A remarkable career co-ascendant with the LA OPERA...
ROD GILFRY and BILLY BUDD: "a perfect fit"
someone born and raised in "LA-LA Land" really break
into the world of OPERA?
You betcha! And there is no better proof than one of today's most
sought-after baritones, ROD GILFRY, with whom FanFaire caught
up following one of his acclaimed performances (as Count Danilo in Lehar's
The Merry Widow) at the LA Opera in the 2007 season.
As he tells it in this
video interview, it all began with a comprimario one-liner
between him and celebrity tenor PLACIDO DOMINGO as Otello.
To be sure, it was no ordinary exchange, having taken place at a
most auspicious and exciting time - the inaugural opening of the
LA Opera in October 1986. But the talented young opera singer,
then already gearing up for the fast track to an international career,
also could only have made a very good first impression. His
regular appearances at the LA Opera since then, while at the same
time building a presence in Europe, set off his career on a trajectory
that paralleled the remarkable ascendancy of LA Opera as a top-tier,
Thus, if there is one singer of renown who can truly call LA Opera
his artistic home, it is Rod Gilfry. It is there where he has performed
some of the roles that he has made his own, foremost among which
is BENJAMIN BRITEN's iconic BILLY BUDD, a characterin whom he found a "perfect fit" to his persona and
about which he talks at length in this video interview, among his
other signature roles.
In January 2008, GILFRY takes
his act a few miles south of LA to Orange County. On January 8 at
8 pm he sings, with Alan Smith at the piano, an eclectic program
of songs that will surely regale the audience and bring to fore
his exceptional vocal and dramatic abilities. The show takes place
at the IRVINE BARCLAY THEATRE under the auspices of the PHILHARMONIC
SOCIETY OF ORANGE COUNTY. Then from January 23-February2, he performs
the role of Papageno in OPERA PACIFIC's production of Mozart's "The
Magic Flute" at the ORANGE COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER.
Credit: - images courtesy of and with permission of Rod Gilfry, LA Opera
and San Francisco Opera.