Monday, March 10, 2014

Four more from Faust


This season, The Atlanta Opera celebrates Chorus Master Walter Huff’s 25th anniversary with the company. The opera chorus for the production of Charles Gounod’s Faust features 46 local singers, carefully selected and rehearsed by Maestro Huff.

For today’s post, we’ve asked four veteran members of our chorus to share their favorite Atlanta Opera memories.


Josh Borden, during
Il Trovatore
(1996)
Baritone Josh Borden made his Atlanta Opera debut in our 1994 production of Bellini’s Norma and has appeared in 43 operas since. He remembers his first rehearsal with the company, "I was in awe of those around me, wondering how I got to be so fortunate as to sing with the chorus.” Mezzo-soprano Lenna Turner shares his sentiment. “I literally thought I would pass out at each rehearsal. The first time I ever saw the Atlanta Opera Chorus perform [Mozart’s Requiem] I thought, 'Oh my God! I have to do that. It was the most beautiful sound. And now to be in the middle of that sound as a chorus member…it still seems surreal.”
John Young, tenor
For many singers, performing in our chorus remains a constant even as their personal and professional lives develop. Tenor John Young began his Atlanta Opera career in 1991 and says he’s been in too many productions to count. “When I first became a part of the chorus I was one of the youngest people. Twenty-three years later and all of a sudden I'm one of the ‘seasoned’ singers! It's amazing to be part of an organization for such a long period of time. I've seen many changes and lots of growth. I’ve performed with The Atlanta Opera at Symphony Hall, the Fox Theater, Civic Center, and now CEPAC. Being a part of the organization as a young singer provides an immeasurable amount of experience and knowledge needed to be successful.”

Twenty years after his company debut, Josh Borden remains in awe. He recalls just a few of his favorite memories as a chorister, including a performance at the 1996 Olympic Games. He says there have been quite a few unusual moments, such as “when they introduced snakes and monkeys (who don't get along) in Aida and when the men scalping Azucena in Il Trovatore actually removed her wig during the Open Dress Rehearsal, and Marianne Cornetti continued singing with passion as if it were planned.”
Tenor Greg Sterchi (rt) during a
1992 production of Carmen

Tenor Greg Sterchi has been performing with the Atlanta Opera since 1990 and has had his share of memories.“One of the most memorable productions was the 1992 Carmen which was set in the current time period. Ken Cazan was the director. Instead of gypsies, we were terrorists toting AK-47s and we wore spandex and polyester costumes, Ray-Bans, and slicked-back hair. In typical Ken Cazan fashion, it was full of sex and violence!  I met my partner of 10 years during that production and built friendships that exist today.”
Lenna Turner

Josh Borden says, "Above all, there are magical moments that seem to creep into each show.” According to Lenna Turner, she fell in love with opera through the experience of performing in the chorus: “I fell instantly in love with an art form that I had very little exposure to growing up. I always say 'I can’t believe I get to sing this with these talented people.'"

The Atlanta Opera is honored to be part of the tradition of musical excellence in our community. We thank our tireless chorus for their years of talent and commitment, and look forward to sharing many more seasons making opera magic with our wonderful colleagues!


Buy your tickets now to see these and other "seasoned" singers in the Atlanta Opera Chorus. Click here

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