08. July 2010 · Comments Off on First There Was The Oboe-Football Guy · Categories: Opera, Videos

You do remember Chester Pitts, yes? He went from oboe to football (smart move … no reeds with football!):

Now there’s the Football-Opera Guy! He went from football to opera. (I’m guessing fewer injuries.)

Among the oldest of them is a 33-year-old tenor whose earliest mentoring on a big stage was by a maestro well known to Bostonians. It wasn’t James Levine, although the promise of spending this summer performing under the baton of the BSO music director was what enticed Ta’u Pupu’a to Tanglewood (and ultimately was a source of disappointment when Levine had to bow out because of his continuing recovery from back surgery). No, the “conductor’’ in question was New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who back in 1995 was with the Cleveland Browns and selected Pupu’a, a defensive tackle out of Weber State University, in the fifth round of the NFL draft.


“Preparing a role in an opera is the same thing as preparing for a game,” he said. “It’s not just about putting in the time. Bill Belichick used to tell us, ‘They say practice makes perfect, but that’s wrong. You can practice all day, but if you’re not doing the things you need to do to win the game, your practice isn’t good enough. It’s perfect practice that makes perfect.’ James Levine says basically the same thing. I feel lucky to have had two giants like Belichick and Levine on my side.”

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