Thursday, July 24, 2014

The post you've all been waiting for (OPT PICTURES)


I know it's been a long summer of spotty updates: some more informative and interesting than others. From the deepest depths of my sincerity I want to thank you for reading. Please do not ever hesitate to e-mail me or leave a comment if you want more information or specific information.

I realized yesterday that photos of my participation with OTP have been available for weeks.
Here is, probably one of several, an OTP photo post. If you do not have facebook or we are not "friends" on facebook, below are some moments captured and forever frozen in time:

This is my best attempt at a proper chronology of events:

Pittsburgh Social Exchange June 2014
Singing at the Children's Hospital June 2014

This is what we do during a piano interlude (Children's Hospital)
We were singing in a 4 story atrium


Those are some photos from the early part of my time here in Pittsburgh.
More to come, I don't want to overwhelm you with photos just yet... all good things in moderation.

Tonight is a Strauss Celebration!!!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Final Week

Dear Readers,

Things are winding down here at OTP.
We've got 5 more days here in Pittsburgh!

We had our, well deserved and much needed, company day off this past Monday. I took the opportunity to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water and pass some time with the company at the home of Anna Singer.

Last night was the workshop performance of Gilda Lyons's New Kind of Fall Out. This is, according to Johnathan Eaton, the first "Eco-opera." I sang the role of the Scientists in this Rachel Carson inspired opera. As of last night, only the Prologue, Scenes 1 and 2, and a "Jingle" have been prepared for performance. The premiere of the opera is to take place next year with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.

For detailed information about the work, composer and librettist click on the link above.

Tonight is the tribute to Mildred Miller, I'll be singing Jose in excerpts from Carmen and Duke in excerpts from Rigoletto. Then tomorrow I will be singing two Strauss lieder in a Strauss celebration! Friday is a brush up of Merry Widow, plus a cabaret. Saturday is Ariadne and the Merry Widow on Sunday. Monday I am home!

It's a busy week, but I love this work and this music!

Cheers and thanks for reading,

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Die Lustige Witwe round 2

Dear Readers,

Tonight: Saturday the 19th, at 7:30 pm I will be singing Camille for the second performance of The Merry Widow with Opera Theater Pittsburgh.

We've had week off since our last show, and tonight will feel both like a reunion and a new opening.

This week in review: Master Classes, coachings and lessons with Robert Chafin, Milutin Lazich, Marianne Cornetti, Ray Blackwell and Dr. Robert Coran. I sang in a Cabaret. There were many hours spent on Ariadne. NEWS FLASH: I will be singing the role of the Scientist in workshop performance of Gilda Lyons' new opera, to premiere in 2015. It is an opera based on Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring.

What I've observed here in the Steel City, is that there is a Pittsburgh "sound." Practically all of the teachers and faculty members studied at or even taught at CCM at some point. There is quite a bit of overlap between the Pittsburgh singers/musicians and CCM. It is, therefore, obvious that a general consensus on vocal timbre and production exists. With only some variation I think I've heard and observed a reliable sample of the vocal theory in the city.

As a general principal, I try to keep this blog as P.C. and non-confrontational as possible, so I will not go too far down the long and dangerous path of opinions on singing, opinions on teachers and opinions on technique. This blog is meant for professional updates, not criticisms. I conclude this section: I have enjoyed nearly every aspect of my time here, and it has been a pleasure to hear, see and learn from the singers at O.T.P. The faculty and staff have been nothing but friendly and encouraging.

If you're in or plan to be in Pittsburgh before July 28th, come and see us!

Come July 28th, you're next chance to see me will be in Atlanta in September with Capitol City Opera singing Camille (different, English translation) and then again in Atlanta in October (details to be announce shorty).

Thank you for reading

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ariadne Performance - Nummer Eins

Dear Readers,

Tonight is the first performance of Ariadne on Naxos.

Sticking with the mission of Opera Theater Pittsburgh, Strauss' 1916 opera will be formed in English at the Twentieth Century Club.

Thanks to the modern technology, I am writing to you from back stage. I am covering the role of Scaramuccio and supplying the brilliant pantomime (non-speaking) role of the Count. The entire opera is set in the Count's palace, and it is -in fact- the Count's idea to merge the commedia crew with the opera seria.

OTP has put together a tremendous cast:
The Prima Donna/Ariadne - Elizabeth Baldwin
The Tenor/bacchus - Robert Frankenberry
Zerbinetta - Elizabeth Fischborn
The Composer - Erika Hennings
Harlequin - Benjamin Taylor

There is also a group of brilliant supporting artist:
Bethany Worrell
Leigh Tomlinson
Amelia Jordan

Errin Brooks
Kary Wilson
Eric Lindsey

It has a been an honest pleasure to watch this cast grow and become a family. I have every confidence that they are going to have a great show. They've been working hard under Brent McMunn, and Johnathan Eaton.

Toi, toi, toi! To them!
In culo nella balena!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Between Show 1 and Show 2

Dear Readers,

What a fantastic weekend.

The Merry Widow opened to a resounding success! BRAVI e COMPLIMENTI to all of the Merry Widow Cast. Bravi tutti to Anna Singer, Dimitrie Lazich, Gail Novak Mosites, maestro Bernard McDonald and the entire ensemble.

A special congratulations to Mo Zhou for a great opening night. Mo is the Merry Widow director and has left Pittsburgh for her next gig with Opera North. She put together a fantastic show, look out for her! She's got a great career ahead of her.

My parents drove all of the way from New York to Pittsburgh to see the show! They are quite possible the sweetest people, I am so fortunate to have them both in my life. I am, frankly, fortunate to have two supportive parents. This can be a very challenging, emotionally and financially dangerous business: both of my parents have always believed in me.

This weekend I had some rehearsals for Ariadne on Naxos, and sang in a Cabaret. I also played bass in that Cabaret ;-). It has been a real treat to bring all of my talents here to Pittsburgh, not to mention that I've been able to prepare my Bottesini recital in my off time. I took the incline and had several frozen cosmopolitans (which has become my drink of choice). Mr. Vince Lackner brought me to Bar Marco in the Strip District, it was delicious!

I had a lesson today with the tenor Robert Chafin. It was a wonderful and informative session. We worked on the Flower Song form Carmen, Una Furtiva Lagrima and Che Gelida Manina. We talked about auditioning, singing, and repertoire. Tomorrow I will sing for the mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti.

Am in an Aridane rehearsal as I type - I HAVE TO RUN!

thanks for reading,