As we continue to watch the world of live performance come cautiously back to post-COVID levels, I felt the greatest surge of joy so far when I saw Opera Philadelphia’s announcement of their 2022-23 season—and most especially, the reboot of Festival O.
Call me Mary Quite Contrary if you want, but as we finally see live performances coming back, I’m reflecting with gratitude and even some nostalgia on the way COVID quarantine forged a path for entrepreneurial performance companies to recalibrate and deliver their work through streaming platforms.
“Spring has sprung,” announces MasterVoices’ director Ted Sperling with a smile at the beginning of Part III. And indeed, even the doomsayers among us (and I count myself one) can’t help but feel signs of cautious optimism, as the world we knew slowly but noticeably begins to re-emerge.
Conceived by Adam Guettel as a song cycle that explores human relationships to the gods across the span of history into today, Myths and Hymns has been seen and heard in concert and staged settings, and some of the individual songs are often performed in cabaret.
A particularly heartbreaking aspect of the pandemic shutdown has, of course, been helplessly watching rising artists have their careers plunged into indefinite silence. But for a few bold souls who are willing to try new things, the moment has also opened doors.