Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Dukes of Opera

Earlier this week, I shared some tidbits about tenor Brian Stucki, who will sing the role of Almaviva. Today we’ll hear from Lucas Meachem, the baritone behind the barber. I chatted with the man who’ll play the title role in The Barber of Seville and got some interesting answers to my questions. (I like to ask unusual questions, like “What superpower would you most like to have?” It always makes for a lively conversation.)

What is the hardest part about singing Figaro?
I’ve done this role so frequently that it’s become very natural. Vocally, the entrance aria is difficult. It can be such a fast piece that you’ve got to be on top of your game. As far as the show, it’s all about feeling out the audience. The audience wants to be entertained, but you can’t work too hard at being funny. You have to make the audience come to you. You have to be authentic and not pander to the audience.

What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?
We weren’t the wealthiest of families, so I always got creative with my costumes. One of my favorites was what I called “the fat farmer,” which came about because I already owned a pair of overalls. I took some pillows and stuffed them in the front, then got a piece of straw to stick in my mouth. Everyone got a kick out of it.

If you auditioned for “American Idol,” what song would you sing?
I actually did audition for them. I sang Babyface’s “One Last Cry.” I guess I wasn’t really what they were looking for, but it works out well because I really enjoy what I’m doing now. I still like to go out and sing karaoke in bars, though. I’ll have to find a place in Denver to hit up.

What opera character do you think you’re most like?
Definitely Figaro. He’s a happy-go-lucky guy who really wants to help people out. He treats everyone in the opera the way they deserve to be treated and he loves what he does. I think Figaro’s just a really cool guy.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I’m a big fan of the classic dip cones from Dairy Queen – the vanilla ones dipped in chocolate. But I also like Moose Tracks, which is vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups and fudge. I like to keep in shape, so I balance out the ice cream with yoga or playing basketball. I also just started learning to box, which has been really cool.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I love video games and have really gotten into online video games. I’m playing "Halo Wars" right now. It’s great to get away from the real world for a little bit, but I also use it to catch up with my friends: we can talk about what’s going on in our lives while we’re waiting for the game to load. When I was in San Francisco, one of my friends from the opera introduced me to her husband’s friend, Patrick, who played on a softball team. I started playing with him and met a bunch of people. I still stay in touch through the game, especially with Patrick. He’s one of my closest friends.

If you had to donate a million dollars to a charity, what organization would you choose?
I’d have to say the Humane Society. I’ve done concerts to raise money for them and they’re such a worthy cause. Pet ownership is a responsibility that, unfortunately, not everyone takes seriously. People have the tools to improve their own quality of life, but pets depend on us to make sure they’re happy and safe.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about our soon-to-be barber - I know I did. See you next Tuesday!


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