Every week, we’re turning to a trusted tastemaker and Talking Taste in all its forms. From favorite meals to must-have music for eating, drinking, and making things happen, we want to know what makes creators and influencers tick—don’t you?
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Illustration by Paige Vickers
Opera is undergoing a major renaissance—what was once considered a stuffy, upper-class-only pass time is appealing to a whole new generation. One of the driving forces and visionaries behind bringing the art form to the masses is opera director and producer Grethe Barrett Holby. Her organization Ardea Arts / Family Opera Initiative turns any expectation you may have of opera on its head, introducing it to new audiences in unconventional settings. This weekend, she’s showing her recent project, BOUNCE: A Basketball Opera that brings opera-theatre to basketball courts in inner cities and rural America, at Paerdegat Park in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Always on the go, we were excited to catch up with this New Yorker and talk taste.
Name: Grethe Barrett Holby
Age: For me to know and you to find out
Occupation: Opera director and producer
What you’d do if you weren’t doing your day job: Making a squillion in real estate!
One food or drink you couldn’t live without: Chocolate chip cookies and lemonade
What do you have great taste in? Cheese
What do you have bad taste in? Hiring….
Who, to you, is an influential tastemaker, and why? My daughter, Sophie Elgort —she has amazing taste in clothes.
How do you expand and refine your sense of Taste? (i.e. where do you go for inspiration) I travel extensively.
What is the best-tasting thing you’ve ever eaten? CHEESE!
What does taste mean to you? Elegance and personal style
Being at the helm of ushering a centuries old art form into a new age and making it palatable for new audiences, it’s no surprise that Grethe’s musical appreciation runs the gamut from her husband Arthur Elgort’s jazz favorites to her DJ son, Ansolo’s EDM beats. We compiled a playlist of some of Grethe’s go-tos. Take a listen below: