Music & Weights is a free audio podcast hosted by American opera singers and actors Michael Hewitt and Caroline Hewitt, in an attempt to fill a much needed hole in the education and development of up and coming opera singers. With no other opera podcast of its kind, M&W was inspired by long form mainstream podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience and WTF with Marc Maron.
The goal of this podcast is to make important conversations readily and freely available to opera singers who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to speak to the guests. We bring on guests from the opera and musical theater world with significant physical and mental health journeys.
My journey with physical fitness was one that started long before I committed to a career in the theater. I was a competitive soccer player throughout my childhood and rehabilitated a serious knee injury in high school. I fell in love with physical fitness through my experience in physical therapy and continued the passion through college and graduate school while I studied and performed opera. In other words, it’s always been a sort of non negotiable factor in my mental health.
In the opera world, the conversation of physical fitness has often been a hot button issue. I’ve found people feel strongly one way or the other about exercise. Platforms like Facebook are rife with hot takes and even hotter reactions that often lead to volatile explosions, but I don’t think these cyber-confrontations do anything by means of opening up a dialogue. With only words to go on, tone and intention are lost and the conversation turns quickly into me-versus-them.
The goal, then, of this podcast, isn’t to answer any greater question about physical and mental health in the opera world. It’s simply to sit down with some badass artists who got to where they are for one reason or another and talk about how they made their lives and art happen. And my hope for the audience is that you take what you like and leave the rest.