How I Fell In Love With Opera
From pre-school through high school, I was a musical theater addict.  School theater, community theater, church theater, in-my-own-head theater, whatever I could get my hands on, I was on stage... singing, acting, dancing, performing.
 
When I applied to various undergrad options, I received a full ride to a university that offered strong programs in either straight theater or classical music training.  No cross-over between the departments.  No musical theater.  But it was a full ride. 
Economics won the toss. 
 
And so, the indoctrination began.  HA!  Music history and theory, voice lessons that explored ALL of my range, foreign language diction and comprehension (Whaaat?), choir, conducting, and so on.  This over-achiever dug in.  I was handed my first opera score in sophomore year.  It was Bernstein's "Trouble in Tahiti",  with a hand-written note stating, "You have been cast in the role of Dinah.  First rehearsal is..."   Wait, the "West Side Story" guy?  Hell yeah, I can do this! 

That was followed by a romping production of "Hansel & Gretel", in which I blissfully tumbled about, like a 10yr old boy.  Then came the dramatic and powerful Sorceress in "Dido & Aeneas".  Every role they threw at me seemed so steeped in *theater*, that I didn't really notice I was singing *opera*, ...and so began my love for the genre. 
 
Another full ride to grad school provided access to a renowned opera program and a deeper plunge into vocal anatomy and pedagogy.  I've always been passionate about singing and all things vocal, so this was just one more mystery, happily de-mystified in
all its beauty and function by pure scien
ce and education.  My beloved worlds of intellect and artistry collided in ways I had never imagined.   Opera provided the ultimate vehicle for amalgamating all of that knowledge, craft, energy, passion, expression, ...at the highest level possible.
 
Apprenticeships with Merola, Chautauqua, Glimmerglass and Florida Grand Opera further groomed me for a career that placed me on stages throughout the U.S. under the direction of Darko Tresnjac, Gina Lapinski, Mark Lamos, Bernard Uzan, John Leymeyer, etc., while under the batons of Jane Glover, Richard Bonynge, Claudio Abbado, John DeMain, Scott Bergeson, Klaus Donath, Mark Flint, David Lawton, George Hanson, Cal Kellogg, Robert Dean, and others.   And of course, there are too many extraordinary singers to name, but I am most privileged and honored to communicate, with them and to you, the stories and music of one of the greatest performance genres in history.
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You are born an artist or you are not.  And you stay an artist, dear, even if your voice is less of a fireworks. 
The artist is always there.   - Maria Callas
No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
- W.H. Auden