Angel Blue, Tracy Cox, Matthew Anchel, James Valenti Headline ‘New Era Voice Festival’

By David Salazar

The M Institute for the Arts in Washington D.C. has launched the “New Era Voice Festival.”

The Festival is a month-long series of six online workshops, four masterclasses, and three live streams focused on “Artistic Autonomy and Creative Courage for Singers in a New Era.”

“This industry so often asks singers to be passive — from the dynamic in the rehearsal room to force majeure clauses which leave us unprotected from cancelled productions”, soprano Susanna Barasch, founder and CEO of the M Institute, noted in a  press release. “We wanted to create a festival centered on tools for power and autonomy for singers — both as artists and businesspeople.”

Masterclasses will be led by such artists as Angel Blue, James Valenti, Capucine Chiaudani, and Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. The workshops will be held by director James Darrah, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, and Victory Hall Opera co-founder Miriam Gordon-Stewart. Photographer Daniel Welch will also provide a workshop on producing high-quality content and social media for artists. 

Additionally, soprano Tracy Cox and bass Matthew Anchel will present a developed class “Body Justice Training for Opera Industry Professionals.” 

“[The class will] center on the principles of Body Justice — how singers can and should set boundaries around their bodies when working in the arts, and how inclusivity in casting can actually help us at the box office and improve out-of-balance power dynamics within the industry,” stated Cox, who is also the Director of Programming at M.

As far as live stream recital offerings go, audiences will get a chance to engage such artists as Joshua Conyers. Matthew Anchel, and Lori Laitman.