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MET Orchestra / Princeton University Study Indicates Surprising Findings About Air Flow In Trained Opera Singers

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra – the only world-class orchestra in America furloughed with no pay since April 1, 2020 – has been actively pursuing ways to get back to work safely with the help of scientists and engineers from Princeton University and The University of Montpellier (France) / CNRS. While Metropolitan Opera management chose not to participate in this work, the orchestra felt it was imperative to pursue the study due to the vast quantity of unknowns in this new COVID-19 reality and the need to focus on finding informed guidelines to form a healthy performing environment (whether that includes an audience or not and whether that means streaming or live). 

Already 30% of the orchestra members have been faced with moving outside of the New York City area with many more families being forced to make challenging decisions each day due to the lack of economic compensation from the Metropolitan Opera and the lack of economic support from the Federal Government. The Met’s global reputation and the cultural landscape of New York City would be devastated by the loss of artists of this calibre. The social, educational, and economic impact these musicians have on their communities is immeasurable.

This scientific study is ongoing and results will be released as they become available. The orchestra is pleased to support their affiliate opera singers with this glimmer of hope: professional singers are experts in breath efficiency.

LINKS: RADIO AUDIO FILE | EMBED VIDEO

(RAW Downloadable File Available Via Email Contact)



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SCIENCE/ENGINEERING TEAM:
Philippe BourriannePaul R. KaneelilHoward A. Stone: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, NJ
Manouk Abkarian, CNRS UMR 5048 – INSERM UMR 105, University of Montpellier, France

PRODUCTION:
Elizabeth Bowman, Producer and Project Manager

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FOR CORRESPONDING VIDEO:
Isabel Leonard, Opera Singer, Laboratory Performer
Dean LeBlanc, MET Orchestra Clarinet, Laboratory Performer
Benjamin Bowman, MET Orchestra Concertmaster
Bruno Eicher, MET Orchestra Associate Concertmaster
Milan Milisavljevic, MET Orchestra Principal Viola
Joel Noyes, MET Orchestra Assistant Principal Cello
Brendan Kane, MET Orchestra Bass

Da-Hong Seetoo, Sound Engineer
Serouj Kradjian, Composer/Arranger

OTHER ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
Dr. Simon Levin
Dr. Andrew Moravsik
Dr. Vincent Poor


FLIR SYSTEMS
Tim McDowd
Michael Roselli

IBM WATSON
Joseph Marchese
Thomas Sikorski
Caitlin Leddy
Chloe Hoffmann
Seth Dobrin


Angel Blue, Opera Singer, Laboratory Performer
Stephanie Mortimore, MET Orchestra Principal Piccolo, Laboratory Performer
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director of The Metropolitan Opera
Michael Golub, Sound Engineer