gillded Knowledge: An Interview with Richard Gill
07.08.2016: Sunday at the Schubert Institut
26.06.2016: Mezzo Flies to Manchester
19.06.2016: Ode to Beethoven
12.06.2016: Shakespeare: A Singer’s Perspective
08.06.2016: VV Part 2: From Manhattan to the Maj
05.06.2016: VV Part I: The Road to Manhattan
29.05.2016: The Actor’s Perspective
22.05.2016: ‘At Peace’ with Opera: Winter Morning Walks
15.05.2016: What I Always Wanted To Be
08.05.2016: Songs My Mother Taught Me
02.05 2016: The O Word at Dido and Aeneas
01.05.2016: VV: Home Is Where The Heart Is
30/01/2016: WHAT TO EXPECT: Gianni Schicchi
27/01/2016: VV: Richie In The City V
24/01/2016: DIVALICIOUS: Sopranos Taking Over The (Fringe) World
20/01/2016: VV: Richie In The City IV
17/01/2016: Who the Hell is Florence?!
15/01/2016: RIP, beautiful Story Tellers
13/01/2016: VV: Richie in the City III
10/01/2016: The D Word
06/01/2016: VV: Richie In The City II
03/01/2016: VV: Richie In The City I
27/12/2015: Vocal Voyages: Goodbye, 2015!
20/12/2015: CAROLS: Not Bublé
13/12/2015: A Very “O Word” Christmas
6/12/2015: Matthew Hyde: From Broadway to Britten
28/11/2015: Recitals For Dummies
22/11/2015: The O Word
22/11/2015: The Curious Case of Benjamin Britten
22/11/2015: The Young Person’s Guide to the Opera