April 21, 2020
Dear Wolf Trap Opera Community,
I write this hoping that you and your loved ones are all healthy and safe, and that you’re caring for yourselves during this truly unprecedented time.
We find ourselves at a particular moment when the shared musical experiences that we live for and that our artists and audiences crave have suddenly become challenging. It is clear that moving ahead as planned is simply no longer an option for us, and we must adjust course. Our focus on artist training and development serves as a guiding light as we pivot to meet these new challenges.
We have had to make the difficult decision to cancel most of our performances, including the three fully staged operas, which are signature parts of our program. However, we remain committed to this special group of singers and fellows, and will be inviting them to Vienna, VA this summer for a condensed residency period.
A core value of Wolf Trap Opera is to provide a significant artistic experience for our artists to further their professional growth. While the experience will look different for our 2020 artists during this particular summer, we remain committed to providing opportunities that will both challenge and engage. We are consulting with our most precious resources, the artists themselves, about potential projects; hearing from them directly about new collaborative and exciting experiences has in turn energized us.
We will be supporting them through coaching, expanded guest faculty work, and amplified audition support. Our Filene Artist in Residence, Denyce Graves, will be working with our singers, and leading a dream-team of alumni, including Christine Goerke, Kate Lindsey, and Ryan McKinny, to work with our artists remotely. Tapping into the significant expertise and good will of our alumni is a true silver lining during this challenging time, and we are grateful for their artistic generosity and belief in our program.
We recognize how important it is to steward the relationship between our 2020 artists and audiences, and we are exploring a number of avenues to connect the two. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know each of our artists through arias, scenes, and chamber work via digital distribution and livestreaming, as well as a potential concert performance at the Filene Center later in the summer. Updates will be made on our website as they are available.
I believe this reimagined 2020 summer is truly the best way for us to move forward, to express our commitment to these artists, and to do our part to strengthen the health of the field at large. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented creativity, and as we rise to the challenge, I am grateful to have your support and trust. In the meantime, I invite you to relive some of your favorite Wolf Trap Opera performances through our streaming initiative. 2019’s Ariadne auf Naxos is currently online, and we will be reviving other past performances in the coming weeks and months.
Lee Anne Myslewski
Vice President, Opera and Classical Programming
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
1645 Trap Road, Vienna VA 22182