Callum John Blackmore
Callum Blackmore is a writer and a researcher currently completing a PhD in historical musicology at Columbia University. Before moving to New York, Callum was awarded degrees from the University of Auckland and the University of Leeds, and has worked with opera companies in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. His research currently focuses on opera and politics in the wake of the French Revolution.
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions were one of the last events I attended in person in 2020. Now, one year on, the competition has returned, this time in an online format, and this time with an entirely new name: The Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition, after the event’s new sponsors.
Such a sleek, polished finish is a testament to the incredible resources and experience at the Met’s disposal – to coordinate this livestream across two different continents so seamlessly and with such flair is very impressive indeed.
HERE’s Zoom opera, all decisions will be made by consensus, is not merely an opera written to be performed on a digital platform, but an opera that critiques the platform itself, laying bare all its social and aesthetic limitations.
Although the gold glitter cannons detonated at the end of the act were an ostentatious reminder that this was a celebration of the new year, it seemed that the only words on anyone’s lips as the audience filed out of the theater were “Viva Netrebko!”