Having sung in choir and in musicals in high school, I decided I would major in music. I enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) as a vocal performance major.
The summer after sophomore year I registered for Opera Workshop. So in August of 1979 I made my operatic debut, performing three different scenes: I was the Major-Domo in Act I of Samuel Barber's Vanessa, Lord Allcash in Act II of Auber's Fra Diavolo, and Count Almaviva in Act II of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. It was even more fun than the musicals I had done in high school; lots of hard but rewarding work.
Since then, I have performed some 29 operatic roles, and sung over 400 performances as a chorister in some 47 operas, mostly with the Washington National Opera.
Click here for full resume.
art song and
While in high school I happened on an LP of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Schubert Lieder (German Art Song) and became hooked on that musical genre.
What I said on the homepage about communicating the text is perhaps even more crucial in art song. Art songs, of which German Lieder are a subset, are often the result of the composer being inspired by poetry, most often in their own native language.
Music critics and experts (the former are not always the latter) are not in agreement as to whether a singer in recital should be acting, but I think the effective communication of the texts demands a certain type of dramatic involvement.
While audiences don't expect the singer in a recital to run about the stage, chewing the [non-existent] scenery, they have a right to expect the face, eyes, and especially voice of the singer to be engaged in the story-telling.
In Flanders Fields
Originally given as part of National Poetry Month in April 2017, this was a performance piece for four actors, to mark the centenary of the United States' entry into World War I. Given at the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, DC., it was titled “In Flanders Fields,” after the well-known poem by Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian Medical Corps.
Learn more about In Flanders Fields
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