I always love the opportunities that the City of the Arts gives me to use my opera training. I was thrilled to go coach the singing actors for Twin City Stage’s production of “Lend Me a Tenor”. The show is a farce of hilarious innuendos, plot twists, and mistaken identities. It’s beautifully written with perfect interpretations of how the singing world was, and is.
This is some of the most fun I’ve had working on a show. Getting to work on a farce was a real treat. Plus, I got to use my experience with opera to really help these gentlemen. I accepted the challenge of teaching two singing actors how to sing Verdi.
Verdi is amazing and his music is some of the best in history, and some of the hardest. Any of you familiar with that splendid duet from Don Carlo; you know, “Dio, che nell’alma infondere”? The one with the ridiculously high tenor line that Placido sings with that luscious spinning bel canto we all love. This gem is in the show, and meant to be sung legitimately.
So, how did I teach singing actors to sing Verdi in two months? Well, neither are ready for their MET debut, but hilarious vocalises, opera-isms, and lots of mimicking led the way to more confidence. After numerous coachings, the guys really seemed to get a handle on how to make an “opera” sound, and then we threw on the cherry to make it sparkle, all they need now is an audience.
The actors have done phenomenal in their preparation for this production. The characters are hilarious and very thought out, and the costumes and set are just incredible – I couldn’t be more proud. You do not want to miss one of the best written shows of all time.
Twin City Stage’s production of “Lend Me a Tenor” runs Feb. 1-3 & 7-10 with shows at 8pm and Sunday Matinees at 2pm. A huge congratulations, cast and crew. Break a leg tonight, the audience will love you!