Dear friends and followers of Bel Cantanti Opera,
I’m writing to share the exciting news about our efforts to bring
high quality opera to our community during the pandemic. I’m also
asking for your help to continue this work and support our artists.
Some of you were able to join us for the world premiere of _Briscula
the Magician_, a new opera based on a short story by Thomas Mann.
Our March performances were among the final staged musical
productions in this area before the start of sheltering in place.
The pandemic has rocked our world like everyone else’s, but Bel
Cantanti has adapted and found new outlets for creative expression.
We hope to return to live indoor performances in spring 2021, but we
have ambitious plans in the meantime and are already hard at work.
Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been doing:
In collaboration with SideXSide Studios in Takoma Park, we produced a
staged video of the _Hm! Hm! Hm! Hm! _Quintet from Mozart’s _Magic
Flute_. This excerpt shows how a local opera company adjusts to the
quarantine and continues making music. ART is ALIVE! We hope this
will provide a delightful interlude for you:
The worst part of the “new reality” for our artists is that singing
now carries great risk. Bel Cantanti’s strength – performing opera
right in front of your eyes, in close proximity to the audience – is
impossible for now. In order to keep singing, we organized the Bel
Cantanti Virtual Choir, which includes singers from the DC area, NYC,
Maine, and Pittsburgh. We have produced several new videos of sacred
choral music by Messiaen, Mozart, Stainer, a few Russian choral
pieces by Chesnokov and Rachmaninoff, with the rare music of Georgy
Sviridov up next.
Many of our singers (as well as myself) work in music ministries in
our local churches. During this period of uncertainty, we have
recorded many traditional church hymns joined by the church
congregation. Singing hymns has helped us to feel additional hope
for the future.
We have collaborated with Diction Buddy in New York on a livestream
concert of Russian Music on July 11 and 12:
Here’s what we’re planning:
More videos of virtual performances like the one we produced from
_The Magic Flute _
We have an opportunity to stage open air concerts (with social
distancing and mask wearing for audience members). These concerts
will feature popular opera and be scheduled in September and/or
We are planning a virtual concert _Tribute to Tchaikovsky_ marking
the 180th anniversary of the composer’s birth which will include
virtual free concerts
So virtually, we never stopped working. But now more than ever, we
need your support during a period when live audiences and ticket
sales are not an option. As you can see from our recent work, Bel
Cantanti maintains a world class creative and technical team
producing lovely musical experiences. With the necessary resources,
we can continue to bring these experiences to our community members
in the comfort of their own homes. And please remember our singers
who are struggling financially and need to sing for the good of their souls!
A generous contributor has provided a grant up to $50,000 to match
donations (dollar for dollar) through the end of 2021.
Please help us take full advantage of this wonderful gift.
If you make a donation of $200 or more, we will also be happy to send
you a link to your favorite aria from a past Bel Cantanti performance.
We have recordings of all BCO operas since 2012, so let us know your
favorite moment so you can have a chance to relive it. Please send me
an email (or a note with your donation) if you would like us to
prepare such a video link for you.
Here is the Bel Cantanti link for online donations:
You can also send a check to: Bel Cantanti Opera, Post Office Box
3232, Silver Spring, MD 20918
We all look forward to a time when we can enjoy great live
performances in safety and comfort. We know that day will come, but
in the meantime, please help us continue to offer high quality and
accessible opera while supporting the creative talent in our
Dr. Katerina Souvorova, BCO Founder and Artistic Director.
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SEE YOU AT THE OPERA!