believe it!

(l to r: Figaro at the LA Opera, Don Giovanni at Opera Pacific, Figaro at the Met)
And he's got a hunk of a voice!!!
American bass-baritone
A low-voice, a career ascending. Shown here in the roles today's opera goers remember him for: Mozart's Figaro and Don Giovanni

He's 32, and he's clearly going international - booked well into 2001! It was at his bar mitzvah that he got his first notice as a singer. Later in his mid teens, after attending a voice recital, he knew for sure that OPERA was for him. A native New Yorker, he went on to the University of Southern California for his degree in music. And Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is where his career took root. For several years as a member of its Resident Artist program, LA Opera was his home. On graduating from the program, he ventured out beyond LA to try and make the world his stage. In college he dreamed of singing at the Met before he turned 30. At 29, he did! As Zuniga in Carmen. How could one be so lucky? With talent, determination and hard work, one could. Add dark, athletic good looks, confident acting skills, an unmistakable stage presence, and most important of all, a splendidly resonant big voice -- and one could seize the day or an evening at the opera. Which was precisely what Richard Bernstein did when, stepping into the shoes of an ill Bryn Terfel, he sang the title role in The Marriage of Figaro on opening night at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. And the critics said "WOW!" and showered him with his first big press notices. This season he sang the role at the Met, and altogether has performed the title role in about a dozen productions throughout the US. But he's more than Figaro -- Don Giovanni, Leporello, Masetto, Guglielmo and Papageno, they're all staples of a repertory that is definitely growing beyond Mozart. At Opera Pacific in 2000, yes he'll strut onto the stage as Giovanni once again, but he'll also be all of the four villains in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman. If you're an Angeleno, and you missed his Escamillo in last season's Carmen, you'll have a chance to see "The Hunk" when he returns to LA as Leporello in LA Opera's Don Giovanni (April 14 - 30, 1999. Check out FanFaire's California MusicPlanner for schedule). His is a career definitely worth watching!

(Photo credits l-r: Ken Howard, Steve Dawson, Winnie Klotz; Courtesy: KKN Enterprises)
- FanFaire 1999


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