As many of you know from following my adventures on social media, I have spent the past two months setting up my life in Hamburg, Germany and starting a new job with “The Phantom of the Opera.” It has truly been a whirlwind. In some ways I can’t believe how much we accomplished in a relatively short time, and in other ways it feels like I have known my cast and crew for years. Growing up in New Jersey, an hour from New York, from an early age I fell in love with Musical Theater. I was extremely fortunate that I had a family that encouraged and supported my interests, and so I had a childhood filled with visits to see shows in New York City. I have seen countless shows and Broadway legends, and as a child and young teen, wore out many a CD from whatever show I was currently obsessed with. I originally had dreams of being in “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables,” or anything written by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Then I was introduced to opera, tickets to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera, and I was hooked. I still loved musical theater, but I knew that I wanted to sing opera. The truth is, I almost didn't want to take on this adventure. Once I jumped into the world of opera and began my training it seemed to me that these two worlds; Opera and Musical Theater were mutually exclusive, with the exception of when opera singers will use a show tune as an encore on a recital, make a fun cd, or do a concert version at Lincoln center.
When I moved to Germany last year, another adventure, and the opportunity to audition for “The Phantom of the Opera” came, I again questioned the relationships between these two worlds. If I took this opportunity would I be able to maintain a relationship with my Opera world? Then I got the music, and realized, ok, only an opera singer can take on some of these roles.
Since starting at “The Phantom of the Opera,” I have realized that it is a musical that needs and brings in people from various backgrounds. We have actors from the stage, we have classically trained ballerinas that have danced in houses across the United States and Europe, we have opera singers with vast experience, and yes we have extremely talented musical theater performers who have done everything from Operetta to Sister Act. I have realized that this unique world of “Phantom,” that brings all of these worlds together, is one that I really love and enjoy. I have also realized that maybe we should merge these worlds more often, and learn from each other. It has occurred to me that maybe we shouldn't be so concerned with fitting into specific worlds or genres, but be more concerned about how we can bring our talent and love for what we do to an audience, regardless of what that audience is coming to see.