The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Life Update: Lawrence Addition

Life keeps going, my friends...

After Des Moines I had a little less than a week to brush up on Don Giovanni, and now I'm typing this at a McDonald's in Lawrence, KS.

Flash back one year...August 2013.


I had just finished my first season at Des Moines Metro Opera, I had just lost a bunch of weight, I was excited to be singing well, getting into shape, and I had a whole sea of possibilities in front of me. I was working hard, but I knew I had even more hard work ahead of me. I had school to finish, I had my first professional role to prepare for, and I had a lot of confidence that I was going to be returning to the OCU stage one more time for Street Scene. That summer I stayed on the couch of a friend and a brother of Phi Mu Alpha, and sang a handful of concerts with repertoire as wide as Britten, Verdi, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. I had a great time, I met some great new friends, sang gorgeous music, but I left not knowing if I'd come back and in what capacity...


Flash forward one year later...I'm singing the title role in Lawrence Opera Theatre's first ever full Opera Production: Don Giovanni...and I could not be happier.



I'm not gonna lie, I have missed having this much responsibility. The "pressures" of a lead role never feel too burdensome when you love what you're doing. The role seems to be fitting rather well, and I'm excited to see how much farther it will go.

My colleagues are pretty stupendous. Well prepared, great voices, excited about the project, very pleasant and accepting of the kind of constructive criticism necessary for a project like this to be super successful.

The majority of the Don G cast.

I love the musical direction of this production. It's very historically informed (with research to back it up) with so much bel canto and legato that every voice loves to sink their rabid teeth into. It's been a pleasure to sing and it's allowed me to actually grow as a singer. Our coach, conductor, and musical master mind, Derrick Goff is not only an exquisite pianist, but I'm finding more and more everyday how much I love his ideas and concepts of singing and how it ties in with language, drama, and style. I really respect his word and trust his opinion, and I know he's going to get the absolute best out of us.

The artistic and administrative staff of L.O.T.


Hugo Vera, the General Director of Lawrence Opera Theatre, and also a good friend of mine, is working night and day to promote this Opera Company, this production as well as the other shows going on during this summer festival. I have so much confidence that this festival will be a success from his efforts alone. He is giving his blood, sweat, and tears and I know that it will pay off. (Make sure you get your tickets!!!!! TheatreLawrence.com)

A poster of all the events happening this summer at L.O.T.


Our production of Don Giovanni is gonna be so much fun. It's set in New York with English dialogue (queens dialect mind you) and I don't care what anybody else thinks, I'm so excited for it that I could rage scream a Don G finale high A natural for 30 minutes straight. Also, the performance venue is really cool! It's at Theatre Lawrence, and it's this venues' first opera. It poses some challenges, but every space does. 

Above is the layout of the DG set, bottom is the space at TL...with a different show's set.


My gym at Lawrence ain't bad...I've had better. (Lol.) But, in all honesty, it's a nice little place. It's called "The Summit" and it's treating me just fine. The cool part is that it has a sled to push, which I've been using as my cardio instead of dumbbell swings.

Always makin' Gainzzzz


It's not exactly stacked in the 45lb plate department which makes Deadlifting inconvenient, BUT, it makes up for it by having a MUTHA FUCKIN boxing ring!!!!!!

So fuckin' cool.

I plan on re-enacting every boxing/fighting/wrestling movie ever while I'm here. Text me if you want to join.

I'm feeling pretty good about how things are going with my training and my physique. I had a kind of rebound effect with my weight and subsequently with my lifts when I got back home. I think the added rest, the reduced stress, the more relaxed lifting times, more time between sets, all my calories are going towards recovery (and probably fat and water storage if we're gonna be 100% real) has caused my weight to go up nearly 8lbs. BUT, I think I still look pretty damn good, and I'm lifting heavier weights, my joints don't feel destroyed, I'm in a much much much better mood than I have been the past 3 months, and I subsequently don't feel like my hormones are tanking, something I was starting to get a little worried about. I had a strong feeling that I was either over training, or dieting too hard and was causing things to go in the opposite direction (muscle atrophy!!!!) This is no longer a concern, all warning signs have disappeared. I do have a photo shoot coming up that I might do a few lower carb days for and up my cardio...BUT, again, I think I look pretty good. It won't be anything too ridiculous.

Not bad, Ol' Yeargain.


I'm staying at probably the coolest little apartment ever. My friend Ashley, who is also singing in the festival, got it for us (friend of a friend, who are also patrons to the Kansas City Lyric Opera, and neat people.) It's nice to have a little home in a nice little town with a lady that I like spending time with.



This gig is getting better and better every day. I'm having so much fun, and regardless of how the show goes, this is turning out to be a very positive experience.

If you guys are nearby Kansas, please come and see me sing The Don in Lawrence Opera Theatre's Production of Mozart's Don Giovanni at Theatre Lawrence.

Keepin a cool head under pressure...


Until next time, Find your happy place, do what you love, and as always...

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

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