Friday, November 4, 2011

David Pittsinger is Willing to Take the Risk on Every Performance

Pittsinger as Almaviva
(Photo: Cory Weaver/Portland Opera)
Bass-baritone David Pittsinger is currently singing the role of Count Almaviva in the Portland Opera production of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. He gives an interview to David Stabler of The Oregonian in which he reveals how Broadway performances have helped him in opera: "Pittsinger, 48, lives in Connecticut with his wife and twin son and daughter. He has sung innumerable counts, as well as Figaros, but he's also a cross-singer to Broadway, having sung Emil de Becque in Lincoln Center Theater's celebrated revival of South Pacific, and in Portland on a national tour of the show last year. He loves Broadway's challenges, which are different from opera's, beginning with singing eight shows a week. Talk about risk: Last year, he pulled off something no other singer had done. On a Saturday afternoon, he sang de Becque in the Vivian Beaumont Theater, then walked next door to the Metropolitan Opera, where,
David as Emil de Becque in
Lincoln Center's South Pacific.
that night, he sang the role of the ghost in Hamlet. It was believed to be the first time a performer starred in a Broadway show and an opera in the same day, according to The New York Times. 'I can't begin to explain the honor and gratitude for being on two stages in one day,' he says. A comment from stage director Tito Capobianco helped. Capobianco worked with Pittsinger at Yale University and also has worked frequently with singers in Portland State University's opera program. Manage your fear, the director told him. 'If you fear the fear, it will be more the rule than the exception.' Before adding Broadway roles, Pittsinger used to hold back, vocally, to protect his voice. 'I never saved my voice in South Pacific. I invested everything every time onstage. I didn't feel like I was lying anymore. I became a truthful actor.' Another comment, from Tony-winning choreographer Tommy Tune, gave him more perspective. 'We live for long runs because every night, you have another chance to take another chance.'" [Source]
Family man: David Pittsinger with wife, soprano Patricia Schuman, and twins.

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