While I teach all kinds of voices and personalities, my greatest love is for opera. Didn’t start out that way; I almost accepted chorus in what would have been my first Broadway Show, in Tenderloin. They offered the job, but I had a conflict and chose to honor it instead. Had I signed the Tenderloin contract, I couldn’t have accepted the New York City Opera contract four months later ... which gave me the magnificent debut role of Schaunard in La Bohème ... and allowed me to sing opera ... and everything else as well.
For this month, I thought for a change, I would share with you one of the greatest opera’s ever written, one rarely done, as it requires a Leading Lady of extraordinary vocal range, nuance and power, complimented and buttressed with superlative histrionic strength and sensitivity. It also requires three leading singers of quality to compliment this wonderful Prima Donna, Beverly Sills’ dynamic, epic and majestic in her embracing the role of Queen Elizabeth, in Donizetti’s, Roberto Devereux!
The New York City Opera was making our annual, Summer pilgrimage to Wolf Trap Farm, in Vienna, Virginia, 96 miles SW of Washington, D. C. I had not sung a note for the three weeks previous to the orchestra rehearsal-as I had been knocked-out “vocally” having stupidly inhaled some K2R dust (a spot remover)-and had to sing the opening the very next night! (It takes a bit of time to build up stamina for the big operas after a cold or some-such event.) It went well, none the less.
This is GRAND OPERA at its grandest. On my Audio/Video page, there is another of my signature operas, Rigoletto, with six scenes from a dress rehearsal in Quebec City as well as a full televised production of Tosca,-which we sang in Taipai, Taiwan-at the top of my Home page. Another great opera!!!