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With over 30 years in professional show-business, David Cangelosi is known industry wide as one of its most versatile performers. The internationally acclaimed opera singer is also well versed in the areas of musical-theater, night club/cabaret, voice-overs, and his continuing career in the classical vocal arts as a recitalist, master-class instructor, and symphonic guest artist.
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Let Us Return To…

August 16th, 2017

“Common Sense”, “Civil Discourse”, “Intelligent Conversation”, “Patience”, “Gentle Demeanor”, “Truth”, “Love” and “Dignity”.  The highest form of “Wisdom” is “Kindness”, and the greatest positive energy signature is “Gratitude”.

Do allow yourself to be “Kind”, and do let us be “Grateful”.

August 16, 2017

djc

 

Tonya Rising

April 18th, 2017

April 18, 2017

On Christmas Day in 1959, a Twilight Zone episode entitled “What You Need” appeared for the very first time on television.

The episode focused upon a kind, but mysterious, elder gentleman who peddled odd items from his suitcase in traveling salesman fashion in an unnamed large city.  His power to understand ‘what you needed’ shortly before you actually required an individual item that he happened to have, raised the curiosity of a brutish man at the bar in a restaurant.

The man at the bar–down on his luck and mad at the world–looked for any reason to take advantage of the kindly elder gentleman and his gift for “knowing the future”.  Concern over the size of the National Debt was also referenced as a means of telegraphing just how bad things were in the country; thus giving the disgruntled man at the bar another reason hate his life.  **(For the record, the National Debt in 1959 was $285 billion dollars, compared to today’s almost $20 trillion dollars, but that is another story for a different blog post…)

So he bullied, cheated, and stole the ‘gift’ that the elder gentleman possessed in an attempt to enrich himself.  He didn’t want to ‘work for it’, or ‘change his course in life’…he simply wanted to ‘take’ from others. In the end, he got what he deserved…

Enter Tonya, a kind Über driver whose services I desperately needed the night of April 3rd in Atlanta:

I needed Tonya to drive me two hours away to Montgomery, Alabama because all of my connecting flights had been canceled due to weather issues. I tried several drivers, but even after accepting the fare, they declined to drive me.  Apparently, they didn’t realize how far they would have to travel upon acceptance …even though the fare was quite substantial.

Tonya had every reason to hate the world if she wanted.  She was adopted, and had some issues with less than charitable persons along life’s path.  She was an aspiring actress who moved from the San Francisco Bay area to continue to pursue her dreams, which were very difficult to fulfill.  She had experienced a troubled marriage, and struggled with money at times…but unlike the brutish man from the Twilight Zone, Tonya was totally upbeat.  We talked for the entire two hour trip, knowing she had to turn around and drive all the way back to Atlanta!  She described how her entire life she worked for others’ well-being…especially at Christmastide when she would make up bags of gifts for the homeless…which always contained ‘one-size-fits-all’ winter gloves for everyone.

She was happy to have the large Über fare, and I gave her a generous cash tip for taking me so far.  She was happy in life, and loved helping others.  She wanted to work for a living, and also wanted to work toward her dreams.  Her hope was to rise up higher each day despite the negatives that surrounded her.  I salute her in this blog post, which I told her I was going to write.  I had the title before I wrote a single word:

Tonya Rising

And I surely hope that this is exactly what she will do.

Thank you Madame for the ride, and thank you for the life affirming work ethic.  We enjoyed our ride together, and I wish you Godspeed. 

(A post-Easter blog post on the subject of rising, seemed like a good time to tell this story; especially after spending a wonderful weekend with family over this most blessed of holidays.  We were all raised high over the Easter weekend, with much of that feeling being the result of attending church services which focus on the ‘Risen Christ’, and a Mass honoring my late brother.  But it was so much more enjoyable in the presence of family and loved ones.)

djc

 

 

Up In the Air

February 1st, 2017

February 1, 2017
For my colleagues who travel a great deal for a living, and for the many young hopefuls who desire an international career in the arts; this post is worth scanning:

2017 surely started off with a bang with the continuation of a multi-year performance/recording project with the venerable Hong Kong Philharmonic (HK Phil), and (the now minted in pure gold) Jaap van Zweden conducting. The subject matter is Richard Wagner’s mighty ‘Ring’ Cycle. Without going into reams of details on the project itself–which I have covered in the past, suffice it to say it is long, hard, intense, and no-nonsense…especially when trying to capture a ‘live’ recording for distribution (Naxos).

But the title of this post is “Up in the Air”, with its not so subtle reference to the film that featured George Clooney’s character flying around the country almost daily. Unfortunately, his task was to travel and explain to work-forces both large and small that they were being downsized out of a job. He had logged some 10 million air miles in the process.

While I have flown over 2 million air miles myself (which is no small amount of time “up in the air”), my tasks have been more pleasant. I now look back in less than a week, and remember climbing “up in the air” and looking out the window of the Boeing 777-200 jet aircraft. I gazed down upon a sprawling, but very densely populated Hong Kong. Resplendent from “up in the air”, with towering buildings, mountainous terrain, interconnecting bridges that link the small island chains, and then two magnificent sides of Hong Kong (Hong Kong Island/Kowloon), split down the middle by Victoria Harbor. For a few moments, with a very successful musical project completed down below, I felt as though I had almost conquered the world as I was now fully “up in the air” and headed toward 35,000 feet.

Of course, I didn’t conquer the world; but I did do my part in bringing to fruition the third installment of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (Siegfried). It was so successful that I have been “up in the air” since the final note was played, the last autograph signed, and the final photos taken. My colleagues were wonderful, my wife very supportive and proud, the audiences were thrilled, and the highest profile conductor in the world was very happy.

Here comes the hard part:
Upon returning to the United States, there are many suddenly sleepless nights…as one’s body still feels the affects of a 16 hour flight that crosses 10 time zones, and the International Date Line. All the result of literally being “up in the air”. I marvel at pilots and flight attendants who do this on a weekly basis. And hat’s off to all the business travelers who do the same, and my colleagues who must travel even more than I.

As I write this post it is 2:31 a.m. Central Standard Time in the U.S.A. My body won’t settle down, as it occasionally still feels upside-down, but for so many reasons–both professionally and physically–I think I am still just:

Up in the Air

**To those young hopefuls I mentioned earlier(???)…get prepared…this career can be a long haul (no ‘airline’ pun intended)!!

Freaky Forethought (plus a salute to the country’s women)

November 14th, 2016

On October 12, 2016, I posted to my blog the script you will see below.  I did it for fun because it’s essence hit me one day while I was taking a long jog.  It turns out that I was right on the mark!  But I also follow up with some words to the wonderful young women who are coming of age in an era once thought impossible in this country.  Please try to read without applying deep ideology that is too divisive and out of place for the following scenario:

October 12, 2016:

Politics can surely be as entertaining as it is enraging, and 2016 has proven to be an exceptional year for both. But putting basic politics aside; I believe I have stumbled on a great example of ‘Life Imitating Art’ for the modern era.  When Richard Wagner wrote his epic ‘Ring Cycle’, he effectively began it all with a prologue entitled Das Rheingold which sets in motion the eventual ‘Twilight of the Gods’ (Götterdämmerung).

While Das Rheingold is very much an ensemble opera in that everyone gets their specific ‘moment(s) to shine’, the opera’s most interesting character is probably Loge; the Demigod of Fire.  In an interesting way, he is the ONLY ‘character’ to actually appear in every operatic episode.  Alas, his personage, personality, and voice is only revealed to us in depth in Das Rheingold. Oddly enough, I believe that I have found some parallels between a very embattled Donald J. Trump and Richard Wagner’s ‘Loge’, as well as a bunch of other characters from this magnificent opera.  For fun…”Let’s unpack this”…as Hillary Clinton would say.

Loge is a Demigod whose firey style, self-confidence, and rhetoric correctly predicts the downfall of the Gods. (More on him and Donald Trump later.)  For better or worse, we have lots of Wotan ‘wannabes’ in this world (Master’s of the Universe)…George Soros, Rupert Murdoch, Sheldon Adelson, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, and the list goes on.

We have Fricka…well, let’s call her Hillary. A rightfully angered and equally embattled woman who would love to wield the seemingly unlimited power as that of her husband…(but can, and does, wield a fair amount in her own right).  There are plenty of angry, money grubbing, outsiders like Alberich who punch down and oppress the little Mime’s/Nibelungen’s of the world…but can never be permitted into the exclusive ‘club’ that the Gods enjoy.

There always exists a Freia, who because she is gifted with beauty, is relentlessly hit-upon by so-called Giants who wish to exercise power or control over her somehow.  Then there is a cast of lesser gods/lackeys who talk a loud game but basically do nothing such as Froh and Donner (hmmm…Jason Chaffetz and Charles Schumer come to mind…but they DO always have a knack for finding a camera).  Wise Earth Mothers (Erdas) abound here in the 21st Century…whether in the form of Poets, Supreme Court Justices, Environmental and Social Activists, Senators, Congresswomen, etc etc.  Then there are the Rhinemaidens:  Who amongst us hasn’t known a group of beautiful young women who sometimes stretch and arrogantly squander their riches?

It’s a perfect cast of human (and often political) characters.  But let’s get back to Loge…who basically denounces all of them while being one of them in one form or another.

Enter Donald J. Trump…a brash, firey, narcissist.  Surely not above conniving, possibly stealing, or stretching the truth if necessary.  One who is sort of ‘in the club’ when he is needed…but kept ‘out of the club’ when he is not.  He mingles with the (political) Gods, while claiming to stand away from them when it serves him best. He could be likeable enough to some, certainly disliked by many others.  But most importantly of all, like Loge, he predicts a complete end to the system by which the world/country has operated for a very long time.  Loge’s prophecy is indeed fulfilled by the time Valhalla comes crashing down…but yet Loge survives thereafter…as will Mr. Trump, whether he is elected or not.

While this is certainly no endorsement of Mr. Trump; I do just wonder if he has signaled the end of a blatantly stacked system–on both sides–whose overall house is destined to fall.  When the entire ‘wink wink’, ‘nod nod’ system seems to be against you…something must be up beyond moral and/or social outrage—whether feigned or sincere.

Allow me to be clear:  I make no public endorsement of any candidate (as if my opinion would matter to anyone); but I do find the above parallel interesting when it comes down to fun operatic comparisons.

November 14, 2016

UPDATE:
Now that we are basically one week post-election, and the recriminations are flying, I thought it would a good idea to address the question:  “What do we tell our young women?”  Since identity politics has become so prevalent in this election cycle; let us just take a step back and address this issue thoughtfully.  This is what I would tell my daughter…if I had one:

I would tell my daughter Cadence that 2016 has proven that a woman–any woman–can compete at the highest levels of the arts, business, science, engineering, and yes even government…especially government.

I would point to (in no particular order) Condoleezza Rice, Susan Rice, Madeleine Albright, Gabby Giffords, Lisa Murkowski, Sheila Jackson Lee, Jill Stein, Tammy Duckworth, Elizabeth Warren, Susan Collins, Jennifer Granholm, Nikki Haley, and oh so many more. Yes, please note that there are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents represented here.

And yes, Hillary Rodham Clinton tops the list.

I would also tell Cadence that in competitive enterprises, people win and people lose…both men and women, no matter what religion or race, sexual orientation, challenge, or gift…like it or not.

I would tell her it is not necessarily the person, but perhaps the message, that does not propel her to victory at any given time. Perhaps there are extenuating circumstances that get in the way of total success…who can really ever know for certain? I would also tell her to never give up until she is satisfied with her own efforts. After that, it is HER call.

But rest assured that 2016 has proven–without a doubt–that ALL can compete; and I would never mention the term “Glass Ceiling”…EVER!!

POSTSCRIPT:

**Ultimately I say about each successive President of the United States: “I hope they will be our best President ever.”

Hope springs eternal,

djc

Is Trump a modern day ‘Loge’??

October 12th, 2016

October 12, 2016

Politics can surely be as entertaining as it is enraging, and 2016 has proven to be an exceptional year for both. But putting basic politics aside; I believe I have stumbled on a great example of ‘Life Imitating Art’ for the modern era.  When Richard Wagner wrote his epic ‘Ring Cycle’, he effectively began it all with a prologue entitled Das Rheingold which sets in motion the eventual ‘Twilight of the Gods’ (Götterdämmerung).

While Das Rheingold is very much an ensemble opera in that everyone gets their specific ‘moment(s) to shine’, the opera’s most interesting character is probably Loge; the Demigod of Fire.  In an interesting way, he is the ONLY ‘character’ to actually appear in every operatic episode.  Alas, his personage, personality, and voice is only revealed to us in depth in Das Rheingold. Oddly enough, I believe that I have found some parallels between a very embattled Donald J. Trump and Richard Wagner’s ‘Loge’, as well as a bunch of other characters from this magnificent opera.  For fun…”Let’s unpack this”…as Hillary Clinton would say.

Loge is a Demigod whose firey style, self-confidence, and rhetoric correctly predicts the downfall of the Gods. (More on him and Donald Trump later.)  For better or worse, we have lots of Wotan ‘wannabes’ in this world (Master’s of the Universe)…George Soros, Rupert Murdoch, Sheldon Adelson, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, and the list goes on.

We have Fricka…well, let’s call her Hillary. A rightfully angered and equally embattled woman who would love to wield the seemingly unlimited power as that of her husband…(but can, and does, wield a fair amount in her own right).  There are plenty of angry, money grubbing, outsiders like Alberich who punch down and oppress the little Mime’s/Nibelungen’s of the world…but can never be permitted into the exclusive ‘club’ that the Gods enjoy.

There always exists a Freia, who because she is gifted with beauty, is relentlessly hit-upon by so-called Giants who exercise power or control over her somehow.  Then there is a cast of lesser gods/lackeys who talk a loud game but basically do nothing such as Froh and Donner (hmmm…Jason Chaffetz and Charles Schumer come to mind…but they DO always have a knack for finding a camera).  Wise Earth Mothers (Erdas) abound here in the 21st Century…whether in the form of poets, Supreme Court Justices, environmental and social activists, etc etc.  Then there are the Rhinemaidens:  Who among us hasn’t known a group a pretty young ladies who sometimes stretch and arrogantly squander their riches?

It’s a perfect cast of human (and often political) characters.  But let’s get back to Loge…who basically denounces all of them while being one of them in one form or another.

Enter Donald J. Trump…a brash, firey, narcissist.  Surely not above conniving, possibly stealing, or stretching the truth if necessary.  One who is sort of ‘in the club’ when he is needed…but kept ‘out of the club’ when he is not.  He mingles with the (political) Gods, while claiming to stand away from them when it serves him best. He could be likeable enough to some, certainly disliked by many others.  But most importantly of all, like Loge, he predicts a complete end to the system by which the world/country has operated for a very long time.  Loge’s prophecy is indeed fulfilled by the time Valhalla comes crashing down…but yet Loge survives thereafter…as will Mr. Trump, whether he is elected or not.

While this is certainly no endorsement of “The Donald”; I do just wonder if he has signaled the end of a blatantly stacked system–on both sides–whose overall house is destined to fall.  When the entire ‘wink wink’, ‘nod nod’ system seems to be against you…something must be up beyond moral and/or social outrage—whether feigned or sincere.

Allow me to be clear:  I make no public endorsement of any candidate (as if my opinion would matter to anyone); but I do find the above parallel interesting when it comes down to fun operatic comparisons.

Ultimately I say about each successive President of the United States: “I hope they will be our best President ever.”

Hope springs eternal,

djc

 

Twenty years? Really??

September 6th, 2016

September 6, 2016

Many years ago I recall reading an article about the legendary Baritone Sherrill Milnes when he noted that his time with Boris Goldovsky’s Opera Theater was when things really started happening…but he had by then already been thoroughly participating in the operatic art form.  As I think back, I can also pinpoint a time when things “really started to happen”.

Although I had been gainfully employed as a music theater artist, night-club entertainer, and budding operatic artist for at least 15 years already; it was my entrance into the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists (now Ryan Opera Center) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago when things “really started to happen”.  Major domestic bookings were coming my way from Opera companies and Symphony Orchestras, recording projects materialized, television and film opportunities shocked me, and international travel soon followed.

That was 20 years ago when things “really started to happen”…and I am so very grateful for all the organizations who ever took a chance on me…but make no mistake, some of those companies had their doubts!  I have returned to most, while never being rehired by some.  Nonetheless I am grateful to ALL of them…with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in particular having provided me with 20 consecutive seasons.  Over the past 20 years I have seen family members and close friends pass-away, while also rekindling friendships from the past, and even marrying once again–something I was not sure I would ever do. I have seen companies close, others open, while others still have completely changed their inner parts.  One thing has remained somewhat of a constant…I am still singing…still plugging away at it.

As I chart out the next decade (hopefully), I simply shake my head now and say…

“Twenty years? Really??”

djc

 

Countdown Ring

April 1st, 2016

April 1, 2016

With an historic ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen‘ just one month from opening at the prestigious Washington National Opera, I am both tired and excited. Rehearsals have been intense, compressed, and thrilling. Immediately post ‘Ring’ performances here in our nation’s Capital; I will head to Boston with two of my D.C. colleagues to perform Act 1 of Siegfried for the Boston Wagner Society. I was very pleased to provide an in-depth interview for the BWS in anticipation of our May 28, 2016 concert. Below is the interview in its entirety:

Interview with Tenor David Cangelosi

  • We anticipate with great pleasure your upcoming role as Mime at our May 28 concert of Act 1 of Siegfried. You have sung the role of Mime numerous times, at the Metropolitan Opera, in San Francisco, and many other places. And now you are about to sing it again for Washington National Opera in the spring. Is there anything about this role that attracts you both as a singer and an actor?

        The role of Mime (Siegfried) is one of the most towering in all of opera. The answer to your question is actually IN your question! This role allows for the singer to ‘act’, and the actor to ‘sing’. This is an unusual two-way street that is fulfilling in each direction. I have worked for 20 years to knit these two elements into a cohesive whole. I hope it comes through as such!

 

  • You are an excellent comedian and very dynamic on the stage. Do you prefer comic roles? Or are you comfortable with both comedy and tragedy?

I actually prefer the darker, more sinister roles of them all. My mind wanders to a production of Boris Godunov when I sang the role of Shuisky…he is a King-maker to be sure; but he undermines Boris every step of the way. (Delicious stuff!) Comedy is fun, Romance is sweet, but Sinister is eternal. It’s effective theatrically, and leaves a deep (if non-sympathetic) imprint. I love to darken and deaden my eyes…probably because that is the exact opposite of my real-life persona.

 

  • How do you prepare yourself emotionally to convey the comic or tragic elements of a role?

In truth, I sit quietly before any given performance for a few crucial minutes and say to myself: “What is it you want to do tonight? Who is it that you want to be??” Then I just step into the painting/mural that I have created in my own mind, but always with the audience’s fulfillment in mind.

 

  • You have sung a huge number of roles all over the world, which is quite remarkable. As a “character singer,” most of these have been secondary roles, though definitely not less important. Do you feel that, with Wagner especially, your Fach garners less attention than, say, a Heldentenor or a Heldenbariton?

Of course there is less attention to my Fach…which is all the more reason to redefine my Fach to all of my esteemed singing colleagues, directors, and producers. Every fan wants a piece of a Heldentenor/Heldenbariton. Every performer wants some of the ‘fairy-dust’ that falls from their framework. But if you can garner attention as a character singer/character actor, then you have not only strengthened your own standing, but you have likely strengthened the same for the primary characters with whom you interact. I used to teach very young acting students in college to earn extra money; and I used to tell them that their #1 job was “to make the other ‘guy’ look good”. (I’ve been trying to do the same thing for my colleagues for the last 35 years!)

 

  • Speaking of Wagner, do you find that you have to have a concentration, voice, and tessitura that is different from, say, Italian opera?

Wagner is the most all-encompassing composer in the history of humankind. It takes every fiber of your talent to execute his music and libretti with distinction. I work non-stop to imbue every word, every line, even every REST with deeper intent. When I finish with a performance, or even a rehearsal of Mime (Siegfried) for example; I am usually exhausted both physically and mentally…and I should be! Truly great artists, such as Hildegard Behrens, were able to dispatch both great ‘Wagnerian Opera’, and great–but more general–‘Italian Opera’ with equal prominence. I only wish someone could say that about me someday. That would make me very happy.

 

  • With Mime, do you sing in a more nasal and whiny tone to get into character, as opposed to singing Loge or Zorn, for instance?

Absolutely not! That is one of the ways I have set myself apart from many of my counterparts historically. Some producers actually want a whiny singer in an effort to fulfill their very simplistic conception of a character. The dirty little secret, however, is that they actually want their primary principal artists to sound better by comparison. None of them will admit this, but you asked; and now you’ve gotten more of an answer than you expected. The plain fact of the matter is that I did this once, for something very high profile. I did myself no favors, and have regretted it ever since. I was trying to play “Please the teacher”…and I reversed course immediately and tried to never do it again once I heard it. I sing like myself…and I try to sing beautifully, or I prefer to not sing at all. That does not mean I sing without character…but ‘character’ doesn’t mean constantly whining, barking, or providing nasality. Those sounds have their dramatic place; but in my world, they had better be the exception and not the rule!

 

  • Unlike most singers, you have a wonderful blog on your web site (davidcangelosi.com). I really enjoy reading it. You are funny and informative. Why don’t more singers take the step you have taken, which would be so valuable to opera lovers?

My website represents the organized musings of an opera professional. I write to express myself, or to get things off of my chest. I sometimes write reviews of performances I have seen, I tell an anecdote from my childhood, or follow a particular thought process from a production that I am working on. It’s my hope that someday there will be enough blog-entries for a book. I am only sorry that I started so late in life. I have been given journals to write in over the years, but I hate doing it by hand; that is why I started so late. When my website was upgraded a few years ago, I decided to hop on the ‘blogging-bandwagon’ since it was easy to write via laptop and post to my own site. To be fair, a lot of my colleagues do the same…I just happen to do it better!! (ha ha)

 

  • Can you name five of your all-time favorite roles in opera?

That’s an easy one, but I will not include the aforementioned ‘Mime’; and will in fact open the question to roles—most of which—I don’t even sing, except for one below.

  1. Salome (Salome)
  2. Parsifal (Parsifal)
  3. Ping (Turandot)
  4. Prunier (La Rondine)
  5. Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlos)

 

  • It is great to see you come back to Boston, since this is where you studied music and sung with the Boston Lyric Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Do you have any fondness for the city, and what places will you visit while you are here for the May 28 concert?

Since the once legendary Locke-Ober restaurant at Winter Place closed a few years ago, I guess I will have to find a new place for lunch! I used to love its elder-world, historic, old-school feel. After being around for some 130 + years, I never really envisioned that it would somehow disappear. I thought that there would always exist a clientele that wanted to step back in time, eat classic French cuisine, take a peek at John F. Kennedy’s private booth, marvel at their reflection in polished silver, and have gracious waiters tend to their dining experience. So, if you have any suggestions… I am all ears!!

djc

 

 

From Vann to Wagner

February 19th, 2016

February 19, 2016

With the 9th anniversary of the Vann Vocal Institute in Montgomery AL now storied history; I look ahead to the stunning Washington National Opera production of Francesca Zambello’s ‘American’ Ring Cycle.  To move from “Vann to Wagner” in one fell-swoop may be a bit jarring but, with any luck at all, we will triumph in this endeavor as we did in San Francisco in 2011.  I have outstanding cast-mates, a first rate production team, and there is LOTS of anticipation.  So on this Friday February 19, I will look ahead to my departure to Washington D.C. in a few days!

djc

P.s. Happy Birthday Dino

 

 

H.G.O.

October 12th, 2015

October 12, 2015

Many years ago when I made a dedicated decision to leave the ‘night-club/showroom/supper-club’ industry, and embark upon a career in opera, I had a goal in mind:
Make a debut at the ‘Big Four’ by the age of 35 (I was 28/29 years old at the time).  The so-called ‘Big Four’ consisted of (in alphabetical order) Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera.

I have learned many things since arbitrarily setting that goal, such as:
1.) Age related goals are basically unrealistic, and a poor benchmark upon which to peg an accomplishment (due to a variety of variables).
2.) A vibrant industry usually undergoes “Expanding Pie Syndrome”.
3.) Professional objectives unfold along their own time frame.

A brief explanation of points 1 and 3:
*Age is a poor arbiter and should really be discarded from our thinking for this reason…”Man plans, and God laughs.”

*Because “Man plans, and God laughs”; I would fully suggest that one allow for ‘time‘ to take care of certain aspects of your development.  This is not to say that one shouldn’t be proactive with regard to their professional trajectory, but often the ‘timing‘ is just not right…(which also is inclusive of ‘luck’, ‘scheduling’, etc etc).

To address point 2. above, I will just say that while the ‘Big Four’ are still out there to be sure, there are many additions to that original list that now include Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Seattle Opera…and others.  Not to even mention all of the international A-level houses outside the domestic North American sphere.

Still, I had always wanted to be contracted with all of the original ‘Big Four’…so just call me an old-school romantic.

My previous post entitled ‘So What Happens Now?, Where Am I Going To?’ addressed the fact that I had completed a bucket-list of singing roles; but looming just ahead of me this summer was the fact that after 25 years in the real world of professional opera, I was going to make my debut with Houston Grand Opera (H.G.O.)

I have had many other unexpected delights in my career…Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, both Paris Opera houses (Garnier/Bastille), high-end recordings in London and Hong Kong, a feature film that premiered at the Venice Film Festival; and having worked with the world’s finest directors (Opera, Film, and Broadway), the absolute greatest conductors on the planet, and I have sung side-by-side with the most supreme array of classical vocal artists I could have ever conceived.

So you can only but imagine how thrilled I will be next week to debut with the wonderful Houston Grand Opera.  I am well past the age of 35, but ‘time‘ took care of this particular (and very naïve) goal of yesteryear.  So when I hit the stage for not one, but two different productions (Tosca and Eugene Onegin ) in the coming weeks for H.G.O., I will be thinking:

H. (honored)
G. (grateful)
O. (optimistic)

With a large thank you to my agent/manager, and the artistic administration/artistic directors of H.G.O. (Houston Grand Opera) for helping me reach another storied benchmark in my professional life!

I am H.G.O. thanks to H.G.O.

djc

“So what happens now?” “Where am I going to?”

July 9th, 2015

I spoke to a colleague the other night about my first Equity job… the one that got me that ever prized ‘union card’ when so many of us were looking for a break in show-business. It was 1985, and I didn’t attend my college graduation in order to be in Brunswick, Maine to start rehearsals at ‘Brunswick Music Theatre’ (later rebranded as the ‘Maine State Theater’). That was 30 years ago this very summer… and has the time ever flown.

We presented many musicals that summer, the most memorable being a production of Evita, which was still white-hot in theatrical circles. In it, was a song that has stuck in my mind for three decades. “Another Suitcase in Another Hall”. With the following lyrics (and melody) burned into my brain: “So what happens now? Where am I going to?”

Never have those words meant so very much, and never did I expect them to have such an impact on me.

As I sit today in Fairbanks, Alaska I reflect on the fact that with tonight’s premiere performance of Hansel & Gretel, I will have now effectively closed the circle of desire on all the roles that I have ever wished to sing since focusing on a career on the opera stage in 1990. The role of the ‘Witch’ being the only one that has eluded me for decades… until now.

I am extremely grateful that the company with whom I have performed a number of times (Opera Fairbanks) has tapped me to make this role debut. This company means a lot to this community, and the finest singers in the business have come here to perform for just that reason. It also gives us singers an opportunity to try out new material- or recreate comfortable favorites- while having a meaningful seat at the artistic table.

That being said, and with hopes high for a very successful run for all of my wonderful colleagues and myself; I have begun to wonder:

“So what happens now? Where am I going to?”

How lucky am I to actually be able to say that I have now sung all the roles I have ever wished to sing? And make no mistake; I will relish every opportunity to repeat any one of the many roles I have sung–and I have several new roles upcoming that I look forward to premiering as well. But at the same time I can’t help but feel somewhat sad and bittersweet about attaining that which I have always desired: A wish-list now complete.

Perhaps the answer lies in some of the other lyrics in the same song from Evita:

“Call in three months time, and I’ll be fine.”

Looking forward to this, and many more wonderful nights on the opera stage!

A very thankful,
David Cangelosi

7/9/2015