Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Investiture Ceremony


It's good to be busy.

I have to head out the door, but I wanted to give you a quick update about things as they are moving fast.

Last Friday I was invited by Greg Hankins to perform at a tribute concert to celebrate Rachel Towns. It was a touching and warm event. I am so glad that Greg suggested and I am proud to have contributed to a beautiful night.

This morning I will be singing at the UGA President Investiture Ceremony inaugurating President Jerry Morehead. I'll be singing your favorite and mine UGA's Alma Mater.

Of course I am still riding a high from Carnegie and Jose... life happens so quickly.

Have some more auditions approaching, keep your fingers crossed :-)!!!

Thank you for reading,

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Carmen Photos

Dear Readers,

Below are some pictures of UGA Opera Theater's production of Carmen:

Hopefully there are more to come, in the meantime here is a taste of the french tragedy [Photos Courtesy of William (Bill) Brent]

Carmen Act I - Joseph Brent, Elisabeth Slaten
Act IV - Joseph Brent, Marisan Corsino
Carmen Act II - Evelyn Shreves, Marisan Corsino, Avery Draut

Act III - Evan Tyor, Joseph Brent, Ben Boskoff

Act IV - Joseph Brent, Marisan Corsino

Curtain Call - Entire Carmen Cast

Curtain Call 2 - Entire Cast

Friday, November 15, 2013

Post Jose


I have to make a public "thank you" and "congratulations" to some of the hardest working artists I know:

To the cast of UGA Opera Theater's Carmen, thank you and congratulations!
The show was a success and well worth the weeks of rehearsals and coachings.

Marisan Corsino was a stunning and ideal Carmen. She was a pleasure to work with and a gem of a colleague. I am excited to see where her career and the DMA program she has just started turns out.

Elisabeth Slaten was a strong and emotive Micaela. This is was my third show with Elisabeth and she is  proving herself to be a fine singer and supportive colleague. To her as well: I look forward to what this DMA program and career brings her.

Christopher Voss sang a masculine and sympathetic Escamillo. This is my third show with Chris and at the end of this year we're both headed out to the real world. Chris is growing in to a fine singer - the Escamillo encouraged a lot of growth and I am proud to share the stage with him.

Evelyn Shreves sang a gorgeous and flexible Frasquita. She is developing into quite a talent! Look out for her on the opera stage.

Avery Draut's rich and dynamic Mercedes provided a soothing color to the other gypsies. She is a tenacious young singer who teems with great potential!

Evan Tyor's Don Cairo was fabulous. Evan is making some extremely gorgeous sounds these days. He is a true asset to the UGA opera theater.

Ben Boskoff was a great foil to the gypsies. Ben's clear and bright tenor added a youthful shimmer to the violent bandits.

Richard Block was a domineering and corrupt Zuniga. He bass voice is reliable. I wish him and his wife Zanda the best. I am sure great things will happen for this musical couple.

David Conley hit a home run with his Morales. The role suited him well and he is always a great energy on and off the stage!

A huge congrats to the UGA Symphony Orchestra, the University Chorus, the Athens Children's Choir  and the remaining members of the opera ensemble.

A congratulatory shout out to Prof. Frederick Burchinal, Ms. Kathy Wright, Mr. Mark Cedel, Dr. Dan Bara, Mr. Carroll Freeman, Ms. Jill Biskin!!! great show everyone!

Don Jose in the repertory.

Now to finish this semester and get to work on my dissertation.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A link to the program


My father was kind enough to scan in the program.

You can check it out at my website or follow the link below:


Mefistofele and Don Jose

Dear Readers,

What an absolutely incredible week I've had.

I apologize for the delay in updating you all about Wednesday night's Mefistofele.

A success!!

Wednesday night, November 6th, I made my debut as a soloist at Carnegie Hall. Wednesday night was not only first time in several years that Boito's Mefistofele was presented in New York, but also the 10th year anniversary of The Collegiate Chorale's Side-by-Side program.

I, along with a handful of my high-school friends, was a member of the side-by-side program that takes high-school students and offers them a chance to sing in the Chorale mentored by one of the members.
I was honored to be selected as a representative of the success of the side-by-side program. It was pleasure to take the idea and bring it from the choir to the front of the stage.

Mr. Eric Owens, Mr. Arturo Chacon-Cruz, Ms. Juliana di Giacomo and Ms. Teresa Bucholtz were outstanding singers. I really felt like a young boy in Disney with such great singers and a great orchestra under the direction of James Bagwell.

I really feel impotent in my ability to express how positive and rewarding this experience was.
I can't thank Maestro Bagwell, Julie Morgan and the entire Chorale enough for making this dream possible.

Some details:
I was given my own dressing room (pictured below!). The dressing rooms at Carnegie are fantastic. They are acoustically well balanced, long, and have two enormous windows which over look 56th street (sadly at the building where Patleson's music store used to be). I had piano, a bathroom with a shower, two full length mirrors, a safe and closet space. It was clean and very modern looking.

All of the back stage crew were friendly and supportive.

The hall is a dream to sing in, it deserves its reputation.

Some photos to whet your appetite:
Outside of my dressing room after the show
Joe Brent as Wagner; Arturo Chacon-Cruz as Faust (Act I)

Eric Owens; Me; Teresa Bucholtz

Isaac Stern Auditorium / Ronald O. Perelman Stage

Thursday morning I boarded my 8:00 am flight to Atlanta with a lay-over in Charlotte.
My best friend and colleague Richard Block collected me from the airport and we drove strait to Carmen rehearsal.

"No rest for the wicked"... no rest for the weary??? I think you know what I am trying to say...

We had our sitzprobe that Thursday, Friday was a final staging rehearsal and tonight, Sunday our wandelprobe.

Carmen opens this Thursday, Nov. 14th.
It's going to be a great show: Marisan Corsino is Carmen, I'll be singing Don Jose, Elizabeth Slaten as Micaela, Christopher Voss as Escamillo, Richard Block as Zuniga, Avery Draut as Frasquita/Mercedes, Everlyn Shreves as Mercedes/Frasquita, Evan Tyor as Don Cairo and Ben Boskoff as Remandado.

I'll have a small, private concert tomorrow and rehearsal for the UGA President investiture ceremony.

Busy busy!!!!

Follow the links below for reviews of the show:


Thanks for reading,

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day Two of Mefistofele


It has been a very busy few weeks.
While preparing my role debut as Don Jose in Carmen with the UGA Opera Theatre (Nov. 14th) I have been auditioning, flying from city to city - in and out of New York. I have been working on my dissertation and preparing for my Carnegie Hall debut.

Since Saturday evening I have been in New York.

Yesterday felt like a child's first day in Disney: I had my first rehearsal with Maestro James Bagwell for Wednesday's performance of Mefistofele at Carnegie Hall. We worked through the Wagner and Faust scene in Act one with  Arturo Chacón-Cruz. It is such a pleasure to sing with Arturo!

We ended a bit early and waited for the rest of the cast to arrive. In walked  Eric Owens, Julianna Di Giacomo, and Teresa Buchholz.

What a cast!

It really is like Disney for me!

The four soloists sounds great! The audience is in for a real treat with the sinister Mefistofele!
It is a honor to be a part of this stupendous cast.

We went on to the Act four quintet... my singing was done, but I couldn't resist staying.

Today is the first day with orchestra and later with the choir.

If you can make it to Wednesday's performance please do!!! It's going to be a great show!

Thanks for reading

(I can't believe I left my camera at home!)