Are you present?

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One memory that sticks with me is a conversation I had with a fellow theatre artist at the end of a process where we worked together. The journey had been rocky in several ways. I can’t pretend that the artist in question was particularly good at creating a safe space for an ensemble. The last thing he said to me was that I had always been present.

I enquired about what he meant, but he didn’t explain in any more detail. I guess he wanted me to reflect about the idea. In recent times I have found a suitable way to unpick his cryptic remark for myself.

The eco-system of singing drama is in need of a shake up. I love hearing old recordings of Callas, Caruso, Gobbi and the other greats, singing the standard repertoire. There are performers who are currently in the business who are more than capable of keeping that tradition alive.

The art form needs to have new stories, customs and traditions to remain relevant to future generations. Those of us who have different ideas to contribute should be upfront about what we have to offer.

Is it possible that too much of the work being done within the idiom is coming from a subconscious, as opposed to conscious place?