Often times when you're in the profession of singing you have times that are difficult. Creative ruts, time away from family, lean times, bombed auditions, difficult colleagues and creative differences that are...well, just too much that you can't even.
So, when you do get a gig that makes you smile ear to ear, it's good to take note.
I knew that things were going to be positive when a little under a year ago I was given the contract to sing Paris and I was beginning to learn of all the people who were going to be a part of the project. One of them most notably is one of my best friends and former double in shows during college (Schicchi and The Four Villains) Stephen Clark.
This was not my first venture with this particular piece. The last time I performed Romeò was at Des Moines Metro Opera in the summer of 2013. It was a tremendous time and it's rather serendipitous that the next time I should visit this piece it would again be under the baton of Maestro Kostis Protopapas and share the stage with a handful of friends who shared that summer with me as a young artist at Des Moines. Then we were either choristers or smaller parts and we have each gotten a "promotion" to some quality named roles.
It's a completely different experience whenever you're revisiting a piece, this time in a different characters shoes, but still keeping all of those ideas, memories and (more importantly) inside jokes.
Sword fights, le Ducs and dance belts! Oh my!
The creative process has been fun. Perhaps it was the comfort that the cast shared, the overwhelming youthful spirit or the familiarity and confidence shown...or maybe it was my T shirts.
This is my third season with Tulsa Opera and every time I go into my costume fitting, my wig fitting, or the rehearsal halls, it feels like coming back home for Thanksgiving. The warmth these people emit is electrifying. You feel wanted, you feel safe, and as a result you're excited about creating. You believe in what they do and you have a feeling that they believe in you as well. That kind of confidence is what inspires great art, because it no longer becomes a game of getting the job done, but of partnership and shared respect and admiration. I've truly enjoyed seeing the creative bravery and choices made by my colleagues, each of them shining brightly. Even the chorus has stepped up its game to a level that has me floored.
I'm not an immensely experienced performer, and the majority of my experiences have been more or less positive, But there's something different about this place. Something miraculous, and I'm glad to call it my home opera house.
Make sure you come out and see this show. Holla at ya boy, Ol' Yeargain.
Until next time,
Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.
The Opera Bro