Friday, March 31, 2017

La Fanciulla del West at Michigan Opera Theare

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow night, April 1st [no it's not a practical joke], we open Puccini's The Girl of the Golden West. It's quite a show, and if you're in the Detroit metro area please come to check out the magic.

The casts are absolutely worth the travel, and you'll be sorry you missed this one! Meagan Miller
sings Minnie on April 1, 5, 8; Melissa Citro sings Minnie on April 9; The ever impressive and astounding Mark Delavan sings Jack Rance; Rafael Davila sings the tenor Dick Johnson on April 1, 5, 8; Jeff Gwaltney sings Dick Johnson on the 9th. The cast rounds out with a gaggle of talent of Studio Artists and visiting comprimari: Brent Michael Smith as Ashby; Jeff Byrnes as Sonora; Harry Greenleaf as the minstrel Jake Wallace; I sing the role of Trin; Hadleigh Adams as Bello; Jonathan Blalock as Harry; Benjamin Robinson as Joe; Briana Elyse Hunter as Wowkle; Mr. Dennis Petersen
sings Nick; John McCullough as Sid; Nick Davis as Happy; Dominik Belavy as Larkens; Glenn Healy pulling double duty as Billy Jackrabbit; Jesús Vicente Murillo as Jose Castro.

It's a packed stage; a spectacle not to be missed.

This Chicago lyric opera set, with costumes by Minnesota opera is directed by Mario Corradi and conducted by Maestro Stephen Lord (newly appointed principal conductor of Michigan Opera Theatre).

More soon!
Thanks for reading,

Sunday, March 19, 2017

8 weeks later

Dear Readers,

I've been absent. . .

. . .I've been busy!

Since my previous post I have performed for the Michigan Opera Theatre in Naples and Sarasota, Florida; Grosse Pointe, Detroit on Valentine's Day; at the Macomb Center for the Arts in Clinton Township, Michigan; two performance of Mark Adamo's Little Women (featuring a cast with an embarrassment of talent - and much is needed for Mr. Adamo's challenging work). 

AND... we are just ending our first week of staging rehearsals for La Fanciulla Del West. I am playing the character Trin, a miner. 

There is really so much to share... because I did not write much about Little Women, let me say this: it was my first opera (and Theodore "Laurie" Lawrence my first featured role) since having my frenotomy last November. The show went very well; audiences seemed please. 

Mr. Adamo was present for the two final dress rehearsals and the opening night of the show. The show was a spotlight on the MOT Studio: Briana Hunter as Jo; Angela Theis as Beth; Jeff Byrnes as John Brooke; Brent Michael Smith as Prof. Bhaer. Admirably filling out the remaining roles were Clodagh Earls as Amy; Laura Krumm as Meg; Diane Schoff as Aunt Cecelia; Lisa Agazzi as Alma March; Mark Gardner as Gideon March; and Branden Hood as Mr. Dashwood.

The ensemble was lead by Maestro Suzanne Acton, and directed by the methodical and thoughtful Lawrence "larry" Edelson.

I will try to get more info to you sooner.

Thank you so kindly for reading!
All the very best,

PS I just finished reading William Berger's work on Puccini "Puccini without excuses," It is masterful... I feel an innate impulse to share some of William Berger's empassioned testimony in support of opera: "I do not hold with those who believe that Opera is a dying art form. The same things have been said about Opera almost since its invention. Opera was said to be doomed when the castrati disappeared in the 18th century, when the Napoleonic Wars shut down the conservatories in the early 19th century, when tonality was redefined in the 20th century, and so on. Movies, television, radio, and the internet were each supposed to nail the coffin lid shut, and all of those media have become part of the Opera story. If Opera were mortal, it would have died by now... I believe Opera is the most important art form. It is not the most important because, as is always said, it's subsumes every other art form (which happens to be true), but because at its very best it has the ability to probe deeper into the human experience than any other art form. There are never any easy answers in Opera, and it promotes critical thinking. This is why fans are always said to be so passionate. While I can celebrate the high-profile of opera in America today, I wish it were even higher, much higher." - W. Berger "Puccini without excuses"

I wish I could share the entire book with you all. I encourage you to borrow it from your local library and indulge.