Feel free to take a look at a list of some of the more notable appearances that Opera unMet has made over the years.
Ten years ago, I assumed this opera thing would be a one year project; that it would wind itself down, and that I would move on to new ventures. A Boston hotel wanted to have opera selections with their dinner menu. They called me, and Nights at the Opera was created with a quartet of singers and a pianist. All were quite talented and willing to take a risk with me to perform quality music for not a lot of money. That quartet eventually formed an artistic bond that enabled us to work outside of the hotel. We could see the need for opera in Boston. The quartet eventually became the ensemble, which grew into the company with our first full production (Porgy and Bess), and what great company it is!
When I travel to Europe, I am constantly amazed at the number of local musical companies there are. The folks just sing and play for the sheer enjoyment of it. They have their local performance halls and do local performances. Music is also a sort of spontaneous combustion over there, and there were some great voices. I couldn't help but think that Boston has more talented musicians per square inch than most major cities. These singers get their degrees and move on to the handful of places in the country that can sustain musicians for a living. I admired Sarah Caldwell for taking steps to keep local talent employed and local. As my little band was forming, Sarah's company was folding. I thought unMet could be the keeper of those talented musicians until another legitimate company came on the scene.
To this day there are still very few companies that have dared to put local talent into major roles in anything that resembles a season. So the singers keep leaving. I hope unMet in its small way can make them stay a bit longer, give them a bit of exposure and allow folks in Boston the chance to hear the voices we grow and nurture in our town before they are plucked, packed and shipped off.
Music can still be one of the purest forms of expression on earth. For the trained professional and seasoned amateur alike, it can transcend race, gender, age and the occasional critic. unMet has enabled me to let some of that happen by mixing professionals with novices, both young and old, and allowing me to dream big, and allowing others to dream big. That's why (with the help of a small band behind the scenes) I keep looking forward to the next season.