Weston Hurt Takes on the Role of Doctor Falke in Revenge of the Bat (Die Fledermaus) May 1 & 3 at Bass Performance Hall.
Q: You are known for your portrayals of heroes and villains, but comedy is another beast altogether. What do you look forward to most, as you step into the wickedly funny role of the Dr. Falke next spring?
A: Truth be told, I haven’t had the opportunity to do much comedy on stage. Early in my training, during a summer at Opera in the Ozarks, I had the opportunity to sing Dr. Bartolo in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, a role which I look forward to resurrecting at some point in my career. It was the magic of that show that showed me how tricky comedy can be, but also how fun it can be when everything happens at the right time in the right place! Upon first reading, I was immediately taken by the Iago-istique character that Falke displays.
He is making his “best friend” think he is going to jail, then convinces him to go to a party where he encourages him to cheat on his wife - all for what, because he was left wasted in public dressed like a bat?? There’s definitely a darker side to this character that I look forward to balancing with the lighthearted telling of this beloved operetta.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring young opera singers, as they look to find their place within this fiercely competitive industry?
A: Make sure that a life in a subjective fish bowl is truly what you want! Seriously though, I encourage every young singer to dig deep to see if there are other passions or interests that could bring them happiness as a career.
Once they make the decision to become an opera singer I encourage them to learn as much about this industry as they possibly can. Who are the great singers of the past? Who are the great directors, conductors, scene designers, visionaries? Who are the people that run the companies where they hope to be employed? How did THEY get started? Who are the managers that represent the artists that they admire? Who are other singers that those managers represent?
The more information one knows about the industry that they hope to have a career in can only be helpful. The other thing I encourage is language study. Deciding to pursue a career as an opera singer is deciding to live your career mostly in foreign languages - so, don’t let them be foreign! Learn Italian, French, German, Russian, Czech! …whatever repertoire your voice is most likely to spend most of its time in, LEARN THE LANGUAGE(s)!!!