Even though there haven't been in-person performances for months, we've been practicing. While it may sound odd (who wouldn't love a break from banging your head against the wall?), it's really what you have to do. It's taken thousands of hours of practice, lessons, and schooling to be able to play opera repertoire at the level required at Lyric Opera. Take gardening: if you let your garden go, the weeds quickly take over and all the beautiful plants you've tended over the years are gone or obscured. Getting things back into shape after a bit of neglect takes more effort, time, and physical aches and pains than doing the work needed day by day. So, as a lovely colleague pointed out, "when we're not working, we're still working." Also, while we're not in the Opera House, we're still working. As a matter of fact, we were working from home (i.e.: practicing) long before it was cool. (This is the first and probably the last time in history that classical musicians will be referred to as 'cool').