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arts and life

Finger Lakes Opera artists collaborate from a distance

Aug 22, 2020

Four songs and two arias, all by Mozart. That was all that Eastman School of Music graduate and current Finger Lakes Opera Young Artist Robin Steitz found herself singing during the first two months of the pandemic.

"It was kind of cool," she says. "For the first time since I started singing, I wasn't being compelled by some pressing performance coming up. There was nothing outside of myself telling me what I needed to focus on, so I would just obsess over one Mozart song for a week."

Fellow FLO Young Artist Jongwon Choi nearly stopped singing altogether when everything shut down. His opera auditions in Germany were canceled, and opportunity seemed scarce outside of his regular church job. His wedding in Korea was also postponed. "I was very depressed during this virus time," he admits.

Steitz is an itinerant opera singer who recently found refuge in the Berkshires; Choi has been studying at The Mannes School of Music in New York.

For their current venture, though, it doesn't matter where they are physically. Through the summer, they have both been working remotely as two of the 11 participants in Finger Lakes Opera's Tomita Young Artists Program. For both of these young singers, FLO has challenged them musically and inspired them to learn new skills, in order to adapt to the new, technologically mediated opera performances such as those in the "Summer Scenes" virtual concert.


HomeStage: Grace Browning

Apr 24, 2020

Grace Browning is the principal harpist for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and for you, she plays a movement from Suite Galactique which represents the story of a single water molecule from its start in the center of the earth to its journey to outer space.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra held its first livestreamed performance Friday morning for classrooms whose field trips were canceled due to coronavirus concerns and precautions.

This week, the RPO had to cancel a series of interactive, educational performances around the concept of voting for fourth- through sixth-graders. According to Marie-Andélina de la Farrière with the RPO, more than 5,000 students in 250 classrooms participated in the live-stream in more than 50 schools.