I try to rehearse the way I perform so performance morning is the same as rehearsal morning. Get up and make coffee. Read the newspaper and answer emails. My wife Brooke and I have breakfast - 2 soft boiled eggs - 2 pieces of toast - sliced tomato and cheddar cheese with bubbly water - every morning.
I also use morning affirmations about my life and my day to prepare me to be positive throughout the day. Negative energy can be strong so I try to affirm what I am grateful for and maintain an attitude that my day will be productive and fulfilling.
I always try to fully warm up in the day and then just rest until show time. Depending on the length of my role I will review my music and staging. Silvio is a very small but vocally demanding role so being warm is the priority for show time. To get warm I sing through the entire role after some basic vocalise. When I arrive at the theater I enjoy the ritual of being in the make-up chair and getting all prepared as the character with wigs and costume. I will take 10 minutes or so to gather my thoughts and prepare for a good performance. My attitude towards going out on stage helps my performance. Like a horse just before the race.
I am a bel canto singer and my teachers were old school Italian taught and they helped prepare me for Silvio. I love singing Leoncavallo but I rarely get the opportunity to sing his work so I am embracing this chance and would like the chance to do more in the future! I can relate to the character of Silvio easily because his passion is great. It ultimately leads to his demise but i can relate to that kind of fervent love.
I try not to rely on ritual so that if something goes wrong I am able to perform at a high level and not be distracted by what might or might not happen throughout the day of performance. Of course I need to be warm and well prepared but beyond that it's just little things like not eating to heavy before the show and taking time to collect my thoughts and energy.
It is important of course that my wife is with me when I am performing. Over our last 4 years a together we have made many sacrifices to be with one another when so often couples in performance especially opera are separated for most of the year. It is always great to get Brook's feedback about my performing and I love having family and friends in the audience for a show. I feel supported knowing that people are routing for me.
Pagliacci is the quintessential Italian Spaghetti and meatballs opera! The music is as Schmaltzy as it gets and I mean that in a good way. The most payoff per note out of any opera ever!
To see the upcoming production of Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, please contact Edmonton Opera Box Office at 780-429-1000.