Friday, August 12, 2011
Cast Corner - Paul Just (Tenor) on Tahiti and Opera
Q: What excites you about this opera?
A: For me, this opera walks that very fine line between musical theatre and opera. It has all those exciting syncopated and jazzy rhythms and crunchy, yet satisfying chords that you find in the musical theatre of this era, but the arching, grandiose lines that you so often associate with opera are found here, as well; most often heard in the scenes with Dinah. The juxtaposition of the two very distinctive styles is blended wholly and so very organically by Bernstein. It can satisfy the palate of most any music-theatre goer.
A: My first experience hearing an opera was when I was two when my father would play Minnesota Public Radio for me when they laid me down to sleep in my crib. Even as a two year old, I still have memories of laying in my crib and hearing the first chords of Bizet's CARMEN and my parents told me that I didn't fall asleep until the final chords of the opera. That should have been a telling factor about my choice of career. Fast forward to my first year of university when I was cast as Ben Budge in Benjamin Britten's re-imagining of John Gay's THE BEGGAR'S OPERA. It was a great show. Lots of good, fun, rollicking music for the Men of the Road. Britten has never been my favorite composer to sing or listen to, but his re-working of this opera opened my mind to him, if only a little. But, being on the stage, working as a unit with fellow-singers, a conductor, orchestra - it was something that I never forgot and I love it today as much as I did then. Well, perhaps a little more.
Keep checking back to hear more news and info about our upcoming performances of Trouble in Tahiti as part of the Vancouver International Fringe Festival.