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Craft Brew

February 13, 2017

 

Craft Brew

 

noun

 

1. an all-malt or nearly all-malt specialty beer usually brewed in a small, regional brewery.

 

Opera on Tap

 

noun

 

1. a small monthly gathering of ambitious, classically trained singers looking for more performance opportunities and to bring opera’s best loved music to their local audiences via their local pub.

 

Opera on Tap (OOT) was born in 2005 at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom in Brooklyn and since then has expanded to include over twenty chapters in the United States, even jumping the pond to include two international chapters: Berlin and Hamburg. 

 

After the success of the first international chapter, Opera on Tap Berlin, my friend and colleague, Sashell Beck, approached me with an offer.  It turned out to be an offer I couldn’t refuse, Co-managing Diva of Opera on Tap Hamburg, the second international chapter.  I mean the title alone, “Co-managing Diva,” who can refuse that?  Though to most German audiences the title of “Organizer” makes more sense, even if it is less flashy and tongue and cheek.

 

And that is exactly what makes Opera on Tap so loveable, and with over 20 chapters world wide, so successful!  It doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Now don’t get me wrong, we take the music and the preparation of the music seriously, but our goal is to make opera lovers out of the most unlikely of victims, local pub goers.  Our goal is to strip down the rules and pretense associated with opera and get down to the music and the story telling.  People quickly find out that they enjoy it more than they thought they would have, and as a result some have even purchased tickets to see a complete opera at a local theater.

 

 

 

Opera on Tap also allows singers in the community to hone their craft.  It allows them a fun and stress free environment to perform, try out new repertoire, and enjoy singing.  Crafting your art, just like crafting a beer, takes time and practice.

 

In Germany, where I live, there is a 500 year old Medieval beer purity law.   Known in German as the “Reinheitsgebot,” the rule was put in place as a food safety rule that stated that beer could only contain water, barley, hops, and then later yeast.  Small local brewers are growing who produce craft beer, and they feel limited by this archaic rule and are looking for flexibility and inclusion in the German beer market.  For more on German beer and the "Reinheitsgebot," check out this great article from The Guardian.

 

Opera is also centuries old, starting at the end of the 16th century.  People outside of the art form and those unfamiliar with opera often question its relevancy in a modern world.  Though there is a perceived view that opera is outdated, stuffy, and only for the rich, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.  There is plenty of flexibility and inclusion! In 2017, we can watch live operas from the comfort of a movie chair, get tickets to the opera for sometimes less than 20 euros, and yes, once a month at Mathilde Bar Ottensen, or in countless other locations around the world, you can go to your local pub grab a pint and listen to opera.  Of course, the glamour of Opera still exists, but the beauty of it is, just like with beer you can enjoy both types.


 

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