UofT Opera’s Korin Thomas-Smith, who featured as the title character in the ensemble’s production of The Marriage of Figaro last November, joins us to share his experience of the lockdown thus far. The ensemble was nearing the end of their production season when the pell-mell of COVID cancellations began. Rolling with the punches, Smith talks about forming a routine around the disruption and maintaining the spirit of collaboration.
How are you doing during this pandemic?
We’re surviving and thriving! The first few weeks were kinda horrible, but now there’s a solid enough routine established in my humble abode — even if it doesn’t involve sunlight at all whatsoever.
What are some of the ways you are keeping busy artistically?
I’ve been super lucky to be involved with Tapestry Opera and their production of Rocking Horse Winner — we should’ve already opened in the theatre, but the company and artists are all trying to find ways to create art in these times: it’s been inspiring and healing just as much as it is jarring!
Otherwise, I’ve just been playing piano, and no, I have not been improving.
Any specific books, films, or TV on the go?
Honestly the only things I have is a Schirmer Baritone Anthology and a dream. That and my copy of Twilight I bought when I was 13 years old, and that I’ve re-read literally every year since then. I recommend it greatly.
Any words of wisdom to get through this?
Besides #StayAtHome, the only wise words I can think of is to try to find an occasion to wear shoes as often as you can, because that’s the only thing that is separating me from my most base, primal, and barbaric instincts.
What do you think are some of the ways arts communities can better prepare for adjusting to a crisis such as this?
At its heart, the spirit of collaboration is what drives the arts, and there’s always a way to connect with someone somewhere. No one can prepared for a pandemic, but we can be prepared to exercise creativity. With the technology that is available to us these days, this is not a time to lament what is gone, but rather to learn how one can transform these new limitations to strengths.