The Arts Don't Matter

Madame Butterfly

It is a very frustrating time to be an artist right now. To say nothing of the fact that we can't perform before a live audience, for those of us who have thrown our energies into writing, it seems that if we are not interested in politics or Donald Trump, our voices don't matter. I have written extensively on racism in the arts, and sexism as well. This year my words have appeared in San Francisco Classical Voice, The Tennessee Tribune, GO Magazine, and most recently in MusicWeb International (based in the U.K.). They were even heard in the podcast Jazz Ready hosted by Magdalena Gomez. But the major outlets (i.e., The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, etc.) are only interested in publishing articles on politics and Trump. The Arts don't matter.

This was one of the many reason why I spent so much time in Europe. There, the Arts always matter, regardless of what else is going on in the world. They have centuries of history throughout which the Arts have played a major part in everything that was happening. In the United States, perhaps it is understood that an arts education can lift kids out of poverty. Our American politicians seem to be more interested in keeping the majority of citizens in poverty, so that there will always be a servant-class. Exposure to the Arts can help young people develop intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet funding for the Arts has been cut irreparably by Republican politicians, and not by accident.

I doubt that Donald Trump has even been to the opera. He certainly couldn't tell you the difference between Madame Butterfly and Tosca. But this ignorant man became the most powerful person in the world, thanks to the votes of ignorant people who believed his lies. What has become of us?

April has told me that I have so much knowledge about opera that needs to be shared with young people who would not be exposed to it otherwise. So we have decided to start filming responses to clips and recordings to be shared on YouTube. Of course there is no funding for such an endeavor, but we will do the best we can with what we have to share knowledge, enjoyment, and blissful pleasure.

Be on the lookout for our first video on Luciano Pavarotti's performance of "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot.


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