Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pamela Rosenberg was Wrong About This (In a Good Way)

Found in email from the Merola Opera program, in an interview with baritone Lucas Meachem:
Secondly, I’ll never forget walking up to the War Memorial Opera House for the first time. I remember looking up at it, and thinking for the first time in my life, “I’ve made it.” 
However, my bubble quickly burst in our first meeting, where Pamela Rosenberg said to us singers that only one or two of us would make it in this career. Rather than taking that advice negatively, I took it as a personal challenge to succeed. In that moment, I began to work even harder. I thought, “I have to be that one, or that one or two.” I wanted to be that minority of singers who made it. Her talk inspired me not just that summer at Merola, but beyond.
Only one or two? Meachem was in the 2003 summer program, which apparently had 29 singers, stage directors, and coaches. At the very least, the following singers from that year went on to solid professional careers:
  • Jane Archibald
  • Meredith Arwady
  • Joshua Bloom
  • Arturo Chacon-Cruz
  • Nikki Einfeld
  • Thomas Glenn
  • Joseph Kaiser (then a baritone, now a tenor)
  • Lucas Meachem
  • Elza van den Heever
Some of these singers are bigger stars than others, and there may well be other singers with solid local careers, but that's way more than one or two. Perhaps the Merola program was especially good at talent-spotting that year, or perhaps as a group they just worked harder, but that's a pretty impressive group of singers.

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