Texapolitan Opera Roadshow – Mostly True stories from Opera professionals without the pipe and bowtie
ON HIATUS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE AIRS EVERY SUNDAY AT 11 PM ET – PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHOW CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE AND SITUATIONS. IT MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES
About the Show
Raised in the Piney Woods of East Texas, metropolinated by my career choice, my mission is to pull back the curtain, remove the velvet ropes, and give the public at large an insight into the lives of the real people behind opera in the United States and abroad.
You won’t hear about fin-de-siecle Paris and the anti-imperialist overtones exhibited in compositions during that time, Bach’s 12th son’s dog’s name, or Alban Berg’s distaste for liver… we’re just going to talk to each other, like we do.
Once a week, I’ll invite you to sit down with me and one of my friends as we tell the stories that we tell each other across drinks every time we get the pleasure of working together. We welcome you to sit back, relax, pop a top or two, and get to know the people behind the curtain. More info HERE
About the Host
With a commanding voice and sense of drama, baritone Michael Mayes is making waves for his consummate portrayals of opera’s iconic characters in the baritone repertoire. Originally from Conroe, Texas, Michael has performed with several opera companies across the United States including Arizona Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Madison Opera, Connecticut Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Skylight Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Opera Carolina. Mr. Mayes joined the roster of the Metropoltan Opera in the 2009-2010 season, and performed Conte Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Des Moines Metro Opera, Marcello in La Boheme with Duluth Festival Opera, Shreveport Opera, The New Britain Symphony Orchestra, and Eugene Opera. He also sang Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Oklahoma Ballet and San Antonio Symphony, and Gulglielmo in Cosi fan tutte with Arizona Opera, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris with the Santa Fe Symphony, the title role in Don Giovanni at Shreveport Opera, Silvio in I Pagliacci with Kentucky Opera, and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Sugar Creek Symphony and Song. Upcoming engagements include Valentin in Faust with Opera Birmingham, Papageno in The Magic Flute with Michigan Opera Theatre, and Verdi’s Requiem. In the 2008-2009 season Mr. Mayes sang the title role in Don Giovanni with Connecticut Opera, Marcello in La Boheme, with Skylight Opera Theatre, Conte di Luna in Il trovatore with Eugene Opera, and Morales in Carmen and the Motorcycle Cop in Dead Man Walking with Ft. Worth Opera.
Engagements for 2007-2008 included Dandini in La Cenerentola with Connecticut Opera, Lancelot in Augusta Opera’s Camelot, Top in The Tenderland with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Marcello in La Boheme with Opera on the James, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette with PORTOpera, and Peter in the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s production of Hansel und Gretel. In and extension of his involvement with the development of Margaret Garner, by Richard Danielpour, Mr. Mayes appeared as Edward Gaines opposite Mezzo-Soprano, Denyce Graves at Opera Carolina to critical acclaim.
A graduate of the University of North Texas, his operatic roles include Silvio in I Pagliacci, Mercutio and Lord Capulet in Romeo et Julette, Dandini in La Cenerentola, The Librettist in Viva la Mamma!, John Proctor in The Crucible, Don Giovanni, Escamillo in Carmen, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, di Luna in Il trovatore, Marcello in La Boheme, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and many more.
Mr. Mayes has appeared internationally in conjunction with La Fenice in Castel-Franco Veneto, Italy. Mr. Mayes’ honors include 3rd place winner at the Metropolitan Nat’l Council Auditions in Chicago, the Entergy Young Texas Artists Competition Vocalist Award, John Alexander Award, the John Moriarty Award, and an advanced division winner at the Anton Guadagno Vocal Competition.
AIRS EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 1 PM ET
About the Show
OperaNow! is a panel discussion show that focuses on what is occurring in the world of opera. The discussions range from stories in the news to addressing overall issues facing the business such as training, opera education, and the constant struggle to bring in new audiences. Drawing on a pool of colleagues and friends at a variety of levels in the business, the show attempts to demystify what is sometimes seen as “music for people with monocles and top hats”, and present it and its purveyors in a thoughtful and often humorous light.
The show has been nominated for a Podcast Award, been named a top website for student music and arts enthusiasts by Accredited Colleges Online, and the show’s mobile application was named a Top 500 App by the TimesOnline in the UK. The show can also be heard weekly on iTunes and on their website, operanowpodcast.com
About The Hosts
Creator, Producer, and Benevolent Host of OperaNow! Michael Rice has not let let the semi-success of the show go to his (evidenced by the picture above) huge head. He was born in Chicago, the son of two families that stayed despite much of the “white flight” that was occurring throughout the city. At the age of 10 he moved to Connecticut where his family began to “move on up.” His first success on the stage was at the age of 13 portraying Tevye at a Catholic grade school (you figure that one out.) He has worked as a singer for several years now, taking him all over the country and even EUROPE! (can you believe it?…that’s where opera started for the love of God!)
His love of broadcasting and more importantly, spreading misinformation, led him to start OperaNow! as a bully pulpit from which to spread FUD and annoyingly laugh at his own lame jokes. Along the way, he realized people seemed to enjoy what he and his wacky friends had to say and could not be more delighted at the result.
The son of immigrants and a product of Chicago Public Schools, Oliver was never supposed to find opera. Oliver’s passion for opera is evidence of a latent gene most people possess, regardless of class, race or environment. As with other proclivities, the more they are exercised, the more perverse they become. The quest for moments of sublime beauty, or small deaths, has made Oliver an obsessive collector of Compact Discs (ancient documents of singing.)
As a singer, Oliver has been rejected by some of the most prestigious institutions. He did not realize that being short, brown, and having a small voice would ever be an obstacle in opera.
In 2006 he created The Opera Company whose mission is to employ only the smartest and most versatile types of singers: those who are enthusiastic about developing other performance disciplines like mask, clown, dance and commedia dell’arte; those who love song and music and have the intelligence to choose repertoire that feels authentic to them; those who want a different path than ABC YAP and who know that opera is theater and theater requires collaboration, rehearsal, sweat and sometimes tears.
Or those who are just really hot guys.