One year ago today, Francisco and I launched this project entitled OperaWire.
It had been many months in the making, the result of much planning and investigation. It was a risk, as many people let us know, emphasizing the fact that a regular newsite dedicated fully to opera didn’t exist. “There’s probably a reason for that,” one person told us. From there we were challenged with a lot of questions: Was there truly an audience for this endeavor and could it be sustained long term? Was there sufficient content to make the daily endeavor worthwhile? Would companies, artists, and other writers take us seriously as a start-up organization?
Well, at the one-year mark, I am happy to announce that all those questions have all been answered with resounding affirmations.
Our audience has increased every month since we launched last winter, with more and more people migrating to our page organically. Our social media presence has also grown, and our international readership has also shown tremendous promise, despite the publication only being in one language.
As per content, our readers will note that opera news is abundant and to this point OperaWire has published north of 2000 articles over the past year. Artists have shown tremendous enthusiasm for interviewing with us. While the very first feature interview we published showcased tenor Brian Jagde, the very first we actually embarked on featured none other than famed mezzo Susan Graham. Since then we have interviewed such opera stars as José Carreras, Dolora Zajick, Sondra Radvanovsky, Diana Damrau, Angela Gheorghiu, Javier Camarena, Matthew Polenzani, and Renata Scotto, just to name a few. In sum, we have already published over 100 interviews. There will be many more exciting features yet to come.
As for opera companies talking to us, we have managed close to 200 reviews in our first years at such organizations as the Metropolitan Opera, the Wexford Festival Opera, Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro la Fenice, the Bayerische Statsoper, NY City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Festival Aix-En-Provence, and Carnegie Hall, among many others. It is essential to point out that we could never have done it with the dozens of writers currently collaborating with OperaWire.
We have also established strong ties with smaller opera companies, which has also been a guiding mission for the newsite since its inception. As we move into the second and ever-challenging year of this organization we will look to further cement those ties and continue showing the world the ever-growing world of opera.
And that is perhaps the biggest takeaway that we have had in the first year. The opera world is live and well. There are many great artists and companies dedicated to cultivating opera. And OperaWire wants to continue to be a part of that experience.
In our second year we hope to continue this exploration, reshaping some of our content and even bringing you unique features such as our “Film Meets Opera.” You can expect more reviews from around the world at companies we have, to this point, not covered prominently. And there will undeniably be a few more surprises along the way.
That OperaWire has managed to reach its first year is a surprising endeavor but it could never have been achieved without the dedicated readership we have amassed. Thank you!