I have many projects under way this summer under the umbrella of Speaking Opera. My first vodcast (i.e. a podcast in video format) is available on my website (speakingopera.com) and on the Speaking Opera Channel YouTube. The vodcast is called Unapologetically Opera.
I decided that the topic for the second vodcast would be Opera at the Library. It’s a conversation that I had with Catherine McDonald, director of The Lucius Beebe Memorial Library here in Wakefield. Some of the topics that we discuss are related to the library’s centennial which took place this year. Catherine tells us about the history of the library and then goes on to explain the main purposes of a public library and how technology has brought changes to their mission. Libraries today are so much more than just a place to borrow books.
We discuss how the Opera Club of Wakefield has been very well-received since its beginning in January 2016 and Catherine reflects on what she believes has contributed to that popularity. She suggests that one of the reasons is that there’s no fee or admission charge and you don’t have to join to be a member. She says, “No need to declare your intention. It is such an easy place to be.” As our discussion continues, we cover a variety of topics that I believe you will find of interest. One is the increased diversity among people who are interested in opera.
Related to this is a very interesting discovery that I would like to share which is that the Opera Club of Wakefield at The Lucius Beebe Memorial Library is the only opera club in Massachusetts that is a library program. My internet search didn’t come up with any others. I feel very proud that we have been able to continue for more than six years and I hope that it might motivate other libraries to join us and initiate their own opera clubs in the future.