1. What made you first get interested in Opera? When I was in elementary school, my parents enrolled me in a summer kid’s camp at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. We spent two weeks learning about opera, playing singing games, as well as rehearsing choral pieces and a short children’s opera, which we performed on the final day of camp. I had such a blast at the camp that I ended up going back 2 more summers, and eventually I was able to sing in the children’s chorus for a few operas during the KC Lyric season.
2. Who is your favorite Opera Singer now? Famous historical singer (i.e. Caruso)? I really enjoy listening to Jonas Kaufmann, but to me, nothing beats the incredible sound of Jussi Björling.
3. Aside from Opera, what is the music you like to listen to the most? I love music from the 70’s and 80’s, and I especially like listening to Billy Joel, The Doobie Brothers, and Styx.
4. Besides singing, do you play an instrument? I studied piano for several years when I was younger, but unfortunately I’ve forgotten most of it. It helped me pass Piano Proficiency in college, though!
5. If you weren’t going to be a singer, what do you think you would do professionally? It’s hard for to me to imagine a career outside of music, but if I had to do something else, I’d probably look into something fun like video game design.
6. So, what do you think of Milwaukee so far? As a Midwestern boy born and raised, I’m so glad to be in such a welcoming and friendly community. The support for the arts in Milwaukee is tremendous, and I feel blessed to be in this city.
7. What would you say to someone who had never been to an opera, to convince them to try it? I’d tell them to they should sit down and watch the first act of Tosca, which I find to be one of the best first operas for adults to go and see. It’s got everything you could possibly want in a nice two-and-a-half-hour package: drama, comedy, great music, beautiful singing, and one of the most dastardly villains you’re likely to see in opera!
8. What is your favorite language to sing? I really enjoy singing French repertory: I’m a huge fan of the style and I just love the flow of the language.
9. When I’m not singing, rehearsing, or performing, the thing I like to do most is…? Relax with friends and listen to some classic rock.
10. What is the funniest (now – probably awkward at the time!) thing that has happened to you in the middle of a performance? During a performance of Street Scene at my undergrad in Wichita, the tornadoes sirens went off. The stage manager, a student, came running on the stage in the middle of Mrs. Maurrant’s aria in a bit of a panic and told everyone they had to go to the shelter located below the stage. We somehow crowded the whole audience as well as all of the cast and crew into a medium size rehearsal space in the basement of the building. Eventually we were able to continue the show about 20 minutes later, but it was certainly a chaotic few minutes getting everyone safely downstairs!
The Florentine Opera will begin our 80th season with one of opera’s most captivating tales by its most treasured composer: Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (November 8 & 10, 2013). We continue our season with a Valentine’s Day weekend concert of cherished Italian arias and Italian-American songs: Festa Fiorentina (February 14, 15 & 16, 2014). Next, we bring you Handel’s most iconic opera in a brand new production: Julius Caesar (March 28 & 30, 2014). This monumental season will come to its finale with Puccini’s tragic tale of young love: La Bohème (May 9 & 11, 2014).
Become a season ticket subscriber today, and receive the best seats at the best prices. Early purchases will receive the highest discount available. You won’t want to miss a moment, so subscribe today for our 80th anniversary season of Italian opera classics!
- Florentine Opera General Director William Florescu will stage direct productions of La Traviata and La Bohème this season.