It’s something special to be able to create a character for the first time ever. I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best up-and-coming composers at Yale. Whether it’s originating a role or realizing a vocal arrangement for the first time, I’ve been reminded endlessly that Yalies aren’t satisfied to recreate. We make amazing new things.
My first opera at Yale was a new adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. The composer, Alex Weiser ‘11, is now pursuing a career as a professional composer in New York.
Andrew Maillet ‘11+1, prolific arranger and music director for the Yale Alley Cats when I was just a freshman, is now pioneering his one-man “parlor pop” act as Cony Sharkbite, zany singer-songwriter extraordinaire. Two of my friends and I journeyed to Manhattan to see his premiere, surrounded by Yale alums and even Tony Award winners.
This year has been the capstone in my journey through new works. In October, I had the honor of appearing in the premiere of The Skylight Room, by Dan Rubins ’16, which has already become one of my favorite musicals ever. Dan wrote the show in the summer after his freshman year. Check out the YDN preview here.
This month, I appeared in Harold, a silent film accompanied by a live opera performance. I sang the voice of Harold. The show was conceived and created by 3 freshman in TD (the best residential college!), Jordan Plotner ’17, Gian-Paul Bergeron ’17 and John Chirikjian ’17. Check out the YDN review here.
Today, I’m in the premiere of one more new work: Dan Rubins is writing a new musical based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book as his final presentation for Prof. Michele Stepto’s fantastic seminar, “Literature for Young People.”
It’s something that happens only at Yale – so many new works each year, and this is just a small handful. I can’t wait to see what these amazing composers do next.