When AtG performed with Ottawa Chamberfest this past summer, we immediately fell for the city’s people and culture. Like many others, we were shocked yesterday to hear about Opera Lyra’s immediate cessation of operations, which came less than two weeks after closing its run of The Barber of Seville. Our hearts go out to all of our Lyra friends and colleagues. We were especially excited for our fellow Indie Opera T.O. company Essential Opera, as its members were about to present a double bill with Opera Lyra, scheduled to open tomorrow night.
This can’t be the end of opera in our nation’s capital. It can and MUST go on. In order to re-think, to re-evaluate, to morph, to grow, we have to listen and adapt. We simply can’t spend what we don’t have. To do things differently we need bold vision, experimentation and strong leadership. Yes, opera is expensive, but not impossibly so, and certainly not so expensive that the best course of action is to simply cease, and fade into history. If those who are passionate about music, theatre and the arts are not fighting for the art form, bleeding, scrapping, and sacrificing time, security and energy, then nobody will. The call to raise up mighty artistic administrators is stronger now than ever before. We hear Lyra’s hope for a rebirth (with a new model) and we say YES!
We have to dream big in Canada, and it’s a fitting time to reflect on that as the election looms. We’re seeing the results of cuts to arts education from kindergarten through high school, and it’s unacceptable. Who will help? Who will stand up? We need unwavering support, new ideas and to be unafraid of failure. AtG may not be perfect, but we are an example of what can come from dreams, hard work, friendship and collaboration. Lyra’s news is another wake-up call… are you going to heed it, or hit snooze? #WhosNext
—AtG Founding Members