Join book lovers and opera lovers alike to explore Opera Columbus’ 2019-2020 productions by examining these complementary texts to our mainstage productions. Each conversation will be facilitated by Joshua Borths of Capital University.
Molto Agitato by Johanna Fiedler
Monday, September 16, 2019
Columbus Main Library | 6:30 pm
If the opera world is full of “intrigue, double meanings, and devious dramatics,” then no place exemplifies this more than the world-famous Metropolitan Opera, where politics, ambition, and oversized egos have traditionally taken center stage along with some of the world’s richest music. Drawing on her fifteen years as its press representative, Johanna Fiedler explodes the traditional secrecy that surrounds the Met in this wonderfully entertaining account of its tumuluous history.
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
Monday, October 28, 2019
Ohio Theatre Patron Lounge | 6:30 pm
In her profound and courageous New York Times bestseller, Janet Mock establishes herself as a resounding and inspirational voice for the transgender community—and anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms. With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman’s quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another—and of ourselves—showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.
The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
Monday, January 27, 2020
TBD | 6:30 pm
Set in the 1890s in Moonstone, a fictional town located in Colorado, The Song of the Lark is the self-portrait of an artist in the making. The story revolves around an ambitious young heroine, Thea Kronborg, who leaves her hometown to go to the big city to fulfill her dream of becoming a well-trained pianist, a better piano teacher. When her piano instructor hears her voice, he realizes that this is her true artistic gift. He encourages her to pursue her vocal training instead of piano saying … “your voice is worth all that you can put into it. I have not come to this decision rashly.” The novel captures Thea’s independent-mindedness, her strong work ethic, and her ascent to her highest achievement. At each step along the way, her realization of the mediocrity of her peers propels her to greater levels of accomplishment, but in the course of her ascent she must discard those relationships which no longer serve her.
Mad Scenes and Exit Arias by Heidi Waleson
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
TBD | 6:30 pm
In October 2013, the arts world was rocked by the news that the New York City Opera—“the people’s opera”—had finally succumbed to financial hardship after 70 years in operation. The company had been a fixture on the national opera scene—as the populist antithesis of the grand Metropolitan Opera, a nurturing home for young American talent, and a place where new, lively ideas shook up a venerable art form. But NYCO’s demise represented more than the loss of a cherished organization: it was a harbinger of massive upheaval in the performing arts—and a warning about how cultural institutions would need to change in order to survive. Above all, Mad Scenes and Exit Arias is a story of money, ego, changes in institutional identity, competing forces of populism and elitism, and the ongoing debate about the role of the arts in society. It serves as a detailed case study not only for an American arts organization, but also for the sustainability and management of nonprofit organizations across the country.