We had the good fortune of connecting with Agostina Migoni and Bethany Mamola from Das Blümelein Project and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Agostina and Bethany, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The first thing that comes to mind for us here is collaboration.
For reference, classical singers are not trained or encouraged to embrace collaboration and it’s only recently that these artists have started to acquire an entrepreneurial skill set. Unfortunately, this kind of training results in an extremely talented singer with remarkable vocal agility and technique that is pigeonholed into a career path that they’ve been led to believe only has one lane. In our personal experience, it can be a pretty lonely and isolating career. There is also a prevalent and outdated mentality that to get ahead or to be successful, one must do it on their own. However, incorporating transparency and collaboration in our work has been instrumental to our success.
Our collaboration started small. We began to share audition tips and contacts, merging our network to increase both of our chances of getting hired (key word both). In essence, we started looking out for one another believing that no one should have to climb the metaphorical ladder of success on their own. Through this process, we discovered that the very thing we were told not to do for so many years was the key to our own sustainability and success.
We then ventured into collaborating with other musicians and artists of different mediums which led to the founding of our organization DBP. Once we knew the why of what we were doing, we found that pivoting and going against the grain, though scary, was what would allow our project and business to flourish. A few short years ago, Agostina was singing on the Winspear Opera stage as a young artist and now, DB Project is producing a show on this same stage with an incredible roster of local artists. It’s a humbling and exciting experience for everyone involved and we know that we couldn’t have ever achieved this success without collaboration.
Don’t miss this show. It’s taking place on September 2, 3, and 4 at the Winspear Opera House in downtown Dallas and you can purchase your tickets here: https://www.attpac.org/
Let’s talk shop. Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Das Blümelein Project is a collaborative arts company based in Dallas, Texas. We met in music school almost a decade ago and have since founded DBP, an organization created by artists to support artists. We strayed from the limited, traditional career options for opera singers and created our own path, one that gives us and other artists an avenue to create.
DBP creates musical storytelling productions that break the barriers of accessibility, foreign language, elitism, and cultural misrepresentation associated with opera and classical music in order to highlight the beauty of this valued repertoire. DBP pushes the boundaries of traditional performance practices by touring and producing our shows in intimate settings, therefore allowing for a greater, and more diverse audience. We collaborate with creatives across a wide spectrum of mediums including but not limited to sculpture, textile, painting, photography, video production, music, dance, acting, and the culinary arts. By ditching the ego found in traditional production settings and balancing our expertise with experimentation, DBP enables curiosity and creativity, further supporting the mission for cultural innovation and creative thinking through artistic collaboration and education.
It’s never easy to deviate from tradition. There were many times we questioned our choice to no longer follow the traditional path of an opera singer. Did we know enough? Did we have creative enough ideas? Was anyone going to think these shows were interesting? Would other artists join us? These fears were not easy to overcome but our decision paid off. We have found an overwhelming amount of support for our project in ways we could have never imagined. Of course, funding has been a difficult challenge as a small organization but we’ve learned to be scrappy and good problem solvers. Ultimately, limitations lead to creativity and we’re very grateful for that. We learned along the way to be humble. Listening and learning from others is the best way to grow as an artist because it allows for collaboration
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hmm… Dallas has so many great spots but some of our favorites (knowing that food is a huge value of ours!) are: Carte Blanche to pick up the best croissants in Dallas or Davis St. Espresso in Oak Cliff (come for the coffee and stay for the lack of WiFi), it’s a great spot when you want to catch up with someone.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our board of directors and advisors, Patreon sponsors, and every artist that we’ve collaborated with since founding this project.
Youtube: Das Blümelein Project YouTube Page
Doug Klembara, Temi Coker, Jessica Kantak Bailey