I have been taking part in a series of master classes in Beverly Hills with Maestro Peter Mark and had a significant vocal breakthrough this past weekend.
Of course, such breakthroughs are also a result of the work I’ve done with teachers and coaches on a regular basis … it all adds up to whatever metaphor or instructive device it is that has you “get” something. So along those lines I also acknowledge the many hours spent working with Maestro William Vendice, Renee Sousa and Timothy Leon (all of whom I work with regularly).
Anyhow, I just began working on “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!“, from La fille du régiment by Donizetti. For those who don’t know, this is the famous aria for tenor featuring nine high C’s.
I have always had a high C … but these recent breakthroughs have made it so that I feel comfortable sustaining it for however long I feel like. Which is profoundly an amazingly satisfying … I always wondered how Pavarotti used to do that!
If you are looking for something to do in Southern Orange County this weekend come see La Traviata! I will be singing Alfredo on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
I signed on last week after one of their tenors dropped out. In under a week I managed to get the demanding but oh-so-rewarding role off book (despite a nasty throat virus that completely stole my voice for most of that time!).
As you can tell … it has been a week full of drama! But what sweeter drama is there than the sumptuously beautiful music of Verdi’s La Traviata?! I will be living the Brindisi on Sunday night, that’s for sure!
Our run is over and we had such fun working/playing together on and off the stage. Once again Pacific Opera Project walks that tiniest of tight ropes between supremely professional and irreverently fun … in my opinion this is why so many talented singers want to sing for them.
So kudos to the people who put it all together: Josh Shaw, Stephen Karr, Kaitrin Kinnare, Maggie Green, Gabriela Villalobos, Kylene Johnson and everyone who pitched in to set up and tear down those stages and sets night in and out!
You make opera fun … bravissimi tutti!
Bravissimi anche to the stellar cast of singers I was privileged to sing with: Tracy Cox, Brooke deRosa, Karen Hogle Brown, Justine Aronson, Andy Papas and Alex Charlie Boyd. You all were amazing and wonderful to work with.
Here are some links to reviews and quotes I was grateful to receive:
“The tenor voice and comedic talent of Christopher Anderson West added to the setting of the stage for the appearances of competing sopranos.”
“Dueling sopranos played by Karen Hogle Brown and Brooke deRosa finally arrive on the set as two divas being courted by an opera patron (played elegantly by Christopher Anderson-West), and things heat up.”
Well, we just finished our closing weekend of Mozart vs. Salieri … it was a great run with sold out shows throughout. Pacific Opera Project puts on an awesome show every time they go! 🙂 This was a recreation of an actual contest put on by Joseph II, here is the description from Mozart.com:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was widely known in Vienna, but the coveted permanent employment as court composer at the imperial court of Joseph II was held by the older Antonio Salieri. The natural competition between the two musicians was the talk of the Viennese society and, unsurprisingly, an idea of Emperor Joseph II in spring 1786 was the talk of the day.
The emperor invited both musicians to participate in a public opera competition. Both were to compose a one act opera, to be performed consecutively. Both works told the stories of intrigues at the opera. The occasion was a visit of Joseph’s sister Archduchess Marie Christine and her husband, Duke Albrecht von Sachsen-Teschen, from Brussels. The competition was to be held in front of hundreds of guests during a spring festival at the orangery of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.
Mozart had to compose the musical comedy “The Impresario”, Salieri an Italian opera buffa – “Prima la musica e poi le parole”. It was a splendid evening for the guests in the tropical atmosphere of the orangery, great food was served and the high society amused itself – unfortunately, at Mozart’s expense.
Here is the link to the video of the operas, both comedic one acts featuring the behind the scenes action of conductors, impresarios and the singers they “work with”. Make some popcorn and get ready to laugh:
Next up on my slate is Don Jose for Bizet’s masterpiece, Carmen, with Celestial Opera. Enjoy the show!
I have so enjoyed being a part of The Merry Widder with Pacific Opera Project … it will be a fantastic show full of laughs, dancing and beautiful music. You won’t want to miss it!
I am also pleased to announce that I will be singing the tenor role in POP’s next production as well! It will be a recreation of the “contest” put on by Joseph II between Mozart and Salieri … “The Impresario” vs. “Prima la musica, e poi le parole”.
In the meantime I am also working on Don Jose for Carmen, by Bizet, and rehearsals will begin just a couple of weeks after this new opera ends. So LOTS of music and memorization … no complaints here! I am happy to be busy making music!
Cast for Mozart vs. Salieri production in featured pic: Andy Papas, Alex Boyd, Tracy Cox, Justine Aronson, Brooke deRosa, myself and Karen Hogle Brown. show less
Pleased to announce I have been offered a role with Pacific Opera Project for their production of The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe), by Franz Lehar, in February and March!
POP is well known and highly regarded for their inventive productions and high quality singers so I am stoked to be a part of this exciting show (which certainly doesn’t disappoint in terms of inventiveness), here’s their description of the production:
Yeehaw! POP starts the 2016 Season by putting our spin on one of the most popular operettas of all time, Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow. With a new book and lyrics by Artistic Director Josh Shaw and an orchestral arrangement by Music Director Stephen Karr, the plot is transported from the embassies and dancehalls of Paris to the saloons of the Old West just after the California gold rush. A cast of nearly thirty will sing and dance the night away at the quaint Ebell Club of Highland Park for seven performances, complete with orchestra, food, and wine. For the first time all seating is assigned at the Ebell Club. So pick your seat or table early to get the very best view. Get your tickets here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=60381
I am wrapping up my role as Alfredo in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus for two different companies this past month: first was Celestial Opera’s production in Pasadena and most recently Repertory Opera Company’s production this past Wednesday. I will have one more performance on Saturday, Nov. 14th to close out the run and move into my favorite time of year … the holidays!
Here is an excerpt from the review for Repertory Opera Company’s production:
“Playing …Alfredo, was tall, blond, handsome Christopher Anderson-West. We watched Rosalinde melt into his arms, and heard his strong tenor sing serenades of all the popular tenor arias and then some.” – Singerpreneur
After having been discovered by a voice teacher while pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter in his twenties, Christopher went on to receive a wonderful education at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Currently Christopher coaches with Maestro William Vendice in Los Angeles and studies vocal technique with Mark Nicolson in New York. (please click CV to see a full listing of teachers, education and roles performed)
Christopher has had the pleasure of performing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles (LA Opera), Washington DC, Boston, Italy, England, China, France and Germany.
Favorite roles performed are Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s tragedy “Tosca”, Hoffmann in Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann”, Don Jose in Bizet’s “Carmen”, Il Duca di Mantova in Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Tsar Berendey in the United States Premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Snegurochka”.
Upcoming for Christopher is Rodolfo in Puccini’s beloved “La Boheme”.
“La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” – Carmen, Bizet
Celestial Opera Company’s production of Bizet’s Carmen, filmed by Voyager Probe Productions