The Bridge between What Is and What Can Be
WE’RE BACK BABIES!!!! Strap in, hunker down, pack a snack, because this one is a doozy. This magnum opus of an episode is the beginning of a gigantic exploration process for us. What started as a simple question (‘what would our dream rehearsal process look like?’) turned into a beautiful, twisty-turny, unanswerable labyrinth of interwoven thread. What would it feel like to have the genuine opportunity to fully realize our dreams in the opera world, in our vocal technique, and beyond? Why do we feel incapable of carving out non-normative paths in our lives? How has this lack of capability impacted our art-making and our life-living? We’ve returned to our verbose, esoteric, giggly selves to explore CHOICE, anti-hierarchy, weird rehearsal vibes, and liminality. Join us on this journey!
August 30, 2022
A Conversation with Members of the BOA: In it for the long haul
NEW EP ALERT!!!!!!! We are so excited to share this awesome convo we had with a couple of members of the Black Opera Alliance Leadership Council. Zyda Culpepper reached out to us earlier this year to acknowledge our previous BOA episode and to suggest that the next time we talk about the org, we have some members on the pod. She was totally right and this convo blossomed and bloomed. We discussed what the BOA has been up to in the past few years, responses to their pledge, and reflections on the ebbs and flows of operatic activism. The convo spun into a larger discussion on the operatic canon, the ways in which white singers can start showing up for their Black colleagues. and so much more. We left this episode feeling thankful and excited for BOA’s continued impact on the operatic landscape. Included in this episode is Zyda Culpepper, Garrett Mcqueen, and James Dargan.
March 07, 2022
Chit Chat: Mercury Retrograde and Audition Season Dialectics
CHITCHAT ALERT! We really really love this cozy, autumnal, juicy convo. Charlotte goes deep into Mercury retrograde and its effects on the Chautauqua situation we covered, Perri gets sidetracked and summarizes a weird article she read about Tiktok and the VOICE as the SOUL, and we both explore what this fall audition season means to us. Our approaches, our anxieties, the dialectic between ‘I love to sing’ and ‘auditioning is impossible’, our desire to create boundaries/perimeters/limits in our lives so we can fully explore and appreciate our immediate surroundings…. It’s all in this chat! We’d love to know how you’re feeling about this transformed-yet-somehow-exactly-the-same audition season.
November 24, 2021
K-POP Universe & YAP Universe Collide *PATREON TEASER*
Hello dearest sweetie little friends! We’re back with this month’s ~*~Patreon teaser mini-ep~*~. We have the LITERAL international Superstar Blake Jennings, who you know as @jakeblennings on Tik Tok. Last time we had him on for our YAP pt. 1 ep he was at 120k followers, now he’s at 540k (!) Literally cannot compute that number. We laugh and giggle and smile about Kpop’s similarities to the opera world, Blakes extra-operatic adventures, and a whole lot more. IF you SUBSCRIBE to our PATREON, you’ll get access to… drumroll please… an extended video of this interview :) thats right folks, we entered the visual medium. The video includes lots of exclusive secret convos that did NOT make the cut and lots of footage of Blake’s and charlotte’s feet (NOT PERRI’S). Sub for 3.33 a month for access! We appreciate your support helping us cover the many TTA universe costs including the dr*pb*x account hehehehehehe
October 31, 2021
Nancy Drew and The Case Of Chautauqua Opera
Like many of you, we were pretty taken aback when we heard through a leaked email that Chautauqua Opera hired former young artists to judge their 2022 prescreen applications. We emailed Steve Osgood asking for a statement, and he ended up coming on the ol pod! We expressed our concerns and the concerns of the young artist community, and he answered. It was a pretty fulfilling convo and we’re excited to share it with you all!!!! It was nice to reach behind the curtain and find a dude there willing to chat. We treated it as a fact finding mission, without a ton of commentary. We make a couple of points and question whether or not this initiative is the way to go, but we mostly wanted to take a moment to start a dialogue, build a bridge, open our ears and understand the rationale behind this decision. We hope you find this as illuminating as we did.
October 10, 2021
An Artist's Proverbial Winterreise *PATREON TEASER*
When we were planning our patreon and our next steps for this fall season of our podcast / our lives, we realized that we want Thrilled to Announce to grow into a collective of radical operatic voices. We want this podcast to be a movement, a dreamspace, a home for creation, brainstorming, and the rebirth of the classical music world. With that in mind, we wanted our next steps to involve more than just our sweet little voices. So we decided to start an interview series, interspersed among our chit chat episodes & essay-style episodes, where we talk to a bunch of our cool opera friends - either people we’ve known for a long time, people who have reached out to us over the course of the past year, or people we’ve reached out to ourselves. We want to have cool conversations, hear about the awesome shit you’re all doing, and open a dialogue about what it looks like to bring your dreams and your politics into an operatic space. Our first guest is the lovely Gwendolyn Kuhlmann. Gwendolyn is an activist, an artist, a mother, and a mezzo soprano. She lived in Berlin for 10 years, studying art song and performing in various opera houses. In 2018, she moved to Oakland, California where she worked as a utility advocate. She worked as a liaison between utility consumers and utility companies, advocating for consumer’s rights to fair and affordable utilities. She worked on preventing shutoffs for low income people. This advocacy inspired her art making in some powerful ways you’ll hear about on this teaser version of the episode. We dig into the wandering in the internal wilderness one experiences while trying to find their artistic voice and purpose that comes from within, not from external validation. We talk about the ‘winter’s journey’/ hero’s journey of being a mother in postpartum, the wilderness of being surrounded by precarious labor as a freelance singer who wants to make meaningful music, and how we use that time in our own ‘Winterreise’ to transmute these experiences and come out the other side of the woods more whole and artistically confident. It was such a powerful and invigorating convo.
August 29, 2021
Decolonizing Broken Voices
Oh HEY! Welcome to a gigantic honking episode. What started as an episode about The Time Perri Broke Her Voice very quickly transformed into a manifesto on decolonizing our relationship with our bodies and remembering lost knowledge. From René Descartes to Resmaa Menakem, Charlotte traces the mind-body problem through the ages and connects it to why Perri had such a hard time singing in the year of our lord 2018. With the help of esteemed good friend and certified cool girl Clare Demer, we dive into the dark and depraved world of Muscle Tension Dysphonia and the ways in which the body acts as a canary in a coal mine for our sweet little inner world of emotions. It’s a wild ride!
June 22, 2021
Chit Chat: From Sunscreen to Social Safety Nets
OMG hi we love this lil chit chat!!! The perf balance of the Big Three: ~~~Current Opera Events~~~Skincare~~~Theory~~~ ! Pls consider going to our link in bio to sign the petition to support the demands of Eastman’s Black Student Union in supporting Jahshanti Henry! He was racially profiled by a public safety officer at his own school! He’s a flute STAR and we want to support him in this moment
May 23, 2021
Chit Chat: Black Opera Alliance ~*~*SPOTLIGHT*~*~
Hello sweet and beautiful friends : ) we decided to spend this week’s Chitchat chitchatting about Black Opera Alliance. They’ve been working tirelessly on the Pledge for Racial Equity and Systemic Change in Opera, including the recent release of the first Insight Report tracking the progress of US Opera Companies in acknowledging, signing, and committing to the pledge! We spend this episode talking about BOA’s mission, the Pledge, the first Insight Report findings, as well as BOA’s response to Tulsa Opera’s decommissioning of Daniel Roumain. Link to the first Insight Report, to donate to BOA, and the website to request a copy of Daniel Roumain’s aria is in our bio!!! Come chitchat with us : ))) xoxoxox
May 01, 2021
Chit Chat: Life’s a Highway and We’re Gonna Ride It
Guys… we have…. A new…. Idea! And it’s now Aries season so we Immediately Did It. We are going to start doing teeny tiny mini episodes ~interspersed~ between our longer essay-style Bad Boys. As horse_ebooks famously tweeted back in 2012, “everything happens so much”. We wanted a format where we could talk about all the wild shit that happens in the opera world and discuss the Hot News Items you send our way. We’ll also be doing some fun interviews and smaller scale things. Lots has already happened since this recording, but here’s our first lil ep. This is casual !chit chats! We’re talking about Oberlin LITERALLY putting all white people on a flier for a Black History Month concert, the famed and Internationally beloved :) Boris Martinovich Competition :), arrests in the opera world, and some other GOINGS ON… tune in.. it’s vibes… it’s chill… smoke a j while you listen… jk if you smoke ouid while listening to this episode we WILL find out and we WILL citizen’s arrest you… Welcome to CHITCHAT!
March 27, 2021
Hi everyone, guess what : ) we recorded an episode of our podcast : ) welcome to SEASON TWO BABY!!!! In honor of Valentine’s day, we discuss a very special type of love on today’s ep.. the love between friends : ) Your intrepid hosts discuss the unique temporal experience of friendships in opera, the duality of the Young Artist Experience, and the importance of holding contradicting truths in your body. Truth 1: The opera world is exploitative and we have to Change Things. Truth 2: We have cultivated meaningful, life-altering relationships while working in this industry. These two realities exist within us, one no more true than the other. We must live with these incompatibilities if we want to forge forward and build a future we all deserve to live in. Charlotte dives into some delicious Friendship Theory, and Perri tries to explain dialectics even though she hasn’t read Hegel in like five years.
February 10, 2021
The YAP Episode Pt. 1 (Feat. Blake Jennings)
Hey cutie.. We’re bringing you a two part series on the history of YAPs and the YAP system’s exploitation of our l a b o r and sanity. In this first ep, we share some of our stories from YAPs and ‘Pay To Sings’, and we listen to many of the stories you sent in. We brought on our favorite decorated YAP Veteran @jakeblennings to break these down with us. We want to create a space where we can all openly express our frustration with this broken industry without fear. The only way we can properly grieve, feel frustration, and dream of a better world is in a net of support that we actively build with one another! Out loud! We are not alone, you are not alone. We want to continue to build this community of dreamers- continue to send us voice memos! Critique is good, critique is sexy, critique is hopeful. We love u.
December 10, 2020
Dreaming of Opera Anarchy
Helloooo reporting live from Paxton’s universe~*~* She’s a SINGER she’s an ANARCHO-SYNDICALIST she’s a BRUNETTE. As our very first guest, shes coming to remind us that we deserve community, a livelihood as artists, and art that is empowering to both the artists and community!! It’s just what you deserve, baby! We’re getting into: * Paxton’s experience protesting consistently for the past six months * Fostering solidarity among opera singers * What an opera world centered around mutual aid could look like * Our dreams of restructuring opera to serve each other and our communities We don’t have all the answers, but we love to dream! Come dream w us, we r more powerful together! Age of Aquarius!
October 24, 2020
~Chill~ Q&A Interlude Ep
Hello??? Hi! It’s us! We’re Thrilled 2 Announce that you all submitted so many fun questions for us to answer!! (Both the questions directed to us & musings on life in general.) Because we can’t shut the F word up, we edited it down to a 57 min lil chat because we are Good Samaritans. (The original recording was 2.5 hours???? Because we answered every q cause we love u all!! Face it!!) We have some //meaty\\ eps on the horizon in the next two months- we’re researching unions, putting together a sexy lil yap episode, and more ! If a lil Q&A speaks to you, come on in...
September 15, 2020
Authenticity + ~Opera~ticity
Ep 4 is out! We’re getting into identity, shapeshifting, and evolving as little avatars in this world (and the opera world!) How can we remind ourselves that we’re not stagnant, but constantly growing, adapting, and full of infinite possibility? Do we sound like we’re on shrooms? We’re making connections between Heidegger, @sighswoon, and Minecraft! (?!) Come listen to us think about how to not be so in our little egos and instead leave room for the possibilities of new definitions & Sims Expansion Packs of self! Some questions we answer to provide organization so we don’t spiral into esoteric infinity: What does authenticity attach to in a larger sense of what it means to be human? How have you come to create framework around what the process of feeling authentic looks like to you? Why do you think certain types of authenticity feel more natural to certain people? If it’s possible to develop this feeling of authenticity, even if it’s a challenge, what makes it easier or harder to access? How do you decide when it’s worth it? But first, Perri didn’t have power for a week - she’s a survivalist now! And Charlotte & Theo are moving into a converted sprinter van tiny home thing!
August 19, 2020
Cancel Culture + LA Opera Talk + The Spreadsheet is Out!
Hello??? We've missed you! We've been working overtime to get this Opera Company Spreadsheet finished, and it's OUT! Check our insta bio for the link. In today's episode, we're tackling way too many categories... the original recording was 2.5 hours lmao First, something objectively WILD happened with the Richard Tucker Foundation this week that led us to discuss our differing opinions surrounding the phenomenon often called 'Cancel Culture'. We have a nuanced conversation about accountability, consequence, and our place in this narrative. Do we as white people have more work to do after a Cancelation? Spoiler alert: YUP Then, we take a second to reflect on one of the most powerful conversations we've seen take place in the opera world. Mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges hosts a zoom call with five other Black opera singers (Karen Slack, Julia Bullock, Morris Robinson, Lawrence Brownlee, and Russell Thomas) to reflect on the Opera world's response to George Floyd's lynching. Finally, the spreadsheet detailing Opera Companies' responses to the BLM protests/rebellions is out. We talk though some of our categorizations, what to look out for, and some ways we've been able to think critically about this data. As always, we wanna hear from you! xoxo the TTA ladies
July 28, 2020
Opera Singers of the World, Unite!
We dove into the dark & haunted world of ~Opera Singer Facebook~ and surfaced w some more marxist analysis! First, we check back in with some opera companies and see if they’ve said or done anything remotely anti-racist! Palm Beach Opera, still can’t tell if ur ok?? (Tune in next week for our full-episode pt. 2 of our BLM response breakdown)
July 13, 2020
Intro + Opera Companies’ Responses to BLM Pt. 1
Today we start our series on our Magnum Opus of Excel spreadsheets: Opera Company Responses (or lack thereof) to the protests and rebellions for Black Liberation. R u ok Palm Beach Opera? Haven’t heard a PEEP. First up, we introduce you to Perri’s Marxist take on Young Artist Programs and a standard Charlotte Spongebob Metaphor relating to nipple visibility in the audition room. 00:12:17 Being cucked by Pay To Sings 00:30:15 Breakdown of spreadsheet of opera companies’ responses 01:13:33 Perri, Charlotte, and a crow outside Charlotte’s window discuss the title of the Podcast!!
July 03, 2020