Current city: Houston, TX
Hometown: Stafford, VA
1. Do you have any upcoming gigs you’re particularly excited about?
I’m very excited to record my recital as part of the HGO Studio in April, I’ll be singing Schubert’s Schwanengesang. I cannot wait to return to Santa Fe Opera this summer, and I’m thrilled to perform the role of Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream there.
2. How did you spend your time during lockdown – were you doing role study, baking, learning a new hobby?
I spent the majority of my time cooking, studying different cultures and their cuisines, trying to expand my palate. I really enjoy cooking, but I always make a big deal about it so I never have time to spend the hours I want in the kitchen–lockdown gave me the chance to experiment and take all the time in the kitchen I wanted. I also played quite a bit of golf, I’m still not any good, but it’s been fun to pick up a new hobby! Aside from that, I got to spend a lot of time with my cat (I now have two amazing kitties). To be honest, I took about a month off from singing. It was the first time since I began singing back in high school that I had any time off. Going directly into my undergrad, doing a summer program every year, straight to my master’s, and having the HGO studio lined up after that, I was on a path to burn out and lockdown really came at a great time. Having the space to breathe, reset, and find my joy for singing again was exactly what I needed before entering the HGO studio.
3. You’re currently a Studio Artist at HGO. What has been your favorite part about living in Houston and being a young artist there?
I did my master’s at Rice, so this is my third year living in Houston. My favorite part about living here since day one has been the food, hands down! This city is such a large melting pot that the types of food are endless–I’ve made it a point to try a new brunch spot almost every weekend, and since being here I’ve yet to run out of new places to try. Being a young artist at HGO has been so amazing in every way, but my favorite part is definitely the clear investment that the company has in each of their artists. From our weekly check-ins with the head of the studio, to our ability to have as many coachings a week we want, to our lessons with Dr. King, it really feels like HGO genuinely tries to get us to be the best artists we possibly can be. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a caring company that has the best interest of the artists at heart because I know I can walk into the building each day and take risks, discover new highs and lows, and break artistic boundaries with incredible guidance and encouragement.
4. What are you most looking forward to doing in a post-vaccine world?
T r a v e l l i n g. I want to go to Europe so badly! I want to go to the beach. I’ve been fortunate to have gotten the vaccine, so I’m looking forward to doing those things as soon as I can! Most importantly though, performing for a live audience again. Being able to meet the audience and hearing about their favorite parts of the show, seeing that joy light up on people’s faces in real time. I’ve been blessed to be a part of HGO’s digital season this year, and hearing how it has gotten some people through this pandemic is such a blessing by itself, but I miss that live connection so badly! There’s nothing like feeling and sharing the energy that swirls around the theater each night, feeling people’s excitement in the air, it’s the best.
See Cory’s StageTime profile here!