Infamous Gigs: The Crazed, Lute-Crackin’, Bag Whackin’ Butler

Sometimes, despite all of your careful planning, rehearsing, and memorizing, things can go wildly out of your control. There’s nothing you can do to avoid this. No number of back-up plans or contingencies can protect you from that most dreadful of earthly problems: other people. This is the story of the only time my voice […]

The Opera Alphabet (Which I Will Now Rap For You)

As you know, my wife is out of town. So I did this today. Happy Friday! Aida’s assaulted and attacked and angers Amneris Also Andrea Chenier agitates all Paris But Billy Budd’s bod by Benjamin Britten Is Bangin’ and Boomin’. Opera bug has bitten. Callas can clearly communicate Carmen And Cecilia’s Cosi is iconically charming […]

Infamous Gigs: My Wife’s Boss

Everyone there knew I was a singer. Her co-workers would ask my wife what I did for work, and she would tell them that I was a singer, and they were all very impressed. She would also tell them that I was a very good singer, but I don’t know if they believed her. I […]

Sleep Softly: Classical Lullabies

The other night, as my wife and I were trying to watch some television program that was not appropriate for children, we noticed my daughter sneaking down the stairs. She was upset because her lullaby CD was not working and she couldn’t sleep. There was a very good reason as to why her lullaby CD […]

Banned From the Kids’ Table

I was contacted recently by a site called Mothering in the Middle, wondering if I would be interested in being a regular contributor to their blog about “midlife” parenting. Their site deals specifically with older parents, or rather with people who became parents closer to middle age than middle school. When you get pregnant at 35 […]

Bad Second Careers For Opera Singers

Look, being an opera singer is hard. Many people undertake years of training, only to find themselves with no work and no prospects. Some singers make a go of it for a while, but then either the jobs of their voices dry up. And there are still others who are legitimate opera singers, but who […]

To Be a Better Singer, Stop Caring About How You Sound

There is an epidemic going around these days that I feel the need to weigh in on.  It has been around for as long as I can remember, was probably around long before my time, and I too fell victim to this plague when I was first starting out as a musician.  Amateur singers, professional […]

The (Opera Singer) Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument; where there is silence, let me sow voice; where there is repression, emotional outbursts; where there is stage fright, self-confidence; where there is dullness, drama; where there is cracking, support; and where there is Bieber, Puccini. O St. Cecilia, grant that I may not so much seek to be entertained, […]

When in Doubt, Blame Your Parents

It’s parent-teacher conference week once again, which means that my wife and I got to sit down with the people who hang out with our kids all day and hear how they don’t do any of the bad things that they love to do.  Seriously, they are basically angels dropped out of heaven directly into […]

Should the Opera World Ban Smoking?

For those of you who don’t follow this sort of thing, there has been a bit of controversy in the opera world recently regarding smoking.  West Australian Opera, who is sponsored in large part by Healthway (the independently run but still government sponsored anti-smoking association), was possibly thinking about performing Bizet’s classic and beloved opera Carmen, […]