Photo courtesy The Atlanta Opera.
In a time when many businesses have shuttered their doors or are open with limited service, The Atlanta Opera has found a way to continue to make an impact.
With the rest of its 2019-2020 season cancelled (or postponed), the opera has evolved its operations to assimilate itself with our new normal.
Instead of halting operations completely, the organization has found a way to keep its performers and other employees active through song and sewing.
Members of the The Atlanta Opera Chorus and The Atlanta Opera Studio are recording “Singing Telegrams” for locals in senior living facilities, health care workers, hospital patients, and anyone in need of emotional support during this trying time.
There are two options available to those wishing to send a telegram on The Atlanta Opera website, including a “Singing Telegram” or “Personalized Singing Telegram”. (More details here.)
According to CNN, Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun says once the opera stopped production on shows, they started focusing on how they could help the community.
“A lot of people right now are lonely or isolated, and not able to connect with the ones they love,” Zvulun said. “We were trying to figure out a way to take our unique skills and transpose them, translate them into something that would be meaningful.”
The opera’s costume shop has partnered with Grady Hospital to produce masks and hospital gowns for health care staff full-time. The masks are designed to be worn over N95 masks to help prolong their usability.
The costume shop has produced approximately 4,000 masks to date and completes 200 gowns per week.
Costume Director Joanna Schmink says the switch has been an adjustment, going from detailed costumes to simple, straightforward designs, but the benefit is immeasurable.
“We’re giving, which is also giving back to us, because it’s helping us know that we’re actually making an impact to the people on the front lines who need the help the most.”