Today Begins Pandemic Year Two

Exactly one year ago today, all of Lincoln Center shut down. The MET Orchestra was subsequently informed we were being furloughed indefinitely without pay. Eight days later, NYC entered full lockdown. And only thirteen days after that, Covid had already killed 10,000 Americans. And so, while the CDC confirmed the first U.S. coronavirus case on January 21, 2020, for me personally the pandemic really began on March 12th. Today marks that dark anniversary — the first year of the pandemic. What follows is my reflection on that first year, and my struggle …

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The Most Teachable Era In Human History For The Necessity of Expertise

Like every other human being with a conscience, I’ve been watching in horror as virtually the entire United States falls back into the coronavirus hellscape that ravaged New York City so ferociously in April. I’m not sure an English word exists for the particular blend of disbelief, exasperation, enmity, anguish, despondency, inevitability, and rageful numbness that accompanies watching most of the rest of the country fail to learn the lessons for which we New Yorkers paid so dearly. It’s hard to know what to do with these feelings. One of my previous …

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Art Has Always Been Political

On election night, November 8th, 2016, I wrote the following in my journal: “Tonight all opera became subversive art.” As the broadest protests in U.S. history have righteously erupted in every major city and many more around the world, I had that journal entry in the forefront of my mind when I posted this on social media: I stand by every word of that post. While I do not intend to refashion my online presence for exclusively political commentary, I believe a moment like this calls us to confront our fields’ deeply …

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