For thirty-five years I’ve maintained that the classic works of the American Musical Theater are fit to be in the repertoire of opera houses. In many ways they ARE our opera. Many were composed for “legit,” unamplified voices, with sizable choruses, orchestras and dancers.
Ah, the arguments I’ve heard about this, along with “what makes it an opera?” arguments.
Me? I wish we could do some Sondheim here in Opera San José, being the Sondheim fan that I am, and yes, I’d love to do the other musicals Mr. Gockley mentions as well. (Gee, the last — and only! — time I’m played Showboat was about thirty-five years ago. I remember it specifically because I was only subbing two shows for someone and on my way to the first show someone ran a red light in front of me, my car was totalled and my oboe unplayable.) I’ve always thought a summer series of some of the American musical theater classics would be so darn cool. Okay, selfishly, this would also mean I finally get some summer work, since I’m mostly unemployed all summer long and it gets rather difficult both financially and emotionally! When I’m not playing at all I start to wonder if I’m really a musician.