It’s National Opera Week! We have guest blogs this week from members of the Utah Opera family, explaining their love and relationship with opera. Are you also touched by the opera bug? Tell us about it on our Facebook page, or comment on any of the Opera Week blogs!
The Opera Bug
by Julie McBeth
After getting bitten by the ‘opera bug’ at a music camp in high school, I pursued a career as a professional singer until I discovered I was not cut out for the lifestyle. Spending only a few weeks with each company before moving on to the next performances and not seeing my home for months at a time just didn’t seem like living to me. Luckily, I’ve always felt fulfilled by any sort of performance regardless of the size of role or theater. Singing in the Opera Chorus (or performing an acting role in an opera as a Supernumerary) satisfies my creative expression needs and has the added bonus of allowing me to more deeply engage with all of the artists involved in each production. I love the collaborative spirit of opera: how all of the art forms come together to create a sum greater than each of the parts and how the artists who participate support each other and work together.
My favorite Utah Opera experiences are numerous, but two particularly stand out. First was, acting one of the attendants of Cleopatra in Julius Caesar — wearing fantastic 1920s era costumes and doing a Busby Berkeley style production number during two of the arias. And the second was as a chorus member of The Grapes of Wrath — playing numerous characters and incorporating challenging choreography into our staging.