Blazing neon lights dance in a pattern around the headliners of the show. The red velveted lobby is packed with those trying to find their seats and those who mingle with other show goers. There is a low murmuring mixed with a spike of excitement for the performance. You squeeze yourself into your row which is packed like sardines. The house lights gradually dim and the show is about to begin.
Once the pandemic hit, these kinds of outings ceased to exist. Broadway shut down and venues started going out of business. Both the crew and performers were left with no audience and instead, an uncertainty for their futures.
Elena Galvan is a professional opera singer and voice teacher who grew up in Ithaca, NY. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Ithaca College and her Masters from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She now lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL where she teaches at North Broward Preparatory School. In addition to teaching, she would perform all around the world, including for the audience of FLEFF. Now with the current pandemic, Elena and performers like her, are forced to reshape the way they perform their art.
For this year's festival, Elena and her husband Daniel Bates, are going to be on a panel called, “Why Opera Why now?”. The discussion will be based around how artforms from all across the board are adjusting in figuring out how to be innovative and keep the arts alive without the in person aspect. It will feature a production the two performed in with Opera Ithaca this past summer, Gianni Schicchi by Puccino. During the panel, they will talk about the experience of producing an Opera from their own home. Elena described it as, “It was a crash course and I don’t know if I totally nailed it, but it was a good learning experience!”.
When asked about her thoughts on FLEFF being 100% virtual this year she said, “It’s better than nothing, and a time of adjustment. That community is still there, even though we’re not physically together. It’ll still be a good time just a little different.”
Before we ended our conversation, she hinted that there may be a surprise in store for whoever attends the panel. So make sure to check it out!
Here's the zoom link to sign up for the panel: https://ithaca.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUtdO6hqTwuHdV7dCzmvuYjfchetvqEYLIj%C2%A0