Last Sunday, I read the part of Luigi in Puccini’s Il Tabarro, a role I love and an important milestone. Three months ago I read Idomeneo to test my strength and stamina. That was satisfying in the sense that I had no problem handling the tenor tessitura. Luigi is another experience altogether. It was to see if I could work on details of finer coordination. One of the singers who knew me only as a baritone from a few years ago could not believe I had successfully made the change and sounded comfortable in the role. The aria excerpt I posted two posts ago, as representative of nerves getting the better of me in a coaching, was definitely improved upon here! The performance was well-received by the colleagues who were present including a student of mine who jumped in and read Tinca. There is plenty that can be improved on, but this is an indisputable step in the right direction. And more steps forward since then, as I prepare for a reading of Radamès in three weeks with the goal of truly enjoying the process of learning this extremely difficult role. I include the reading here, cutting only the two or three short moments when it was necessary to stop and fix an error that stopped the flow.
I thank Susan Morton of SingThrough Central and the very friendly colleagues for the opportunity to try the role out in a safe, friendly and supportive environment.
To the many singers who have had to make changes later in the game, I encourage you to keep putting one foot in front of the other. If I can get this far with the deficits of a bass-baritone past, not only can I make it the rest of the way, but anyone who puts his/her mind to the task of completing the journey to mastery of his/her voice can achieve it and truly enjoy singing!