photos by Daniel Johanson,
On October 17th, 2018 Scapi Magazine sat down with Marysa Abbas, Sam Attaguile, and Joshua Louis Smith from Opera on Tap Chicago and talked about building a community, what it means to always have work to do as a singer and producer, and
Opera on Tap was born in Brooklyn, NY before heading it’s way to Chicago and many more places. Louis Smith, Attaguile, and Abbas all tell us what Opera on Tap is and what it does.
“Opera on Tap is a now international organization with chapters all across the states and through G
“It’s basically like an Opera-Cabaret in a bar and we interact with you.”
As a sort of hub for bar activities and events, Chicago bars are a home to many artistic platforms. (name here) talks to us about why Opera on Tap sets itself apart from the rest.
(55:58) “We take Opera out of the conventional space and bring it to the people. Opera on Tap is meant to become more accessible to people who have never seen opera or are not familiar with it.”
Coming from the musical background and experience, (name here) speaks on the number of people who are opera virgins before going to see a show and what that looks like from the eyes of a singer.
“We forget, because we’re just wrapped up in the singer world, that regular civilians everyday non-musical folks, some of them have never heard opera at all, let alone live, let alone 10 feet away from you, by classically trained voices and at times we do very angsty things,” Abbas said.
While opera isn’t a new trend, Attaguile opens up about the way different companies handle the business and how Opera on Tap does it and why they do it this way.
“I think storefront companies
Having such a unique venue for Opera on Tap, Louis Smith talks to us about the similarities between Opera on Tap and other companies doing the same kind of work for the same reason.
“What I find so interesting about some of these companies is they’re focusing on what we’re also focusing on is: emotional
Mixing work and pleasure, Attaguile shares the main reason people sign up for Opera on Tap.
“People do Opera on Tap because its fun,” Attaguile said. “They do it for themselves. They’re not doing it for a paycheck. They want to sing or they want to do that theme or ‘Oh my God I have a great idea for supertitles’. It’s totally masturbatory in a way. I’m not saying it’s bad, but ultimately you’re doing it for yourself.”
Finding a balance between work and fun, Attaguile talks to us about the different roles each of them play in the programming of an opera show.
“There’s four of us, so I mean we all kind of have our designated things and when somebody’s in a show or out of town the rest of us can pick up the slack.” Attaguile said. “It’s taught us to work on the fly. At OoTober Fest it’s all hands on deck.”
Breaking it down for us, Abbas tells us exactly what each person does while getting ready for OoToberFest and how it all works.
“If you want to break down
Being both a volunteer and administration, Abbas talks to us about the difficulties of time management while working on a project like this and why she ultimately does what she does.
“It’s a lot and yes it’s one thing to be a volunteer and you’re singing but we volunteer a lot of our time to do this and it’s because we care about Opera on Tap,” Abbas said. “But
Carla Reis (she/her/hers) is a senior at Columbia College Chicago studying Fiction Writing, though she writes poetry and non-fiction alongside it all. Editorial Intern at Scapi Magazine. Originally from Miami, Fl, she fell in love with the Midwest. She is currently working on her first collection of short stories. You can find her best work at Not Your Mothers Breast Milk.