Mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta is feeling the loss as she social-distances from her home base in the UK:
What is something you’ve lost to the pandemic?
“Aside from about six months of lost performing work (so far…), my biggest loss to this pandemic has been the opportunity to be present in Ottawa for the birth of my sister’s first child. I live in the UK at the moment, and I couldn’t get home to Canada. I don’t know when I’ll be able to travel to Canada, but I was supposed to be there now, and it’s very painful.”
What have you done with your unexpected time, that makes you grateful?
“I have been lucky to have something important to commit my time to, which is really fulfilling: I’ve been working with fellow union members in the newly formed American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Soloist Coalition, and in our Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA) to organize soloists and agitate for better protections in our industry during this crisis. We have a unique opportunity here, as we are all (for, seemingly, the first time) available and united with a common motivator. We are working in solidarity to make the landscape for performing soloists in North American a different and better place when this pandemic is over. Groups of soloists are organizing all over Europe, as well. It’s quite an exciting time!
“I’m also taking singing lessons on Skype, fostering a bunny rabbit (oh joy!), volunteering with a group that supports isolated senior citizens in my community, and doing some much-longed-for gardening at my house in Leeds with my partner, Alex.”