"Here was an action that I was taking that got me out of my head for a few minutes, and that did so much more for me than any amount of over thinking or Twitter scrolling could ever do."
Tell us about what you're currently working on.
Currently I'm working on learning the role of Jesus in Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
My work has shifted drastically since the pandemic. Within the span of two days my 2020 season was cancelled resulting in thousands of dollars in lost income. But more importantly, it means I won't be able to make art with my friends and colleagues throughout the country, and that makes me sad! Basically I've gone from having several gigs in the Maryland/DC region a week and traveling twice a month for out of town gigs to being sequestered at home. I fear we won't be going to concert halls anytime soon. Luckily I still maintain my private teaching studio, teaching via Zoom. Teaching remotely is not easy, since it relies so heavily on face to face interaction and listening to how the student is responding to your pedagogy while you're both in the same space.
How do you think the creative process can help us confront our "new" reality?
I believe the creative process helps break the cycle of being completely debilitated with what's going on. I know for me, when I posted the video of my singing to the Made in Isolation Facebook group, it was the first time singing since the pandemic that I really felt present. Here was an action that I was taking that got me out of my head for a few minutes, and that did so much more for me than any amount of over thinking or Twitter scrolling could ever do. Art helps us see the beauty in our world, and the creative process is a direct action against all the anxieties, fear, and vitriol we face in our society. Art is saying yes to life, love, and connection, even if we share it with each other over wifi.
Ross Tamaccio is a baritone based in Baltimore specializing in solo and ensemble singing. His work takes him throughout the DMV region and the country singing solo works with orchestra and performing in several professional choral ensembles. Ross also maintains a private voice lesson studio (he's currently offering virtual voice lessons via Zoom). To support singers who have lost work as a direct result of the current crisis, you may donate here.