The Role of Cannabis in the Opera

Marijuana has long been used by singers and rock stars for ages. Marijuana consumption is common among Gen X, Gen Z, and millennials as well as health-conscious individuals.

But marijuana use is not limited to popular singers and rock Gods; it turns out that professional opera singers also consume marijuana. Although opera isn’t a music genre that is associated with marijuana use, opera singers sometimes rely on the effects of marijuana for energy, creativity, and focus.

But do cannabis products have beneficial effects on the lives of opera singers? Does it help advance their careers or give inspirational incentives for them to get going the next day?

Opera Singers on Cannabis Consumption

The cannabis market may not have been prevalent during the golden era of the opera, but this did not stop opera artists from smoking. While some prefer to go off the record about marijuana consumption, famous opera conductor Michael Tilson Thomas openly admits to using marijuana. He was even arrested thrice for marijuana cigarette possession.

An anonymous opera singer claimed that even singers in the top opera houses performed while high. Another anonymous opera artist said that marijuana made the long rehearsals bearable.

Others claim that only younger opera singers smoke marijuana but not tenors while some opposed it, saying “only tenors and sopranos get high.” It seems that all manner of opera singers consume cannabis, with another anonymous artist saying “Soprano here, just sang the Brahms Requiem stoned out of my f*cking mind on Sunday.”

While others choose to comment anonymously, Michael Mayes, a professional opera singer, openly talks about his experience with cannabis in the opera. Mayes said a large number of opera singers use cannabis.

For him, cannabis helped him get to where he is today in the industry. He added that “Cannabis really helped me get through a traumatic time in my life and was much less devastating to my health than my old vices that just weren’t working anymore, and were in fact taking a real toll on my health.” He further commented that cannabis use alleviated his chronic pain symptoms which limited his expression and performance on stage without the detrimental effects on his voice, which are common side effects of pain relievers.

Mayes and his wife, mezzo-soprano Megan Marino, did not announce their cannabis use early on because it remained taboo in the industry. But things changed when the consumption of cannabis products became legal in Colorado.

The availability of edibles in addition to the variety of ways to use marijuana without smoking it have allowed opera singers to consume cannabis without the fear of damaging their vocal cords. Singers can still benefit from marijuana use without the heavy smoke that could be harsh to the vocal folds.

As more opera singers openly admit to cannabis use and many different states legalize marijuana use, opera administrators have slowly shifted towards acceptance, a welcome development for those consuming cannabis products.

The opera community is slowly becoming a cannabis-friendly industry.


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