t is a tale of our times. An extraordinary soprano and her equally extraordinary composer and conductor husband are stranded across the border and can't get home.
I am writing about Suzanne Kompass and Sean O'Boyle, a singer who met a composer in his Australian homeland. The two fell in love, married and then returned to New York City. Because Suzanne is also a citizen of Canada, the couple's recent travel there to perform has been complicated with Sean not being able to re-enter the US. Chalk it up to complications with greens cards and the like, the situation reminds me of Menotti's opera The Consul where the lead character, Magda, cries out in frustration: "Papers! Papers! Oh, the day will come, I know, when all our hearts aflame will burn your paper chains!" Sean's situation is all about papers at the moment.
This is not an isolated case. As early as 2007, artists from around the world have had a very difficult time visiting, much less, living in the United States as the Washington Times reported. And if the current requirements for residence are daunting, I can say, having known Sean and his wife for some time now, that he not only meets the requirements, he exceeds them.
Sean O'Boyle is a rare individual. He not only writes excellent music, he understands singers and the art of singing. And in a world where the art of bel canto is endangered, his talents are sorely needed back in New York.
Let Sean and his lovely wife come home!