RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Live music is medicine to the soul. North Carolina Opera has been bringing that medicine to the Triangle since 2010.
Eric Mitchko, the general director of North Carolina Opera, says that although the pandemic has changed their venue, it hasn’t changed their goal.
“2020 has thrown us a little bit of a curveball, so we’re looking for different ways to keep operagoing and keep it before the public. People really crave it. I mean there’s nothing like going to the opera and the entertainment and the excitement of all the great music.”
Great music along with a great crew. A typical production employs close to 200 people!
Performances aren’t confined just to the stage; North Carolina Opera also brings the music to the children.
Jason Karn, a tenor with NC Opera, enjoys the excitement of singing in the local schools.
“You know what, it’s kind of fun to sing for the kids. We do a lot of outreach into the local schools. You see them sit there and they don’t really know what to expect. And then the first notes come out of your mouth, and they’re like ‘Whoa.’ They’re used to hearing it from an amplifier or something like that. But that a human can make that sound? It’s kind of fun.”
Although they can’t be there singing in person, NC Opera is still bringing music to the community.
“Part of it is there’s a real communication when you’re in the same room with someone. Someone sings to them and there’s a bond between singer and audience. And it’s just a little different online. So we’re learning a whole new set of skills about how you put things together digitally, and how you can recreate that impression of a live experience when it’s on a computer,” says Mitchko.
Learning new skills and finding new ways to grow.
Karn sees 2020 as a different year, but a creative year.
“I think what it’s really done is it’s made us try to be creative. And I think it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’re always trying to look at the positive side of things. Is that it’s forced us to bring the art to people a little bit more. Sometimes I feel like classical music-people sort of put it on a pedestal and expect it to be in a museum. And it’s really a visceral and engaging art. I think these are opportunities to make it a little more intimate.”
Any donations go to production costs and their educational programs.
Be sure to mark your calendars for their Virtual Opera Gala on October 17th.
If you want to learn more or get involved with NC Opera, you can find out more here.