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2018.03 Interview, SWAP’RA website

Interview with Simon Keenlyside and Zenaida Yanowsky

published by SWAP’RA (Supporting Women and Parents in Opera)

08 March 2018



Simon and Zenaida discuss the joys and trials of bringing up their children whilst maintaining their high profile careers in opera and dance.


Click here to read the full interview


Click here for more information about SWAP’RA 




{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lee Kefauver March 11, 2018 at 7:51 pm

A lovely article describing not only family, but the problems of women as directors and conductors. I was privileged to have studied opera directing under Sarah Caldwell at Boston University School of Fine Arts. She was the greatest genius I have ever met, but this WAS the 1950’s. She was also a great conductor, having studied under Serge Koussevitsky. Her first action, after having chosen an opera to stage, was to carefully study the work and as much about the composer’s intention as was possible. With Aaron Copeland’s “The Tender Land” at Tanglewood, Copeland was on hand for much of the rehearsal time. She revived and managed the Boston Opera Company for many years, but virulent sexism of the 1950’s kept her from the fame she deserved. Beverly Sills arranged to have the Metropolitan Opera hire her to conduct “La Traviata” there by saying she would come sing at the Met only if they hired Sarah Caldwell. I never entered the profession, even after Sarah arranged for me to interview with the Met after my graduation. I was told by my interviewer that they had never hired a woman for a technical job. When the late 1960’s came along, I joined the Women’s Liberation movement and spent many years fighting the “powers that be” to make sure that no other women would be denied positions simply because of their gender. Sarah Caldwell’s image was always before me as I spoke, wrote and lobbied for good legislation for women. While we have achieved quite a lot, there is still so much more to do!

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