It has been about six weeks since I started working as the tenor studio artist for Michigan Opera Theatre. I am finally settling in to my new, albeit temporary, life in the Motor City. My new friend Bill Sullivan explained that I shouldn't refer to Detroit in that way any longer. Detroit is in fact building a new name for itself. I am excited to be a part of this cultural and economic renaissance.
Yesterday marked the first day of rehearsals for Michigan Opera Theatre's production of The Passenger. There are not enough words to describe the importance and significance of this work.
I sit, ruminating on mixed emotions. I will be singing the role of a sadistic Schutzstaffel (SS) Officer, along side my other male MOT studio artist. Performing a role like this, which is not only historically true and real, but a recent historical reality, necessarily challenges the emotional and intellectual sensibilities of the actor (singer). It brings the question of an actor's method and connection with a role into the foreground. Can I accurately and successfully "pretend" to be this character who is completely antithetical, from its very core, to me? Is it my job to blend the lines between "pretend" and "be"? Can I disassociate myself from my work and still give a successful performance? What type of research should I do and how do I, should I, can I remove my opinion of the character from my exploration and preparation?
|A view of Boll Hall on the first day of rehearsals for the revival of The Passanger|
Your input is welcome. I'll try to find a good balance of it all.
Thank you for reading