What’s your artistic journey been like to become a Resident Artist at the Minnesota Opera?
David: It's been an interesting path that's led me to this program. I've lived as a professional in the Twin Cities for five years now. The first three years I sang full-time with the vocal ensemble Cantus, which is why I moved to Minnesota. After wanting to get back into opera, I joined the opera chorus, and then auditioned for the program back in 2014. I am now going into my second year as a Resident Artist, and I've been quite fortunate to be able to stay in Minnesota throughout my artistic transitions from the choral world into opera.
David: I'm an artist that enjoys a good challenge. I like thinking out of the box and finding new endeavors. I also really enjoy sharing the stage with other artists. I wouldn't be in this profession if I couldn't collaborate with others artistically.
Where in the Twin Cities do you seek cultural inspiration?
David: I enjoy hanging out in our city parks, taking in the nature, and observing the busy people around me.
How do you keep your singing and performance skills sharp?
David: I warm up just about every day in the mornings. I try to practice about an hour out of each day, and I love to check in weekly with various coaches and my voice teacher.
Why are you drawn to opera as an art form?
David: I'm drawn to opera because it is the combination of all art forms in one, where performers like me have the opportunity to be complete collaborators and maintain an openness to all forms of emotional expression.
Do you travel a lot as an opera singer? What has been your favorite place to perform?
David: I've been to many different cities and regions throughout the country. My favorite would probably be St. Louis so far. It's a great city for the arts, and there are so many fun things to do in between rehearsals and performances.
If you could describe this production of Romeo and Juliet in three words, what would they be?
David: Passionate, refreshing, and epic.
David: This production has moved rather quickly, and the music, story, and personnel make it quite a complicated process. It's been so exciting, but I have to stay one step ahead. It's some of the most beautiful music I've heard, and the challenge of staying on top of the French and the style can be complicated, but this week, the reward is really showing.
What's your favorite lyric from the opera?
David: "Lache." I think when Tybalt calls Romeo a coward or "lache," it's one of the most violent ways to challenge an enemy.
A Special Ticket Offer For
Artfully Engaging Readers
$25 Tickets to Romeo and Juliet on Tues., Sept. 27
Coupon Code: romeo25
To Purchase: mnopera.org/romeo-and-juliet
or call 612-333-6669.
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Do you have a personal connection to the story of Romeo and Juliet?
David: When I was a kid, my older sister was obsessed with the Baz Luhrmann film adaptation. I thought it was a great modern way to tell a story and make it resonate with people my age.
What's it been like portraying Tybalt?
I enjoy playing a violent character. Tybalt keeps me energized and intensifies as the opera goes on. There's really not a better way to end each show than with an awesome sword fight followed by my own death.
Who do you think will appreciate this performance? Do you think this is a good piece for someone trying out opera for the first time?
David: I think any audience member that wants to see this true human story of love and hate will see it with a new perspective with each character being a little more exposed than usual. These stories are great for first comers, because this familiar plot will be seen in a new abstract form with beautiful music, elaborate costumes, and a powerfully focused set design.
Music by Charles Gounod
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
Based on The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Preliminary run time of 2 hours and 59 minutes, including one intermission.
Sung in French with English translations projected above the stage.
Use the hashtag #RomeoAndJuliet.
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102
The 12th annual celebration of Twin Cities theater, the Ivey Awards, was a memorable evening. Check out the honorees and more in the Artfully Engaging post "And the Ivey goes to . . ."
Looking for a fun way to celebrate Halloween? Artfully Engaging interviewed Erik Hoover of Combustible Company about their immersive performance of "Bluebeard's Dollhouse" at the James J. Hill House.