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The Orpheus Project
One of few American opera training programs to occur in-person this summer took place not at a renowned music conservatory, but at a mid-priced hotel near the Dulles airport. The Wolf Trap Opera 2020 summer residency program got underway in June, when more than 30 singers took over two floors of a hotel. Artists got their own suites, Wi-Fi, and occasional visits from a masked pianist. “The hotel lifted their noise restrictions for us so they could practice, which was wonderful,” said Lee Anne Myslewski, Wolf Trap’s vice president for opera. Once two weeks of quarantine were complete, the singers bubbled up and began rehearsing in both indoor and outdoor spaces at Wolf Trap. During non-pandemic summers, the fellows typically perform two chamber operas at The Barns and one major production at the Filene Center. This year, Myslewski and her staff focused on performing opera for film, producing four thematic concerts. The second in the series, The Orpheus Project, can be streamed on demand this weekend, and features D.C. soprano Chanae Curtis (as well as five other singers) performing songs from various settings of the Orpheus myth, the tragic tale of the Greek hero who follows his lover Eurydice into the underworld. Although Wolf Trap was unable to give the singers the live performances they hoped for, director David Paul staged eerie scenes throughout Wolf Trap’s restored 18th-century barn. The resulting films should be timely: What is 2020 if not a strange, otherworldly hellscape? The opera is available beginning Aug. 23 at wolftrap.org. Free. —Rebecca J. Ritzel
We Don’t Know Either Live
Before the pandemic, District Trivia had become a mainstay of the D.C. post-work drinking scene, hosting events at more than 80 bars and restaurants. But while in-person trivia is still on hold, the folks at the We Don’t Know Either podcast, a show featuring District Trivia question-writers, have filled the void with thrice-weekly trivia events streamed via Facebook Live. We Don’t Know Either Live is free to play and features three rounds of trivia. The questions cover a wide range of knowledge, including music, pop culture, sports, history, movies, and zany fun facts. The format matches the old in-person trivia nights, with 10 questions that ramp up in both difficulty and value, as well as two do-it-yourself puzzle rounds. “Although there’s no substitute for the excitement and sense of competition you feel at a live venue, I thought the online District Trivia event was a fun, well-run quarantine activity,” frequent player Olivia Fritz noted. “It was basically a shortened version of what you would experience at an in-person trivia night.” We Don’t Know Either Live runs on a different schedule every week, which you can find on the Facebook group (which has 2,723 members as of writing, in case you were wondering how popular these games are). We Don’t Know Either Live generally runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, as well as on sporadic weekends. Games kick off in the evenings and run less than 90 minutes. Feel free to play along with friends or test your mettle by yourself! Information and schedules are available at facebook.com/groups/wedontknoweitherlive. Free. —Tristan Jung