Hi, Roger. We’re excited to feature you in this month’s Faculty Spotlight at Opus 1. I want to hear a bit about your performances. You’ve performed leading roles in more than 100 operas. This is a tremendous achievement! Can you tell us about your favorite role/opera and what made that performance stand out to you?
Well, it would be impossible to choose a favorite opera, but several roles and productions stand out in my memory. One such show would be “the Bartered Bride” by Smetana. The lead Bass role is Kezal and not only is his music a real joy to sing, his character is a real slimy weasel, and playing those sorts of parts is often a lot of fun!
What goes into practicing, rehearsing, and performing in these high-pressure roles?
As for getting a role prepared, I think the key is an acute attention to detail. Everything, from words to dynamics to even learning the other roles is essential to giving a convincing and memorable portrayal. A great deal of being an effective actor is listening and reacting to what is going on around you on stage.
Your student Avery Chen won KDFC’s Local Vocals contest this year as part of the Gunn High School Concert Choir and appeared on the broadcast of From the Top with Christopher O’Riley. You also have several students with similar achievements including one who is now a student in Juilliard. Can you tell us what it’s been like working with your students and what kind of techniques you’ve taught that have contributed to their accomplishments?
Like I just mentioned, success in the performing arts comes from preparation and dedication. Talent is often confused with hard work and although having talent is a nice thing, I would far rather support an aspiring student with a strong work ethic and an open mind.
We like to hear from our teachers what drove them to choose this profession. Can you tell us about what drove you to pursue a career in music?
I believe my absolute love of the theater and of music made my career choice inevitable, Being a classically trained singer gives you entry into the best of many worlds.
Do you have any suggestions that would help our Opus 1 students advance as we head into 2019?
Have fun with your music, love the sounds you are making and enjoy the process of honing your craft as you progress through your training. It is easy to fall in love with something that you really enjoy, so allow yourselves to have a good time when you sing or play.