Singing Doubt

This last weekend I was priveleged to be asked last-minute to sing in the chorus for Minnesota Opera’s workshop of their opera commission Doubtbased on the same story as the successful Broadway play, and film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  The writer behind this story is John Patrick Shanley.  This Pulitzer Prize-winning writer creates from a very real and personal perspective.  Doubt, Shanley’s first libretto, is pithy, gritty, real, funny, ironic.  The music, composed by Douglas Cuomo is fittingly as challenging as the ideas being conveyed.  

Critics have described the music of Douglas J. Cuomo as “jolting, haunting, varied, infectious. . . frankly, it is ingenious” and “eighteen minutes of velocity and ecstasy. . . mesmerizing . . . fiercely American in the sense of Whitman, Hart Crane and Ives.” as well as “hugely effective musically, as well as awe-inspiring”, “irresistble” and “awesome”. (from

The opera opens early 2013.  I hope I get to be a part of it.  

Even as a member of the chorus.

Some singers who get degrees in voice performance think of chorus work as less-than-ideal.  Considering my earlier posts about choir in MN, it should be noted that singing in an opera chorus is not your typical “choir” sound.  Vibrato is generally encouraged as full-throated singing is necessary for the large halls and relatively small choruses.   However, there are some who favor it over a solo career.  Here’s an article I found by a bass that sings with the Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus.