I have to say, I was a little bummed when I popped in the CD, because it featured actual singing, not skillfully inflected barking. It's no Pavarotti. It's not even Andrea Bocelli. BUT--and I'm clearly biased here--how wrong can you go with something that embraces both opera and animals? .
Emily has joined us for January as an intern, helping with tasks like creating education materials, sending out mailings and cleaning my coop. (Just kidding...or not.)
She is a voice student at Oberlin's Conservatory, but she's originally from Florida. This is her first winter driving in snow. (She doesn't know how lucky she is that the wintry explosions from the sky have been rather modest this season...so far.)
Have you ever wondered what it's like to move 30 years of opera history? Short answer: NOT easy.
I'm not talking about moving piles of yellowing scrapbooks or boxes of photographs. Our 30 years of opera history includes entire sets, a huge paint deck, and an abundance of props, costumes, set pieces and tools. This is an entire warehouse. We are moving a WAREHOUSE.
This endeavor does not involve promising your burliest friends free beer and pizza in exchange for a day of lifting and transporting. This is an eight-week planned operation, my friends.
It's tempting to rely heavily on the dumpster when doing a move, and, unfortunately, there are items that just have no other destiny or way to be recycled. But we're accessing everything and finding uses and homes for things that would otherwise share the remainder of their life with dirty diapers and banana peels.
One of the things Kish is doing is inviting her theater cronies over to loot adopt from our prop and set pieces we no longer need. (Theater storage is like GoodWill--but with an abundance of fake food and daggers.)
As we ready our new warehouse space, we're salvaging old sets for building materials. Our walls have had former lives as pieces of Hansel and Gretel or Fidelio.
(see the outline of the stove from Hansel and Gretel?)
Reusing sets is really nothing new in the theater world, but it was a great starting point for our Green Opera Initiative. With the philosophy or re-use already in place, it's easier to expand it to other areas and see how creative we can get.
We love a good train wreck, don't we? If we didn't, reality television would not have us so in its thrall. I admit that I am itching, just itching to see the new British reality show Pop Star to Opera Star.
Of course, there's the opera component. "No doubt the usual tosh about 'bringing opera to the masses' will be wheeled out in justification of this exercise," writes Rupert Christiansen of the Telegraph. I really don't mind that, but Christiansen makes a valid point: "All the programme offers (as I understand it) is the rehearsal of a few familiar arias, removed from the dramatic context which makes opera the theatrical art-form that it fundamentally is. Real opera singers don’t just sing the highlights, they have to get through the whole show, in character."
An ad for the show:
We all really know that the show has less to do with opera than with eliciting grimaces, unrestrained OMGs and loyal viewing from TV watchers. .
Forget spring cleaning. The advent of the new year always seems to inspire the staff to clean out the office. And there's always stuff to clean out. (Theater seating charts from 1995, um, yeah.)
Now here's where I get all After School Special-y on you. (Much as Scott Baio does in The Boy Who Drank Too Much.)
[Cue swelling instrumental music]I've learned that when you're purging your office of files of head shots from 1980s opera singers and such, you can do so responsibly. Unbelievable!
First, of course, there's paper recycling. Don't send 1980s head shots to the landfill--let them live a second life as toilet paper! Hopefully, your office or building has at least paper recycling. I really can't understand that some cities or businesses don't offer this basic service. Recycling should be as ubiquitous as trash pick up.
But if it's not, paper recycling--and aluminum and glass recycling--should not be difficult to find in your city. There's drop off sites and scrap yards. I found out about Earth 911, which is a great resource to use to find out where to recycle various items near your zipcode.
The digital age may reduce our reliance on paper, but its accessories can be a pain in the arse to recycle. Thankfully, as the nation is seeming to catch on to the idea that we got to take care of this planet we call home, recycling options are growing. In Cleveland, for instance, I found out about E-Scrap Solutions, where residents and businesses can recycle computers, computer parts, office machines, etc.
Perhaps more convenient, Best Buy accepts used CDs, batteries and inkjet cartridges at their stores.
What did people do before plastic, seriously? Not sayin' it's a good thing; it's just...everywhere, including in the office. If you're not using cloth bags (and WHY AREN'T YOU?!!), there are recycling options for all those plastic bags. Northeast Ohio grocery store chain Giant Eagle collects them, as does *whispering* Wal-Mart. I heard someone say that Tar-jay Target collects them as well.
These are just some of the little things we're doing, but you know what they say about little things. [Insert proverb. I'm too lazy to google one.]
How did you spend your holiday break? Lolling in front of the TV's reruns of Gilmore Girls? Avoiding toxic family gatherings? Imbibing and then imbibing some more? Nice. Go tell it to your blog because this chicken was not so lucky.
Half of the office was gone, so Sarah and Lisa (our resident "green team") thought it would be a good time for Eco Boot Camp for me. (And, really?! What do calisthenics have to do with the environment?)
The ladies were none too happy with my indiscriminate tossing of beer cans into the trash instead of the recycling bin, especially in light of our announcing the Green Opera Initiative. (See, I thought this initiative was for the company, not ME personally. Wrong.) I was schooled, son.
Now I know more about carbon calculators and LED lights and bisphenol A than you can shake an organic stick of butter at. Hence, they have also assigned me to write a periodic Eco Carl column here to share our progress with the Green Opera Initiative and about sustainability in the arts in general.
Dare I say I'm sorta excited about imparting my newly acquired green wisdom with you? Later this week: my titillating adventures in recycling at the office. (Hold onto your hats, kids.)