• The Exclusive Opera Lively Interview with Brandon Jovanovich

    This is Opera Lively interview # 148, with Brandon Jovanovich, on the occasion of his leading male role of Sergei at the Metropolitan Opera's production of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, alongside Eva-Maria Westbroek (who was also interviewed in connection with this production - read her interesting interview [here]). The interview with Brandon was conducted in person on November 17, 2014, in New York City. The singer comes across in this piece as very friendly and personable, and with some interesting views on his roles. This is a very pleasant interview. This excellent artist with some very important credits to his name deserves more talking about hinm and more recognition.

    Photo Credit Kristen Hoebermann 2014, fair promotional use

    We love this statement in the singer's website: "Opera is a living, breathing, morphing behemoth that is tamed each and every night it is performed. For the audience, it is unlike any other experience they will ever have. It can be a gateway to unknown recesses of one's soul, or the path to emotions that are simmering beneath our everyday existence. With an open heart, an open mind and a good production, it will become something magical. This is what I strive for."


    Singer: Brandon Jovanovich
    Fach: Tenor
    Born in: Billings, Montana, USA
    Recently in: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Sergei), Met Opera House
    Next in: The Passenger (Walter), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Feb 24-Mar 15, 2015 - tickets [here]; Fidelio (Florestan) Opernhaus Zürich, Apr 25-May 10, 2015 - tickets [here]
    Website: brandonjovanovich.com


    Artistic Biography

    Mr. Jovanovich opened the 2014/15 season at San Francisco Opera as Sam in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in a new production by Michael Cavanagh, followed by his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Sergei in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk under the baton of James Conlon. Other operatic highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s upcoming season include Walter in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s highly-anticipated production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger and a reprise of his acclaimed Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Opernhaus Zürich under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Orchestral engagements include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, concert performances of Fidelio with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, and his New York Philharmonic debut in Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Alan Gilbert.

    Highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s recent seasons include the Prince in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Don José in four productions of Carmen at LA Opera conducted by Plácido Domingo, The Dallas Opera conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Vasily Petrenko, and in a new production at Houston Grand Opera; the title role of Lohengrin at San Francisco Opera conducted by Nicola Luisotti; Florestan in a new production of Fidelio by Andreas Homoki at Opernhaus Zürich, conducted by Fabio Luisi, and at the Verbier Festival under the baton of Marc Minkowski; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at LA Opera; the Chevalier des Grieux in Manon Lescaut at La Monnaie in Brussels; and Sergei in a new production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Opernhaus Zürich.

    Mr. Jovanovich made role debuts in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen as Froh (Rheingold) and Siegmund (Die Walküre) with the San Francisco Opera in 2011 in the highly acclaimed production by Francesca Zambello, under the baton of Donald Runnicles, and his U.K. debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Don José in David McVicar’s production of Carmen, conducted by Stéphane Denève. He later returned to Glyndebourne to sing the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka which was released as a live recording on Glyndebourne’s independent label.

    Other career highlights include Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Teatro alla Scala; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Boston Lyric Opera; Don José in Carmen with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bayerische Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera; the title role in Don Carlos with Houston Grand Opera; the title role in Peter Grimes at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples; and Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Canadian Opera Company, Oper Köln, Seattle Opera, l’Opéra National de Bordeaux, de Vlaamse Opera, and the Bregenz Festival, which was featured in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Mr. Jovanovich’s Pinkerton has been seen at Santa Fe Opera, The Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, LA Opera, and San Francisco Opera, where it was broadcast in high-definition in movie theatres across the United States.

    A native of Billings, MT, Brandon Jovanovich received his training at Northern Arizona University and Manhattan School of Music. He was the recipient of the 2007 Richard Tucker Award and was twice a New York City district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He was a founding member of the Seattle Young Artists program and was a member of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program, where he was given the Anna Case Mackay award Award. In 2004 he was given the prestigious ARIA Award.



    The singer's discografy includes 8 CDs and 1 DVD, available on Amazon and iTunes. For full credits and links to sales points, go to the singer's website and click on the "Shop" tab.


    The Exclusive Opera Lively Interview with Brandon Jovanovich

    This interview is copyrighted to Opera Lively and can only be reproduced in part or whole with authorization (use the Contact Us form). Links to it do not require authorization. Questions by Luiz Gazzola. Photo credits given when know; fair promotional use; we'll be happy to add more credits on demand.

    Luiz Gazzola for Opera Lively - Let’s start by talking about Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. As you know, the opera was based on a novel of the same name by Nikolai Leskov, which has not only inspired Shostakovich, but also the great Polish film director Andrzej Wajda in his 1962 movie Siberian Lady Macbeth – the movie score by Dusan Radic was based on Shostakovich’s opera. Have you read the novel and/or watched the movie in preparation for your role? Is this something you do, going to the source (or other related material such as this movie which was filmed later than the opera) in addition to the music and libretto? If yes, what have you found helpful in understanding the character Sergei, from consulting these sources?

    Brandon Jovanovich – I read the little novella again; I finished it just two weeks ago. I’ve never seen the movie. In the book, I was surprised at how much more intense Lady Macbeth is. She is really cold hearted. Incredible! But when it comes to the opera itself, it’s so far removed from what Sergei is! There is still the flavor of Sergei. There is residual emotion and character left over from the novella, so you are able to tap into that. Shostakovich put it in the music; Sergei is a bit more manipulative. In the novella, Katerina was the manipulative one. Other than that, I don’t really look back. In a way, what I do for Don José in Carmen, I hearken back to the novella more than I do for Sergei; I don’t know why that is. For me it is all pretty much there; I don’t think I need to embellish on it at all. What I see is what I get.

    OL - In your personal preparation routine for a role, do you listen to predecessors? If yes, who do you uphold as great Sergei’s of the past or the present? Have you watched any of the numerous DVDs of it? (I’ve seen three of them – one being the revised version Katerina Izmailova with a Russian cast, and two different ones both featuring Christopher Ventris as Sergei – and there are two others I haven’t seen).

    BJ - When I prepare for any role I try to listen to people from the past. I really do. I didn’t, for this. [laughs] It’s such difficult music and it is easy to get in a trap if you listen to somebody and they are making mistakes. It’s very easy to pick those mistakes up. By and large, what I’ve been told, there are mistakes in all of them; minute details. It doesn’t mean I would necessary pick-up on those, but for this role it was something I wanted to create by myself, and with coaches. I had some Russian coaches to help me out, most recently in Chicago, and then in Zürich, and they were invaluable. I’ve listened to snippets of Vladimir Galouzine. Oh my gosh, the guy is just incredible! But I did get one of the girls in the opera; she is a Russian girl, and she said “Brandon, I’ve seen this a couple of times; you and Eva-Maria have the musical style and your Russian is pretty good too!” so I’ll take that! [laughs]

    OL – Both in the movie and the novel, they kill the little nephew. The movie makes the nephew be a brat, and annoying, while the novel doesn’t; so the novel is a bit more shocking because there is no attempt to minimize that murder. In the movie, the boy is drowning; Sergei sees it and doesn’t do anything; Katerina then saves him, just to later kill him. In the movie version the character does have some redeeming qualities (such as when he asks to be punished instead of her, when Boris catches him coming out of Katerina’s bedroom, or when he at least feebly tries to dissuade her from killing her husband – which she does much more independently than in the opera, where they both do it – in the movie he merely holds him down seemingly horrified while she smashes his head in; and later he says “even thinking of what I did is terrifying”) while in the novel he is more of a willing participant but not as much as in the opera where he is rather evil all along. I wonder how you portray him; what are the psychological characteristics you see.

    BJ – I find regarding Sergei that he truly is despicable. He is a horrible, horrible person. He manipulates everyone around him to gain personal wealth and status. What Sergei wants, Sergei gets. He is a bad guy but we can relate to him and think of someone we know who is maybe not above the law, but is fun to be around, and when you hear “you know, Sergei, he robbed the bank yesterday” you go “oh, I can see that about him!” That’s the way I think of Sergei: he is a pretty bad guy, but more than being malicious and being bad for the sake of being bad, he is just looking up for himself; he is a really self-centered guy. In the past two productions I’ve done, the one in Zürich and the one here, the take by the director is a lot more farcical and satirical. As such, Sergei isn’t necessarily a jerk character, an evil character. It kind of flips him in his head and really shines a light on her doing more of the evil aspects. He manipulates her but it is done in a very cheeky way; a comedic way, almost. I think at the end of the opera you can say, “oh, it’s Sergei; he was a jerk, but she was a real piece of work, she was really the evil one.” That’s the way the novella tends to portray her for the most part. Now, I’ve seen snippets of one Eva-Maria has done in Amsterdam, and it is very dark. I was talking to her about it, and she said that it really highlighted this whole idea of how gritty, emotional, and dark the piece is. This production is not like that at all, I don’t think. Maybe it’s the two total opposites; it’s farcical, with a lot of movements, a lot of characters, and then you see her despair and emotions in it that are highlighted more, but as far as Sergei is concerned, I don’t play him as such, because of the production.

    OL – That matches the music a little more, because the music has elements of dark humor; it is kind of satirical in a sense, as well.

    BJ – Yes, I think of Fargo, the movie. There was a guy there – he was the murderer, I forget his name – he had droopy eyes; you laughed at him, sometimes, at his attempts to kill people and how he went about it. I think of Sergei as being lighter, like that. In this production he is really at times the way I think of him: I like to be a bad guy with a smile on my face. It twists the knife a little bit more. It makes him more despicable.

    OL - As compared to him, Pinkerton looks like an angel.

    BJ – It’s true. I do liken him to Pinkerton in a way, because Pinkerton is clueless. He doesn’t realize the absolute tragedy that he sows behind him. I don’t think Sergei is necessarily looking for something bad to happen to the husband. Well, maybe I can’t say that, because he totally manipulates her; in the second act he has this aria where he says “how can I love someone like you, a merchant’s wife? I’m not worthy; if only I could be your husband!” He is trying to push her buttons and get her to do something that he wants, that he will gain from it. But then, in the end, it’s her. She does it. I don’t think he realizes necessarily how it’s going to go down. It’s pretty gruesome; just think about it in the context of real people and how it happens, today, where lovers will kill the spouse. He is a lot worse than Pinkerton just because of that aspect of the impending death, of implying it.

    OL - Sergei is a man capable of great cruelty and emotional and sexual abuse in the opera. How hard is it, for the modern man Brandon Jovanovich, to get into the skin of such a character? Does it become emotionally exhausting in any way? Maybe just the opposite, is it interesting to be evil for a change (the tenor is usually the nice guy)?

    BJ – Yes, I always say this. I like to play characters that aren’t your lover boy. It’s kind of like going to counseling. [laughs] You get to explore these aspects. Any role that I inhabit, it’s me. I can’t shed who I am and become somebody totally different, it’s totally impossible. There is going to be some aspects of my personality that are going to be highlighted, or I am going to try to infuse any character that I play with whatever the drama calls for, but it’s going to be me, in that. It is difficult to think of jerk characters. Peter Grimes is one that is really difficult to play, but I really love playing him; it can be cathartic. You learn so much about yourself; at least I do. Letting an audience see that, watch me as a performer grapple with these emotions and different aspects of each character, if I do it well or pretty darn good, it can be thrilling. Audiences respond to it, if you are honest. Honesty is the foundation for what we do in singing and acting. Emotionally, I think this character for me is easy to play, honestly. I draw on some of the people I know in my past, kind of shady people. There are certain moves, certain ways that I talk and slink about the stage, and I honestly have some people from my past in mind when I do that.

    OL - Please describe any vocal challenges in singing a role like Sergei. What is your recipe for a good Sergei?

    BJ – Boy, the vocal challenges! Shostakovich orchestrates so well and is so unique. Sometimes it’s just a cellist who plays towards the end, and it is beautiful. Sometimes it’s just a simple bassoon line or clarinet line; sometimes it’s brass blurring away; trombones in our big sex scene… He orchestrates so well, and a lot of times it points it to his credit, and other times it’s detriment; he orchestrates the voice, also. It works. It’s easier for me to sing this repertoire, but there are lots of points where it becomes declamatory, and that’s what makes Sergei so difficult. He sustains these high notes; all of a sudden they will pop up after singing high, you have to hit a big strong note and hold for a while and make it sound easy. So there are vocal demands in it. I don’t try to change what I’m doing, my technique or anything. My technique is always this one behemoth; I don’t try to fiddle with that too much. I think if you have a good technique you can pretty much sing anything that is in your Fach. To try to make Sergei more interesting what I’m thinking of is line, line, line, and I try to color the words as much as I can. I had some discussions, not always in agreement, with the conductor, who feels that there should be nothing but lines for Sergei. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think there are some actual moments in there that are actually supported by the music, the meter, and the orchestration, where he is being funny, he is being sly, he is trying to get a laugh out of people. There is a scene in the beginning after the Aksinya rape, you can call it – there is a groping, I’m playing up at the helm of the group and I’m trying to make all the guys laugh; Katerina just walks in, and he doesn’t write nice long lines for Sergei, he writes “ta ta ta ta, what else are men for? What else are women for?” To me, that’s not something you sing with a line; you need a mocking tone there. You are trying to make the guys laugh and you are mocking her. It is in his music, and he is a genius in that regard. I try to find those spots and highlight them.

    OL - Please talk about your first (I assume it was the first; correct me if I’m wrong) experience with the role of Sergei at Opernhaus Zürich. What was that production like? What directorial concept did it use? Any interesting memories from that production?

    BJ – So, the first Sergei that I did was actually in 2005. I was down in Austin, Texas. It was Austin Lyric Opera, and it was in English. I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the concept of it. They obviously didn’t have a ton of money, but it was a lot of fun. What I remember specifically is that we worked for five hours on the sex scene, because it is a big integral part of the opera. We had it choreographed perfectly. I had to take off my pants and I was down to boxers, and then we went into the bed, everything was choreographed. I had the boxers on and I had a T-shirt. And then the first night the donors came; it was still a preview. They watched this, [laughs] and you could see them squirming, the lights were still up. They were covering their eyes; I knew they were uncomfortable, which you are supposed to be, in this scene. The next day we weren’t supposed to have rehearsals but we had an extra rehearsal call and I went in, and they said, “So, we had some complaints about the sex scene; it was a little bit too graphic, we’d like to scale it back a little bit.” I said, “yeah, there is this hand in hand…” you know, I tell my wife, they are very technical, these love scenes. I’m always in my mind thinking “how does this look, for the audience?” In this case, “should I move her leg up a little bit now? Should I put my hand near her breast?” I’m thinking of these things; it’s very technical and very odd, but it looks spontaneous – at least that’s what I’ve been told.

    OL – And there’s the counting, and the singing…

    BJ – [laughs] That’s right, there’s the counting, and the singing, and I’m thinking “I’m here, and I have to move over there” – there is always something. Then, I was told “keep your pants on – you can take your shoes off.” So, I kept my pants on; after all it was in Austin, Texas! We hopped in bed and ultimately went under the sheets to look like we were moving around; all our hard work went down the drain! In Zürich it was a very European production. I enjoyed it. In the sex scene, instead of anyone seeing anything, this band of clowns came up and marched around the stage, and this container that we were having our sexual relations in kind of pivoted around the stage, and then we fell off at the end of the music. It was very different from Austin. It certainly wasn’t a traditional production, but I enjoyed that one too. It was about people being trapped in society; trapped in the rat race of life, ultimately, and having power, and who would ultimately die for it.

    OL - Please compare and contrast this production at the Met with that one in Zurich. What can the public expect from this production?

    The production in Zurich, credit unknown, fair promotional use

    BJ - It’s funny, because in a lot of ways they are similar. The one in Zürich and the one from the Met are both extremely colorful and inventive. In Zürich it was Andreas Homoki and the one here at the Met is Graham Vick. . Where did they come up with the concept? I’d love to sit down and pick their brains. Of course we never have the time to do so. It’s really amazing, the sets they come up with and the reasons behind it. In Zürich it’s more the rat race, and there was a container and there was power on top; whoever was on top was the King of the Hill. We were up and down all the time, Katerina and I. At the beginning it was the father there, with a whip and such. Here it’s more of a contemporary home; you see an abused housewife, you see an overbearing father-in-law, you see an impotent son, and then you see somebody who is an opportunist come into the situation. There is so much symbolism…

    OL – The sets at time look like surrealist paintings.

    The production at the Met, photo Metropolitan Opera/Ken Howard, used with authorization

    BJ – It’s true, surrealist paintings; there is a point during the sex scene where there is this huge flower that comes rising up out of the back of the set like a sun. An old roommate of mine who saw it was doubling up laughing, saying “oh my God, it’s so funny!” It’s a very entertaining production. All of the symbolism, I don’t get. [laughs] There a lot of garbage and such. I don’t know, that is just the trash that literally we are responsible for, the disgusting aspects of humanity that Sergei and Katerina unleash upon this populace. One thing I can say for this piece is that it is the most – up to this point – memorable opera production I’ve been in my life, the one at the Met here; and I said this: at the end of my days I’m sure this will be in the top three. It’s just so inventive! Not everybody loves it, but most people seem to.

    OL – I’m looking forward to it.

    BJ – Have you seen it before?

    OL – No. I brought my wife, and I said “It’s modernist music; it’s wonderful, it’s one of my favorite operas” and she said “Modernist music? Are you sure about that?” I said, “you’ll see; you’ll like it!”

    BJ – It’s something else! It’s amazing!

    OL - How nice is it, to work with the wonderful Eva-Maria Westbroek? Can you tell us your opinion of this extraordinary artist?

    Brandon and Eva-Maria at the Met's Lady Macbeth, photo Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera, used with authroization

    BJ – She is fantastic. This is actually the fourth time I work with her. We did the Jenůfa in 2009, the Ariadne auf Naxos in 2013, and the Manon Lescaut also in 2013. She is the nicest person. Her husband is great; they are together quite a bit, he is a tenor, also. She is just the consummate professional. She doesn’t realize how good she is; that’s one of the most attractive things about her.

    OL – Yes, I interviewed her, and she is humble! I said, “Oh my God, I’m interviewing *you*!” and she said “Whaaat? I’m just… “ [laughs]

    BJ – [laughs] It’s true! She is just the most down to Earth but she expresses so many things, it’s just natural for her, with her voice, her movements, her face, the way she tilts her knee; she is just the most fantastic artist, and I don’t want to say underrated because a lot of people know about her and how good she is; maybe not so many people in America, but in Europe she is pretty well known and really well respected. She is just a joy to work with. There is really nothing that we can’t do on stage, and I’m always pretty cognizant of how I am, especially in sex scenes, in violent scenes and all, so I always talk, to make sure she is OK, and she is just the nicest person, “Oh, whatever you want, Brandon, it’s fine; I’ll let you know if I get uncomfortable.” She is really great, and just a joy to sing with. In the beginning of act II we sing in this little box and her voice is just ringing in my ear; oh my gosh, it’s heavenly. She is fantastic, really.

    OL - Let’s address Shostakovich’s music in this opera. As you know, its history is full of controversy, from the censorship it suffered in Russia for 30 years, to comments such as a review in the New York Sun that called it "pornophony", referring to the lurid descriptive music in the sex scenes (such as the trombone glissandos during the lovemaking scene which Shostakovich cut from the revised version Katerina Izmailova), including Stravinsky’s opinion of it as "lamentably provincial", considering the musical portrayal primitively realistic. I personally quite like it and find it lively and interesting. What do you think of it? Is the criticism justified in any way?

    BJ – Shostakovich was so young when he wrote this piece, around 25. Such a young guy, and if you listen to this piece of music he has just filled it with everything but the kitchen sink. What I think he was going for – and I think it’s genius – was what we see in the movie Fargo and any dark comedy. He was trying to take this heavy subject matter which in itself is such drudgery to go through with these murders and these horrible people, her father-in-law, Katerina, Sergei, there’s so many horrible people in this opera, and he was trying to make it light and fun. I think he succeeded in spades – Stalin said it was squawky – but if we were to sit with Shostakovich today he would say “that’s exactly the way I wrote it; I didn’t happen to put those farcical scenes in there by accident.” He knew what he was doing. I think it’s genius; I don’t find it provincial, I find it challenging and really rewarding to be in the opera. It’s a blast. It’s not your normal opera. My cousins from Idaho came up; they saw it; they were a little disappointed, I think. They were expecting more of a park and bark. They were expecting hits. They wanted to see Carmen or Bohème or Tosca, and this is definitely not that. My roommate came and he brought two of his friends, one who is a country western singer and the other one is a car salesman – they absolutely loved it; they want to come back to the Met now, because if you are open and you are willing to enjoy the music and the production, it actually will blow you away. My wife listened to it on the radio on Sirius, and she said “I can’t wait to see this; it was a bonanza of sounds, motives, themes, and emotions” – and she got this through the radio; it really is.

    OL – Yes, it is very descriptive; almost onomatopoeic; the sounds tell the story.

    BJ – It’s true! He was able to mine… I can’t believe he came up with this stuff at age 25, and it’s a shame that he felt so worried for his life after Stalin criticized it. What have we missed as a society, from his catalogue?

    OL – Yes, he became more conventional after that.

    BJ – Yes, that’s right, he started to toe the line. I was talking to my wife; we went to see El Greco at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was very controversial, he wasn’t hired and couldn’t find a patron, then some monks took him in and he was able to do what he wanted to. He flourished, and now he’s the name we want to go see, El Greco. I think Shostakovich would have been that if he had been left to his own devices. It’s a shame.

    OL - Now let’s move on from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. I watched your blu-ray disc of Braunfels’ Die Vögel with LA Opera. Congratulations, nice work! First, let me tell you about my impression regarding your voice. I thought it was particularly pleasant and meaty in the lower register. Is your most comfortable tessitura something like a mix of baritone and tenor? What can you tell me about your voice?

    BJ – Thanks. Yes, I don’t mind singing low. I started off in high school singing in a choir as a bass. When I first went to college in Flagstaff I was a bass in choir for maybe a year, and then they moved up to baritone; “well,” they said, “he’s got a higher voice up there,” and it was hard to get into the Fs and Gs, especially once my voice warmed up. Then they asked me to move up again, and I moved to tenor and thought that my life was over; I didn’t want to be a tenor; I thought I was being castrated; sad but true [laughs]; I didn’t know what a tenor was, and I didn’t know what opera was. So, I still have that in my voice. Depending on what role I’m singing, like Sigmund, it sits lower so I have more access to that. This actually sits higher, although it doesn’t go up necessarily high but it sits higher. My lower voice actually shifted a tone or two. When I warm up I always try to access my low and my extreme high in falsetto and voix mixe, head voice, then I try to meet in the middle. I find for me that it keeps my middle voice healthy and keeps my extension for the most part there. I find my voice has a meatier quality to it. My high notes are always a work in progress because as your voice changes when you get older, it settles and mellows. Trying to keep access to my high voice, I don’t want to say it’s a constant battle, but it’s something I work on. I can’t really describe my voice outside of myself. I think some voices translate well in CDs and radios and such; I don’t think my voice is that type. I think I sound good in a hall.

    OL - Being in that colorful and lively production must have been lots of fun. Any memories of it to share with our readers? Musically it is very eventful, and I’d even say, at times overwhelming. What do you think of that piece?

    BJ – Die Vögel was my first big dramatic piece that I’ve done. It was crazy. It was a great production, so amazing! I remember a couple of things. Domingo came back, and there was one point when I had to go up to a B natural; and it’s towards the end of act one. There are high lines. He gave me a point or two and that was amazing that he would take the time to talk to me about that. The thing I remember most about the production is that it was in a very raked stage. We were also doing the Ring cycle in LA at the time. We had to practice standing on one foot, building up the muscles in our ankle so that we didn’t trip or injury ourselves. There is a point where I go into a trance and I go a little bit mad, and I eventually pass out on the floor, and it’s kind of the end of my time in the bird realm. These flowers are spinning around – they are projections – and it was such a steep rake and a hard sing, that I had to stop myself from sliding forward on my knees, and at the same time I’m trying to sing an extremely declamatory piece of music, and trying to make it seem like I’m in a delirium. I could very easily have fallen flat in front of my face. That struggle will always stick with me.

    OL - About the vocal score in Die Vögel – I thought it is rather difficult. In “Ach, der Zeit” you have some stratospheric high notes, and then the duet “Wer Ruft” in the very beginning of act II seems like a killer – it goes on and on – that scene is 19 minutes long! – and it is shouty and weepy. Did you find that sing to be very challenging?

    BJ - The vocal score was very difficult and colorful. That scene is a killer, that’s right. That score, I find it extremely challenging, especially because it was my first big dramatic role. It’s a very tricky sing. More than once I thought “what am I doing?” because it’s the kind of role you assume you are never going to do again, but in certain points of your career you have to do these things. In retrospect I really liked the production and I’m proud that it is on DVD. It kind of puts me on the path of singing heavier music than I do now. It was a good, safe way to go about it, because it wasn’t well known, but was still a lot of publicity and such. I’m really happy that I did it.

    OL - The last number -- "So ist dies allen denn gewesen, wie?" -- is a beautiful, soaring, melodious, romantically phrased long solo aria (8 minutes) and I thought it was extremely well sung by you. Are you especially fond of this aria?

    BJ - Thanks. That’s funny: that aria, I loved to get to the end of the opera to be able to sing that aria. It’s a beautiful piece. To be honest, now I only remember bits and pieces of the music of the opera, but I remember that last piece; it was luxuriating like a warm bath. It’s like crossing the finishing line of a really tough race – but it was still difficult to sing – and rewarding yourself, and in turn hopefully rewarding the audience too.

    OL – That aria is neo-romantic and very melodious and tonal; after all the difficulty, you get to soar and to phrase beautifully.

    BJ – Yes, it’s true. That was 2008, maybe 2009 but I think it was 8. I’d love to revisit it again. That would be fun, now that I know it. It wouldn’t be long to brush up. I’d like to see it again.

    OL – That aria could be a good one for an audition or to include in an album recording.

    BJ – Yes, great point. And it’s a good opera. I’m really glad that I had that opportunity.

    OL - Nice acting, by the way. You are a gifted actor which comes in handy given that Sergei is also a role that requires advanced acting skills. How did you learn to act?

    BJ - When I first went to college, I always had an affinity for acting. I always wanted and likened myself to be an actor. I went to college to play football; that was my thing. I went to a tiny school in Bismarck on a football scholarship.

    OL – That’s not so bad, because opera is a lot more violent than football.

    BJ – [Laughs] Oh, it’s true! Touché! [keeps laughing] Not a lot of people get killed in football like in opera, which is a full contact sport too. You’ll see tonight; I’m jumping, and running, picking people up, that’s some good training for opera, playing football! Then I went down to Flagstaff and they wouldn’t give me a football scholarship. I thought I needed help going to school, so I sent them a tape of me singing. I went down there for a couple of years on a vocal scholarship. Then I was doing musicals and opera scenes, then I transferred to the Theater Department and got a degree in Theater with a minor in Music. I loved acting, and I still do. When I graduated from college I wanted to go to LA and make it as an actor. Then my girlfriend, now wife, came up to New York and tried to make it as a singer and so I came out here with her and as it turned out, that’s what I made it as; I made it as an operatic singer, and I’m glad I did. I’m still able to use the Theater skills. A lot of people hire me because they think I can imbue a character role with some emotions and qualities and some acting; I don’t think you necessarily find a lot of singers who have that talent. I really like acting; I get a kick out of it.

    OL - I believe that maestro James Conlon is simply excellent. I wish he’d get talked about more often; somehow I think he is sort of underestimated. You did Die Vögel with him, and you are doing this current run at the Met with him again. Tell us about him. What did you learn from him, and how is the experience of working with him? What do you want from a conductor?

    BJ – James knows this score so well! He is known for this kind of obscure pieces more. He is known for lots of things but he does this sort of thing really well. I think it is attributable to his technique. He is very exacting with the rhythm. He likes things to be rhythmically correct. When you are dealing with so many different aspects in the orchestra, the chorus, and the soloists, and you are trying to put them all together in these very difficult scenes, you need somebody down there who is in charge, and I’ll tell you, he really is. He knows his stuff. For me as far as conductors go, I personally love working with people who give you the feeling that you want to be better because of them, and also respect your artistry and want to give you the freedom to make music with them. It’s a give and take. A lot of time in the business there is a lot of take and not a lot of give. Sometimes it’s just the opposite; there can be a lot of give and they are accompanying you with an orchestra, and I don’t necessarily like that. I like a little bit of both. I worked with some fantastic conductors over the years who are just that, and you feel comfortable. It’s not something that necessarily you have to talk about or that you plan; it’s just a feeling of mutual respect, ultimately. You see that you know the music, you see that they are musical, and they can tell that you are musical too, because not all singers are necessarily musical, or all conductors. It’s great when you can find conductors who are confident enough in themselves that they are able to let you also express your artistry. That’s the best for opera; sparks fly when that happens.

    OL - Nice answer. Now let’s talk about some other roles in your repertory. Let’s start with Walter in the upcoming Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger. Tell us about the opera and the character.

    BJ – Oh my gosh! The Passenger, just basically, is one of those recovered operas sort of things [Editor’s note: written in 1967-68, it took more than 40 years for it to have a staged world premiere in 2010 in the Bregenz Festival which was preserved on blu-ray disc]. It deals with, ten years after World War II, a diplomat and his wife in a ship coming over to America. Someone on the ship recognizes my wife and thinks she knows her, and comes to find out in the course of the opera that indeed my wife was a guard, someone who worked in a concentration camp. So there is a flashback about what life was like. At the end of the opera I find out that she was indeed part of this and it’s going to ruin my career, so we are going to leave each other and it is not a happy ending. It’s going to be a challenging opera. It is something I’m still working on memorizing it. There is a blu-ray of it and everyone who has seen it describes it as very powerful, so I look forward to it.

    OL - You sang with San Francisco Opera the roles of Lohengrin and Siegmund, among others. Tell us about singing Wagner – do you want more? Would you see yourself moving more decisively into this repertory? Sometimes when one does, he/she becomes type-cast and people want to hire them for more and more Wagner. Any comments? We’d also be curious to hear more about Francesca Zambello’s Ring, with her concept of linking it more to American culture. Tell us about it.

    JB – I really love singing Wagner, but there is the type-cast risk, exactly. Wagner is a tricky thing. I was very scared before I took the plunge. I had heard many things about it, but my voice for the most part has a lot of stamina; I can sing for a long time. I’m also allowed to use a lot of colors in Wagner. It seems more apt somehow, because there are so many colors in the orchestra! Sometimes I like singing like floating on those ocean waves with huge swells and deep valleys, and that’s the dynamics. It’s a ride that is not necessarily just mine, but the audience’s. If you are able to lose yourself in the music and the action on stage, it’s something we all enjoy together. In Wagner, it just happens that way for me. I was very nervous about it but I found that I was able to express so many things with it! I love singing Sigmund; it’s one of my favorite roles, now; once again not a lover boy. I really enjoyed singing Lohengrin, but the character isn’t the most interesting for me. I love some of the declamatory stuff at the end, and I love the aria, and the duet with Elsa. There are so many wonderful parts to it. I’ve been asked now to do a few more Wagner things, and I’ve been remiss to accept all of them, just because it’s exactly true that once you starts… It’s a slow process, Luiz. I like to take it slow, because you start painting yourself into a corner where you are known just for Wagner. I would like to keep my doors open to other things, still, even spinto roles. I don’t want to just be a Wagner tenor yet. I’ve got more Wagner coming up, and a couple of roles that I’ll do. In another year, I’ve got a big Wagner year, and I’ll come back and will revisit Sigmund in a few productions, and Lohengrin, and down the road Parsifal and Walther von Stolzing. I’ve got these things coming up and I’m happy for it, but I’m trying to temper it with other roles and other styles, which I think is smart.

    OL - You sang Peter Grimes at the San Carlo in Naples. It’s one of my favorite operas. Tell us about this character’s psychological characteristics – what makes him tick? He seems ambivalent between cruelty and compassion/guilt. And then, also tell us how hard it is to sing Britten.

    BJ – One of my favorite roles happens to be Peter Grimes. It’s something I’m constantly looking forward to. I sang it one time in Naples; I thought it was the greatest success. The people I sang with – and there were quite a few Britten specialists, Jeffrey Tate [conductor], Paul Curran [stage director], some other people who’ve sung a lot of Britten and heard a lot of Britten; I learned a lot and it is just such a fantastic role, because he is so complex! It’s funny, because some people think that Peter Grimes is like being a child molester; there’s that aspect. That’s not true. I don’t see that at all. I see him as someone who is driven, who is pushing himself and in turns others around him. He is not good with people, necessarily. He just wants to achieve a golden life which I believe to be unachievable. I remember when I first met my wife, I said “we will get married when I make my first million dollars.” Well, if I was waiting for that I’d still be waiting! [laughs] It sounded good, but it is an unachievable goal, at least for this tenor. I think that’s Peter Grimes. He wants to attain this perfection, and then he can have the life that he thinks he deserves, but he has to deserve it, he has to earn it, and in so doing it he leaves this path of destruction behind him, and it is in the form of these boys that aren’t able to keep up with his demands on life and demands on himself and on those around him. Ultimately it’s his undoing; it’s what is killing him. He has this drive and boy dies, and then he has more drive to prove that he was right. It is a really horrible cycle. The Turn of the Screw is another Britten piece that I’ve sung, and I’ve sung Gloriana, Paul Banyan, and down the road Vere in Billy Budd. It’s difficult to sing. It’s a tricky music to learn and to get through your ear. He writes in deceptively hard lines, but once you learn it you go “oh, that makes perfect sense now; I hear the chord progression and such.” It’s so hard to learn and so psychological, and that adds so much flavor! That’s what he is known for, this musical/psychological writing. I love being able to sink my teeth in it. Gloriana has such a fantastic role, the Earl of Essex. Peter Grimes has this retching up of emotion, of tension; I just find it is latent in Britten’s music, and I really enjoy singing it and trying to flush that out.

    OL – For you, with your background in acting, it is perfect.

    BJ – The acting helps so much for those types of psychological roles! For Grimes, there is a guy named Stuart Skelton, I’ve never heard him singing it but I know that he’s kind of got a corner of the market, now; so I’m trying to find some place where I can sing it again and be known for it.

    OL - You also performed in Rusalka for Glyndebourne which resulted in a beautiful recording. Let’s use this opportunity to address Regieoper a bit. I talked with three Czech musicians recently in a trip to Prague, and they were all upset at the “domestic abuse/incest themes” Rusalksa – the one with Kristine Opolais on the cover of the blu-ray, inside an aquarium, at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. These Czeck musicians said it defaced one of their national monuments. I’m not sure if you saw it, and in any case most singers are not too comfortable addressing specific productions from some stage directors, but in general, what do you think of this kind of thing? When would you say that the directorial concept goes too far? Do you have limits that you won’t cross when doing a role?

    BJ – There are certain things that I can’t… it is funny, Regie opera is a tricky thing. I find that in Europe it works a little more. What you are going to see tonight is probably a little Regie opera, it’s more European, definitely. I like a controversial guy named Calixto Bieito, and I’ve done his Carmen. I did it a few times, actually, and I really liked it; but that one is more on his tame side, I heard. I worked with Andreas Homolki who did the Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in Zürich, and we also did a Fidelio; it was in a box and I had a blindfold on the whole time; it was more of a Konzept. First when I hear about it I don’t think I am going to like it but in the end I really do. A lot of the audience did; some of them didn’t. I remember specifically this Fidelio in a box; there was no one starving; it was more an emotional piece; I was emotionally starved, this sort of thing. But I always give it my all. My Leonore, she was Anja Kampe, she acted it with gusto, and all of us did; we all threw ourselves into his vision. I remember the after-party: an elderly gentleman came to me and said “My wife left, she couldn’t handle it; she said she won’t come to the opera anymore because of this piece.” He turned out and left and then a younger guy came up to me and said “Oh my God, this is my first time at the opera, it’s the most amazing thing I’ve even seen, I am going to get a subscription.” [laughs]. Literally, they were back to back, these two people. That says so much! Seeing the traditional productions in the States, it’s a different feel, but in Europe there is so much opera, I think people want to explore different meanings and try to bring their own stamps. I think if you have somebody that justifies it; something that actually works and it doesn’t detract from what the original idea was; if it enhances it somehow, I don’t see why you can’t try to find new things. If it is justified well, for me, I don’t have many directors that I wouldn’t work with, I don’t think. I have had one of my biggest profile jobs that I ever did; it was in La Scala when I was first starting up, and the director wanted to fire me, but then again, the wanted to fire everybody [laughs]. After the first week all the girls were crying. Every female cried at some point because he was yelling at them. He has passed away, now. He tried to get me fired, and I walked up to the management and said “He wants a new Hoffmann, am I going to stay or am I going to go?” And you know what? I stood up for myself, the management stood up for me, and the next day I could do no wrong in his eyes: “oh, this is what I was looking for, where has this guy been the whole time? That’s exactly what we need, oh my God, you are Hoffmann” and I hadn’t changed anything. It was just that his outlook changed. It can be difficult working with people, sometimes. Some directors, some colleagues, some conductors, but I think if you are true to yourself and if you try to get along it goes a long way, and I think everyone sees that and knows it, including colleagues. It takes away from opera more than it gives it, whenever you have a personality like this; but as long as the concept works, I’m not opposed to trying it. What about you, do you have any feelings about Regie opera?

    OL – I call it good Regie and bad Regie. Sometimes it is extremely interesting, it adds to the symbolism and deepens the piece, and makes another focus for new audiences, but sometimes it goes too far, alters the whole thing, and shows no respect for the music; so, it depends.

    BJ – This is true of traditional opera too. Some directors phone it in and do the park and bark; I think it is very boring. Someone who has never seen opera and thinks about opera, that’s what they think of – standing on the stage with horns on your head, singing. We live in Sycamore, Illinois, tiny town of about twenty thousand people, about one hour west of Chicago, and we make new friends, some of them come and see the opera, and some of them are shocked, “I didn’t realize there is so much scenery; I didn’t know there was going to be so much movement on stage.” A lot of people aren’t aware that opera is a form of theater, or like the movies, except that you just get one take [laughs].

    OL – I like minimalistic staging very much – for example, I love Willy Decker’s Traviata; I’ve seen it three times live, and I have the blu-ray. I like the curved wall and the large clock. There are many things that I love in Regie opera, but others that I can’t stand, like changed endings [an example is given of such a production with altered ending, and it is described].

    BJ – Yes, that’s right, and those types of things are out there, sure. [Talking about the example given] Oh my Gosh, I don’t think this one is justifiable! It’s not thinking it through, somehow.

    OL - A very unusual event in the career of an opera singer, is to be featured in a James Bond film. Please describe to us that experience. Where you singing at Bregenz anyway and then the film crew came along and got you all to participate? Or was it planned in advance with all sorts of contracts and all? How did you interact with the moviemakers?

    BJ – Yes, there’s a James Bond film out the, The Quantum of Solace, at the end you will see; my name comes up in the credits. I had done that staging I think in 2007 in Bregenz. It was really great; a huge eye and a scaffold that went up on it. It was a very technical production. Then I came back and was doing other things, and I get a call from my agent saying “Hey, there is a James Bond film, and they are going to film it over the course of a week; there’s ten scenes, and you Brandon are in three of them; they just want to catch some footage of you, and will probably use some sounds from earlier in the year, but it will be your image, they want to capture it up there.” I said “Yes, my gosh, you bet, meet James Bond and some of the Bond girls, [laughs] see what is like and such and such!” I had the ticket all set, everything was ready, a week before I was to fly over, they call and say that actually they are running out of time, they are a little bit over budget, and they are cutting three scenes, and they are your three. [laughs] So they used the sound track and there are a few off-stage where you hear someone screaming, and that’s why I have my name on the end credits. It sounds like it should be a bigger thing, but unfortunately it’s a few bits from when I originally did the production, but I’ll take it! [laughs]

    OL - Now for the last few questions, let’s talk about your history and your person. How did you encounter opera, growing up? Did your parents or anyone else in your family have a musical background?

    BJ – As far as growing up, I grew up in Billings, Montana, and we didn’t have opera. My first exposure to opera was Bugs Bunny, which is a lot of people’s first exposure to it. But music, my mom could poorly roll chords in the piano. She had some Broadway musicals books that she would roll; she had no sense of time or rhythm, but we would sit – I was the one who enjoyed sitting with her – and we’d sing Christmas carols, and Born Free was the big one I always remember, and Hello Dolly, all these things. A few times a week we’d sit down at the piano and she’d roll, we’d both sing, and this was at the time when I was 4 and on, and then when I got to Junior High… My son is in 7th grade and he just now joined his first choir, and that’s what I did too, I joined in 7th grade, and sung in choirs. I told you about the football scholarship and the transfer. Once I graduated with a minor in music I came to New York and things just went slow. I had a slow, steady career progression. I didn’t get into international fame right away; I still don’t think I’ve got it. I’m still on the ascent, and I’ll take it. I don’t need to be a huge name in opera. I just need to good work and have people want to see me and enjoy seeing me. It’s been a slow, steady thing. The first time I was really introduced to opera, I was doing operetta, Gilbert and Sullivan on 95th Street with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, and somebody of the chorus people I was singing with asked if I was going to do one of the Young Artists Program; I said “What’s a Young Artists Program?” and they told me about it. There was only one that only required three arias, and that was Santa Fe Opera. I had three arias that I could work up… [laughs]. I brushed those up, auditioned, made it, and then met somebody else who was a director that summer, Linda Brovsky, and she was directing a Daniel Catán opera up at the Manhattan School of Music called La Hija de Rapaccini – it’s fantastic and there actually is a CD of it. It’s really a beautiful piece. So, we recorded that, City Opera heard of me and we got more things, and it just kind of slowly, slowly started to happen from there. For the most part it is a stead ascent, but slow. For me it has been very important; I got to get my sea legs underneath me, and figure out opera and still balance family life with this career, which is always difficult, and I’m still learning about opera today.

    OL - A recent interviewee, Italian baritone Massimo Cavalletti, was telling me that the life of an opera singer is not as glamorous as people think. If there is one word to define the majority of it, said Massimo, it is “to wait.” You sit and study your music and you wait and wait for your next performance, you are often locked in because you’re afraid of going out and being with people and catching a cold, things like this, you wait for your next role and travels and rehearsals, etc. In your welcome to your gorgeous website, your take seems to be very different. Any comments?

    BJ – It’s funny, tedium is the one word I would say describes the life of an opera singer. Tedium. I was telling my wife today, because it was raining outside, I have a small apartment here, and I have a little cold tonight, I didn’t want to go out, and she said, “Gosh, you are just going to sit around?” and I said “Honey, this is the bulk of my life.” You sit and worry about singing too much other roles because you have a performance tonight; you are always worried because there is no second chance in opera. If I didn’t perform tonight I wouldn’t get paid, and so you are always looking to take care of yourself. I find being on stage and singing to be very rewarding. It’s amazing to share music with so many people. The first night of Lady Macbeth, I was on stage, and I’ve sung in stages around the world, at the Arena di Verona and there are sixteen thousand people there; at Bregenz there are 7,500; I sang in a concert in San Francisco with over twenty thousand people, and these are pretty big numbers, but when I’m on stage for the most part I don’t get too nervous or anything. I mean, I walk back and forth before and that’s just nerves, but when I’m get on stage I feel very comfortable, I like being on stage. The first night I don’t remember much; I remember what I did but I didn’t notice the audience. The second night I walked on stage and I was just very aware of how big the Met is, and all the people’s faces I could see. I wasn’t staring at them, but on the corner of my eye I was very aware of being on stage, and that’s part of the performance. Once in a while you go “oh, that’s right, I’m up here and everyone at some point is going to be looking at me.” You have to be comfortable with yourself and have a pretty good ego to be able to handle that. But that’s the good part. The bad part is being away from my family, sitting around in hotel rooms. The good part is that they come see me sometimes and experience places I never had a chance to see when I grew up. I got to Denver, Minneapolis, and Seattle as a kid. That was as far as I went. These guys have been to Zürich, Brussels, all over England, Ireland, Germany, they’ve traveled with me all over the United States, and their eyes have opened up to so many things, and that’s amazing. There is such a yin-yang to this business, as probably in everything in life. But tedium would be the world I’d use to describe the life of an opera singer.

    OL – But I liked the part where you said you had the opportunity to open the eyes of your family. That’s the first time someone tells me something like this. Everybody talks about the traveling in a negative way and how it is disruptive for the kids, but at the same time, it opens their eyes to the world.

    BJ – Yes, I mean, my kids are 13, 11, and 9. My wife and I when we got married, our first kid was born here in New York, and the second one too, at the same hospital; then we packed up and lived on the road for about three and a half years, out of suitcases. Then my third one came along, and my wife said “I can’t do it anymore, we got to get an apartment.” But the first two traveled so much with us all the time! That’s the amazing thing about this business. They love it. They love to travel, that’s what they look forward to. This summer we got to go to Naples because I was singing in Zürich, and then in a place called Verbier Festival. They were able to be part of that and they loved it. It’s one of the fantastic perks. My mom too, she is able to travel, and my sister; my brother not so much but he will get around to it. He doesn’t like to fly. [laughs]

    OL – We are almost done.

    BJ – So, you have seen my website? There is “Brandon Jovanovich” that slowly loads; it’s new, a couple of weeks, and I’m really proud of it. I didn’t do it myself, trust me. The one it replaced is the one that I did myself. This is a girl who does the Santa Fe Opera website, The Doyle Treatment, and she just did a fantastic job. I’m really happy with it, and thanks for noticing it. I knew that mine wasn’t the best, and I started to look around to other people’s, and they had flashy websites, mine never was; it was pretty straightforward, but the more I started singing around the world the more it’s now how people look up who you are, and so I was really happy with it and I’m glad that you noticed it.

    OL - What are some of your extra-operatic interests? What do you like to do as intellectual pursuit, and what do you like to do for fun?

    BJ – I like to read a lot. I read a lot of books when I’m away, as many as I can. I read a lot of Sci-Fi and Historical Fiction. These are the king of my things.

    OL – I like Sci-Fi too.

    BJ – Oh, you do!

    OL – I like presidential history like Washington, John Adams, I like reading about past figures. When I’m home, we have a little farm. It’s a hobby farm, I’d say. It’s about ten acres. We have twenty-five chickens, ox, and bees. Literally every time I go home I’m out cutting wood, some trees have fallen… I like to work, I like manual labor. We’ve redone a couple of bathrooms in our house, and we do the tiling and such. I like building things. I’d like to start more woodworking. For Christmas I'm hoping that I’m going to have the time to build the kids some chests and keep safe things. I like to work with my hands and physical labor, since the time I was a little kid. I really get a kick when I go home and work hard. Because in opera I work hard; you’ll see me running around and doing crazy stuff, but it’s not as fulfilling physically as when I get my hands dirty, making, building, or doing something. Another thing I like to do, I like to spend time with my kids doing sports, playing catch, playing games, cooking, talking… We are big storytellers in my family. I like to hang out with them and my wife. When I’m home I like to be at home. As much as I don’t think of my life as a vacation, I go to places where most people think it’s a big vacation, and so my vacations are going home. [laughs]

    OL – That’s all the questions we had for you, so, we’re done. Lovely interview; you are a nice guy.

    BJ – Thanks! Likewise.

    OL – What position did you play in football?

    BJ – I was an offensive tackle. I went to a smaller Catholic school in Billings, and my dad was about 6’6” and 300 to 350; he was a huge man, but he adopted me. Jovanovich is my adopted last name when I was a little kid. I think they all thought that I was going to be huge like him, and I’m tall, but I’m not heavy; he had a hundred pounds on me. But I played that, and then in college I played defensive tackle for a while, the one year when I was there.

    OL – Thank you so much!

    BJ – I’m so glad it worked out!


    Let's listen to the singer doing the tenor part in this trio from Don Carlo:


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Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Piedmont Opera

Official Media Partners of Asheville Lyric Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Asheville Lyric Opera

Official Media Partners of UNC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of UNC Opera
Dept. of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences