Taking on the future of opera may sound like a grand mission to some, but to STS alumna Taryn Plater '13, it's exactly the type of challenge she's ready to break into.
"I like being busy, and I like being busy in a variety of ways," said Taryn, "It's like, what more can I do?" she said laughingly.
Taryn is currently a student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, completing a double major in opera and linguistics, along with completing a Masters in management at the same time. While she began her time at UBC pursuing a degree in computer engineering, Taryn quickly realized that she wanted to follow her passion for the fine arts. "I realized, take pride in whatever you do and be the best you can at it. You don't have to impress people, just do what you want to do," admits Taryn.
Upon graduation, Taryn would like to continue her love of fine at and performance into arts management, even having participated in work placements in marketing. Most recently, Taryn has found a role as a Marketing and Communications Assistant for the Chan Centre of the Performing Arts.
"I really like producing and coming up with the ideas that get people into seats. I'm trying to work out what the future of opera and concerts might look like," Taryn explained.
Taryn has always been an artistic individual, but during her time at STS, she said she was focused on a variety of academics and being the best she can be at as many things as possible. "Everyone in the School had to put themselves out there," Taryn said, "Even if you weren't going to be a super high achieving performer, STS fostered that appreciation and it was important."
Taryn had taken it further, by producing a show in which her classmates performed, which saw a third of the ticket sales purchased by people under 30 — a demographic not usually known to frequent opera performances. "Which is a giant success for opera," explained Taryn. "It was a learning experience and made me want to do more of it."
This passed summer, Taryn travelled to Hawaii to take part in a performance of opera and adaptation of Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Prior to this, Taryn played the role of Donna Elvira in UBC's performance of Don Giovanni this June. "STS prepared me to have that standard of achievement. People say 'oh you're not picking one thing' and well, I don't need to pick one thing," said Taryn. "It's not like a Jack of all trades, master of none. I want to do as much as I can and accomplish as much as I can."
To learn more, Taryn has a Facebook page where most of her future presentations and performances will be live: @OperaUnbound (facebook.com/OperaUnbound).