Friday, June 13, 2008

Opera Hostility

I've become very apprehensive about telling people that I wrote an opera. I think it's generally recognized that
writing an opera is a lot of hard work. It's very time-consuming and requires commitment, dedication, and a lot of personal sacrifice. On top of that, it requires a variety of skills, from playwriting to music composition to orchestration, a sense of drama, and a base knowledge of history. When I started and mentioned to people that I was working on an opera, I expected the reaction to be something like "Wow, that's a lot of hard work," or even "That's quite an accomplishment."

In reality, though, when I tell people that I've written opera the reaction is usually a sneer and a snide comment. The attitude I get is "So you think you're BETTER than me!?"

For the record, I don't think I'm better than anyone. My writing an opera is not a personal attack on anyone. It's a creative, artistic achievement that I'm very proud of - not a psychological weapon. This, I think is why I've had such a hard time getting help refining the piece. Just about everyone I've approached has copped a "How Dare You" attitude. I swear I'm not trying to "take advantage" of anyone. I just want to finish this piece.

In his autobiography, Philip Glass says that in his experience, getting an opera premiered isn't hard - companies are always looking to tout a "World Premiere." The more rejection I face in just having some look at the reduced score, the more I think he's wrong. I don't want to offer my opera to companies until it's performance-ready, but once it is, will they take me seriously or will they turn their noses up? I'm holding onto my hope, but am trying to be realistic through this little ordeal. I am resolved: I will find someone to help me and I will get my opera in the best possible shape.


T. J. said...

This probably doesn't help the cause, but I think you're better than a lot of people! I hope you are very proud of what you have done. Good luck in getting it produced. --T. J.

Doug said...

Any support I can get is helpful. Thanks, T.J.!