Rebecca Cox smiling

Hindsight 2020: The performer

Gamecocks reflect on how COVID-19 changed their jobs and how they work

This summer, Carolinian magazine reached out to a cross-section of alumni, faculty, staff and students to ask how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their work, and their workplace philosophies. Rebecca Krynski Cox is a member of the Fest Ensemble at the Luzerner Theater in Lucerne, Switzerland. The 2009 School of Music graduate was just a week away from performing the role of Tatyana in Eugene Onegin with her husband, Jason Cox, in the title role, when the pandemic shut everything down. “It was really fun to be playing opposite each other on stage. Also, it was my first role in Russian and the music is really, really beautiful,” she says. “That was a tough pill to swallow because I was the most excited about that role debut as I have been in my entire time living in Switzerland.” 

At the beginning of the pandemic — it’s so funny to look back now — we all were like, “Yeah, everything will be back in two weeks." And then it was like, “OK, a month.” It just kept getting pushed back and pushed back.

We would go to apartment complexes that had an interior courtyard area and would post flyers saying, “Come to your balcony at 3 p.m. and we will have a concert for you.” We sang at nursing homes, and we actually sang outside a hospital. We tried to reach communities that we felt could be uplifted through performances. 

When you’re in the daily grind, especially with the full-time singing job, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the aspects that are not the actual singing part of it. And there were definitely times, especially living overseas, that I asked myself, “What am I doing away from my family?” Having that performing part taken away made me realize that, for better or worse, singing is what makes me the most happy.

To have the time to get back in touch with my voice and sing the way that I want to be singing and work on the repertoire that I want to be working on — that’s been a real luxury.

All of the very best planning in the whole world could not have prepared anybody for the pandemic. I think however you choose to get through it is good. I think surviving a pandemic is good enough. 

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