According to Gibson, Talking Opera began with one or two programs attended by a dozen people or so. Now, the programs attract anywhere between 75 to 85 people, she said.
All presenters volunteer their time and talks are free. Five programs have been planned this year at various venues beginning at 7 p.m. The lineup is as follows:
• Friday, May 10 at the Christ Church Parish Hall in Cooperstown - Francesca Zambello, artistic and general director of the Glimmerglass Festival, will discuss this summer’s festival from her perspective. She is directing both “The Flying Dutchman” and “The Little Match Girl Passion.”
• Monday, May 13 at the Christ Church Parish Hall in Cooperstown - Discussion of Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot” with members of the State University College at Oneonta Theater and Music Department.
• Monday, May 20 at the Christ Church Parish Hall in Cooperstown - Discussion of Verdi’s “King for a Day” with conductor Joseph Colaneri.
• Monday, June 3 at the Fenimore Art Museum - Discussion of Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman.”
•Monday, June 10 at Star Theater on Main Street in Cherry Valley - Discussion of the double bill, Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” and David Lang’s “The Little Match Girl Passion.”
Gibson said opera is the most complex of all art forms because it combines creative art as well as performing arts and theater. However, she said it is just another way to view real world happenings.
“It is just like with literature, what makes something great is the stories that are told,” she said. “Operas are about real emotions and real things. And let’s face it; music expresses things we sometimes cannot get out in words.”
Opera can enrich those young and old and be used as an educational device, according to members of the Guild.
“The company itself does a good job trying to promote children coming. I think that is so important,” Brodzinsky said. “I think a lot of those who enjoy it started young and it is really important that young people are given the opportunity to come and listen because it really does maybe develop a lifelong enthusiasm.”