As Canada’s artists ready themselves for far-reaching cancellations in the 2020-21 opera season, Opera Canada is checking in. What is the ripple effect of an opera-free season? How many Canadians will call themselves professional artists in a year’s time? How bad has it gotten for freelancing individuals? And are there silver linings? We look for answers in our new series of Q&As, “What’s next?” Next up is tenor Ernesto Ramírez:
What do the recent announcements of cancelled 2020/21 opera seasons mean for your professional career?
“My professional future is diversified into several manifestations of performance and music making. Just because a live audience is not possible does not mean that the people will not enjoy what I have to offer.
“I have shifted a lot of my energies into learning about recording and editing. I’ve had the chance to be really hands on with what I have to give. I play both clarinet and guitar, and was a busy session musician when I lived in Los Angeles. It’s great to have another source of income, based on making music. And I’m discovering the benefits of self-producing my projects.”
How much time have you spent considering a new career?
“I have not. I have enjoyed teaching online, as an adaptation to the pandemic, but that has been the only big adjustment. There are a lot of benefits to being flexible with that, so it really is another tool in my kit that I enjoy.”
What plans, singing or otherwise do you have for the coming season?
“I’ll be releasing a series of albums with my original compositions and interesting jazz takes on some of the best music of our time. I’ve teamed up with the most innovative and fresh musicians in Guadalajara to collaborate on an album that we’ll be touring in North America when the time is right. And I’ve had more time to write and to prepare for my next projects that I’m really excited about. And I’ll continue to enjoy cooking for my family with the BBQ I got for Father’s Day from my wife and two young daughters.”