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In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

First time Figaro

Feb 22, 2012 7:58:00 AM
By BLO Staff

My name is  Jonathan Beyer and I will be singing Figaro, aka “The Barber,” in  The Barber of
Seville
, here at Boston Lyric Opera. I am beyond thrilled to be
here. This will be my debut with the company and my debut in this role.
Although Figaro’s aria is probably the most famous in the entire repertoire, I
haven’t sung any of it until now.
It
is a thrilling experience.
I
actually am no stranger to Boston.
I am from Chicago
originally but spent my first two years of college at the Boston Conservatory
studying composition and piano. My junior year of college I decided to head
back to Chicago
and give singing a try. I’m pretty sure I made the right choice. Not only
because I've enjoyed success as a singer but because I was a pretty
lousy composer! ☺

Performing a role for the first time can be rather daunting. My fellow
castmates have already had huge successes in major houses singing these roles.
There is a desire to make sure that I keep up with the brilliance and
experience they bring to each rehearsal. Each has a fantastic bag of vocal
fireworks and hilarious stage gags. Everyone is so fantastic and I am confident
that this production will be not only musically astounding but also a laugh
riot!
The
conductor for our production is Maestro David Angus. He is really spectacular
and has such a wonderful feel and energy for the music of Rossini. He has been
working with me closely as we determine which ornaments to use for this
production. It is tradition to add a great deal of flourishes, additional high
notes, and crazy coloratura passages to each piece. We get to start from
scratch and pick ornaments that are flashy but tasteful and really represent
the drama on stage.
Our
director is Doug Varone. He is not only a great director but has a very
successful dance company and extensive dance background. He has really been
helping us this week create our characters as well as making some fantastic
visuals for the audience. It is a very physical and fun production so far!
We've finished staging Act 1 … a rather remarkable accomplishment to stage 300
pages in 4 days!
The
cast is filled with amazing performers and singers. John Tessier as Count
Almaviva has mind blowing high notes and wickedly fast coloratura. As Bartolo,
Steven Condy is not only a great singer but an absolutely hilarious actor. His
comic antics are matched with the hilarious comic timing of our Berta, Judith
Christin. David Cushing has an incredibly impressive sound and Gregory
Gerbrandt not only sings a beautiful Fiorello but plays some mean guitar in
this show as well.
That
leaves us with the  Rosina of Sarah Coburn. I
have been completely obsessed with her voice since I first heard it when we
were singing at Chicago Opera Theater in 2006. I have never experienced such
beauty, flexibility, power, and style in a soprano. Her singing is exquisite,
she is absolutely gorgeous, charming on stage. Being able to share the stage
with this remarkable talent is such an honor.

I cannot wait to perform this show with her!

Topics: behind the scenes, from rehearsal, Backstage at BLO, Rossini, The Barber of Seville

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