Two nights ago, I got to hang with the cool kids. Bloggers, artists, and social media influencers. Tempo (Young Professionals Group) movers and shakers gathered to preview The Minnesota Opera’s superb new offering, The Elixir of Love. Hushed and awestruck, we were ushered backstage to witness the weeks of behind-the-scenes high output work plied by 197 people devoted to telling a story that’s captivated audiences since the 1840’s.
It’s a good story. A story of a hero with a passion so encompassing that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. Wiling to tell the truth, to try new things, to play full on, to play the fool, to take a risk, to reveal the fullness of his heart. In the audience, we clicked and tweeted and laughed and opined and collectively decided: we loved it.
I’ve been love struck by the opera for decades, having been drafted into The Arizona Opera after dabbling in the music department in college in between classes and chasing boys. (If you’ve heard one of my keynotes, you know how that story goes…grin!)
What struck me most about the dress rehearsal of Elixir of Love is the high output everyone brought. Much of the time, people “mark” in rehearsal, singing at half-voice and going through the motions with intention, saving it up for opening night. Not this cast. These performers brought it. All of it. Every note and nuance. Every gesture and genuine inflection. Every ounce of operatic passion. They made me laugh and they made me weep.
And they made me think:
Performers bring it. What would happen if we all brought our full-on opening-night performance to our everyday way of being? What if we were willing to commit to a high output life?
Tonight, Elixir of Love opens. If you are anywhere near, go. Go and laugh at the happiest opera ever written. Cry at the tender parts. Give them the standing ovation you will assuredly decide they deserve.
What does your full-on opening-night high output life look like?
And if you can’t go, watch this heart-wrenchingly beautiful rendition of Una furtiva lagrima by the wildly talented tenor Leonardo Capalbo. Give yourself permission to feel why opera has centuries-long longevity. Passion, people. It’s the passion of performance.