Magazine article Opera Canada

Editor's Notebook

Magazine article Opera Canada

Editor's Notebook

Article excerpt

The tyranny of deadlines is so severe that we will have to wait until the next issue to show and share with readers the excitement of this year's Opera Canada Awards, but I can at least tell you about them. When we launched the Rubies three years ago, I don't think any of us on the magazine quite realized how quickly the event would grow. Yes, it was in part conceived as a fundraiser for the magazine, but the fundamental goal was to find a way for the community of opera professionals and opera lovers to honor Canadians who have given so much to the art form at home and abroad.

Three years on, and looking at it from the organizational back room, it's clear that fundamental goal was rock solid. With the benefit of experience of three annual awards, I think we have tapped into a pent-up desire to pay public tribute to people whose lives and careers in opera have enriched us all. Our founding editor, the late Ruby Mercer, would have been proud. She worked so hard to promote and celebrate opera in Canada and Canadians in opera, which makes it doubly satisfying to show our great gratitude to our honorees in a way that celebrates Ruby's own name and work.

If numbers alone were the measure of the Rubies' success, this year's capacity crowd of almost 450 would tell a strong story. But the bald numbers say nothing about the excitement and atmosphere of the event I stood at the back of the room for a good deal of the awards show, and was most struck by the sense of community and history represented in the room.

That sense of community was perhaps just a simple function of the fact that the room was filled with opera people. While many of us came from the audience side of the community, there were also many who work in opera. There were representatives from many of our opera companies, both large and small, and from across Canada, as well as people who have had the chance to meld their businesses or their careers with the art. …

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