Who Am I?

Another show is over, and I am finally home again.  As usual, there is a bit of a transition period as I adjust to home life again, and home life adjusts to me.  Last night I was back at the pizza place making food again, but at the same time trying to run the music for my upcoming recital over in my head.  These first days home, or away for that matter, are always a little difficult, as I struggle to figure out who I really am.  Am I a stay-at-home Dad and pizza maker that also sings opera, or am I an opera singer who takes care of his kids and makes pizza on the side?

I suppose the real question is, “Does it matter?”  The obvious answer to the first question is that I am both.  I am equally a singing Dad and a pizza making Tenor.  Perhaps it just comes with the territory, but somehow I feel that I ought to be more of one than the other, especially as I try to adjust from one role to the next.

Taking care of the kids yesterday, I was still in opera singer mode.  I dropped Ruby off at pre-school, put Edward down for a nap, and pulled out my recital music.  I ran all of my pieces over and over again, putting the finishes touches on some, and trying to memorize that last phrase or page of others, but I was fully focused on the fact that in 9 days I will be performing it all.  When I went to work in the evening, I was still thinking about my recital, and audition season, and upcoming gigs.  I thought it ironic and sad that I was stuck working for minimum wage, while just a few days earlier I had been performing to thunderous applause on the opera stage.  I did not feel like a pizza maker.

But the thing is, this has happened many times before.  I will come home from a gig feeling all pumped about my singing career, but a month later I’ll be finding it hard to get any practicing time in.  I will be in full parent mode and my thoughts of opera stardom will be like a dream of someone else’s life.  And not to be biased one way or the other, I must say that when I start out a show somewhere far away, the first several days are spent mostly missing my family and not feeling like an opera singer at all.  My ideal scenario would be to travel around singing with my family by my side, but that’s not currently realistic, and a little selfish of me, I know.

This may just be how the life of a Tenor Dad is, but I find it vaguely dissatisfying.  I want to know who I am.  I want to know that I am an opera singer with a family that I can support and take care of, or else I want to know that I am a stay at home family man who goes out and sings opera.  And actually, when I put it that way, it’s pretty clear that I want the former.  The trick is remembering that a month from now, and figuring out how to make it happen.

Posted in Opera, Parenting, Singing.


  1. You are a very talented man who loves his wife and children. You may make pizza but you are so much more than just a pizza maker. You may sing opera but again you are so much more. You are you and you make the world a better place and life so much more enjoyable.

  2. Yes, I’m going through that transition again as well. It is not the easiest and is certainly frustrating and yes, dissatisfying.

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