Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The "American Idol" of opera

It begins with 1200 aspiring opera singers and narrows down to eight finalists performing at a concert at the Metropolitan Opera. Let's face it: becoming a professional opera singer is an unlikely goal. There's only so many opera companies, and you've got to be not just good, but great. You have to bring down cries of bravo from the rafters. You've practically got to become a legend.

This article in the New York Times Magazine tells the story of the national competition, narrowing down all those singers to a select few. There's a great video attached to it. Author Daniel Bergner tells the stories of all the competitors, including the charismatic Ryan Green:

"Ryan Speedo Green stands almost six-foot-five and weighs 300 pounds and wears size 17 shoes, and on a Sunday afternoon in March he was running in place and doing jumping jacks as he waited in the wings of the Metropolitan Opera for his turn to sing. It was the semifinals of the most important operatic voice competition in America, and Ryan was seized by such anxiety that he felt his massive body vanishing. Seventeen of the 22 singers left in the contest had gone before him; to his ears their performances were spectacular. He was fighting off the feeling that he didn’t belong here."

Read Sing for Your Life.

No comments: