Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Man from O.P.E.R.A.

I love my job. I get to have robo-makeovers, I get to produce videos, and I get to talk with opera singers. Today we hear from tenor Brian Stucki, who will sing the role of Almaviva, the young romantic itching to capture Rosina’s heart.

Now, dear readers, these aren’t your standard opera questions. I like to put a personality to the voice and learn a little bit about who these people are when they’re not on stage. So I talked to Brian and found an interesting man with an incredibly close-knit family. Read on:

How would you describe Almaviva?
He’s an interesting character because of what we know from The Marriage of Figaro – it’s interesting to balance the two. I think Almaviva really believes in love and Rosina isn’t just a conquest for him, there’s something special about her.

What do you do when you’ve had a really bad day?
My wife and I travel with our kids, and there’s nothing better after a rough day than coming home to a hotel room full of family. It’s great to unwind and read bedtime stories…it really brings things back into perspective.

If you could spend a day living in a TV show or movie, which one would it be?
If I didn’t have to suffer the consequences, I’d like to spend the day in Arrested Development, the now-canceled FOX show about a really dysfunctional family. I think it’d be fascinating to just observe the characters. We also travel with the DVDs and the show has become comfort viewing. No matter how bad your day was, you’re likely in a better situation than the family.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was four, I joked that I wanted to be an opera singer. I didn’t know any singers and had never heard opera, but it made people laugh, so I kept saying it. Later in elementary school, I wanted to be a doctor because everyone else wanted that, too. But then the opera world came knocking at my door, and I answered.

If you could trade lives with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
My wife. In traveling, she sees a totally different experience of what I do. When we travel as a family, we’re on the road a lot. There’s lots of things she could be doing, but she’s made the sacrifice to keep us together and works so hard at maintaining structure for the kids. From the outside, this seems like such a glamorous life, but it’s not easy by any stretch, especially for the families of opera singers.

What superhero did you most like when you were young?
I was always drawn to Superman. I grew up in the era of the movies and was always compelled by the fantasy of discovering some hidden power. Superman has all these amazing powers and he’s always discovering new ones. What kid wouldn’t think that’s great?

What opera character would you want to go out drinking with?
The Queen of the Night – because she’s only on stage for a few minutes, and there’s clearly this huge story between her and Sarastro and I think it’d be fascinating to find out what happened. It seems like they were on the same team, and then something happened. We only hear Sarastro’s side of things and I’d love to hear her take on it.

Learn more about Brian at the Meet the Artists panel at Tattered Cover (LoDo) on January 27 at noon. You can also visit his website and hear him sing "Ecco ridente" from Barber. And stay tuned for later in the week: I talk with baritone Lucas Meachem, who will sing the role of Figaro. See you on Thursday!


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