Monday, April 04, 2011

10 Questions for....Darryl Taylor

Last Sunday, countertenor Darryl Taylor stepped in vocally for Jochen Kowalski in Long Beach Opera's second performance of Philip Glass's Akhnaten. He's kindly agreed to answer some questions here, in the format popularized by Brian at Out West Arts.

1. A singer is more likely to grow up dreaming of becoming Placido Domingo or Cesare Sierpi than Alfred Deller. When and how did you discover that you are a countertenor?
My model voice was in the tenor range and it was during my studies in this
fach that it was pointed out to me that I might be a countertenor. I went
on the record a few discs as a tenor that were fairly successful. Still,
the altissimo range kept calling to me. I decided to give the countertenor
inside me wings and to let it fly. I've had tremendous opportunities to
present themselves since then and I couldn't be happier about the change.
And no, I don't sing in both fachs. It's an either/or proposition.
2. What are your favorite roles?
Handel's Medoro and Tolomeo; Britten's Oberon. Glass' Akhnaten fit me very well, too!
3. What's the role in your fach that you will never, ever sing, and why?
Hmm, thant's an interesting question. I doubt that I'll sing the bearded
lady in The Rake's Progress. I know someo other counters sing it, but I'd
be shy about taking it on. I don't think I'd say never, ever...but it
would take a bit to persuade me.
4. What role outside your fach would you sing if you could? (Patricia Racette said "Cavaradossi" in response to this. My dream role is Isolde - a big stretch for a chorus alto!)
There are a few that intrigue me. Probably  a big, sweeping Calaf!
5. What singer, living or dead, would you love to share the stage with?
I think one learns so much from sharing the stage with great artists. I
can only imagine what I'd learn from singing next to Leontyne Price. She's
an artist that has reduced me to speechlessness, on more than one
6. Who is the opera director you'd most like to work with?
I'd love to work with Ken Cazan. I had the pleasure of working with him
once and find him to be a motivating genius!
7. You accidentally leave your iPod in a pants pocket and it goes through the wash. What do you miss most?
Gosh, I can't say. It's like choosing a favorite child. I listen to music
quite a lot, in various styles. The thing I'd most miss if I couldn't
recover it would be Aretha Franklin's tribute to Dinah Washington.
8. How much time did you have to learn or restudy Akhenaten for last week's LBO performance?
I was called on Thursday to cover a Saturday performance, so I learned the
part in two days. I had another week of work before my performance on
9. What do you do for fun when you're not singing/rehearsing/teaching/learning new music?
I enjoy travel, going to the beach, and jogging.
10. What are you reading this week?
Brushing up on my German! And reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "The Shadow of the Wind."
Bonus question 11: What's your latest recording?
I have a new CD, "How Sweet the Sound - a charm of spirituals" on Albany
Records, and maintain a channel at My web site is


FlutePrayer said...

Darryl's AKHNATEN was ravishing, especially when heard from the pit. I'm still smiling!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you for reading and commenting! (Great work from the orchestra, of course.)

calimac said...

7. This is why I'd never have my only copy of a recording on the ipod. I rip CDs, and then I keep the CDs.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The question is only half serious. Brian's version is funnier: "Your iPod is destroyed by a vengeful mezzo. Which tracks on it would you miss the most?" Maybe I will still his version!

calimac said...

Well, that's the difference between mezzos and sopranos. My soprano gave me my ipod as a present.