What do you find most rewarding about your job?
It begins and ends with the children. Absolutely. Before every show, I ask the audience, “How many of you have ever seen an opera before?” When we go to a school where no one raises their hands, the feeling is incredible. We are the reason that these kids get to see an art-form they’ve never seen before. That’s a great feeling.
What are you most looking forward to with TDO this year?
I’ll be nerding-out over the Tech in “Sunken Garden”, but I’m mostly excited about our performances of Offenbach’s Pépito at the Winspear this season. Apparently, we’re close to Sold Out for most of the shows already! There really isn’t a better feeling than hearing 2,200 children cheering for a show you just called.
What kinds of challenges have you had to overcome while touring?
One part that I love about my job is how every single day, every single show is different. In one week, we’ll go from 2,200 screaming kids at the Winspear, to 100 very quiet kids in a cafeteria, to 20 large families at the Dallas Arboretum. It’s never the same, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What advice would you give to someone who has never seen an opera before?
Oddly enough, I had never seen an opera before working here. I’m based in theater, so while I was fully aware of opera, I had never actually seen one in person. If you don’t like the music, keep in mind that the person singing it has a talent that not many people are cable of. These singers are so incredibly disciplined. So incredibly committed. I don’t think people really realize how much training these guys have to go through on a daily basis just to hit ONE of those thousands of notes. If that doesn’t impress you, I don’t really know what will.