Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ohio Light Opera

OLO is one of the only companies in the US that focuses entirely on light opera and operetta.  I started there in the summer of 2006, singing almost entirely in the chorus, and moved into more interesting and prominent roles over the next couple years, arriving at  the "golden summer of Anthony" in 2008, in which I played fun, exciting roles in every show I was in.  Here is a brief photo tour of the roles from that summer.  (There will be a pay-off for looking at all these, I promise.)

First, Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma (Guest-starring in the photo is Amanda O., who played my daughter, Ado Annie.)

Carnes is an old curmudgeon who carries a fire arm at all times and has a crackly voice like an old-timey prospector.  When Desiree saw the show, she swore my dad had walked onto stage the first time I entered.  Note the brilliant age make-up, provided by yours truly.

Next, Bennie Kidd in The Desert Song.(Guest star: Karla H. as Clementina)

Bennie is a New York reporter caught up in a world of espionage and intrigue in Morocco.  He and his girl friend, Susan are the comic relief of the show.  Perfect.  Bennie even gets to dress up like a girl, because humiliation is always funny.  So, try not to pee yourself when you see this photo of me in harem pants and a skimpy top.

Next, The Grand Duke from The Czarevitch.  That's me at the far right.  (Guest stars: Robin and Todd as the Soprano and Tenor who couldn't stop singing)

We couldn't tell if this show lost something in the translation from German to English or if it was always really bad.  But my role was kind of fun to play because I was a serious, villainy sort of guy.  Again, kickin' age make-up by yours truly.

Next, Mr. Gravvins from The Cabaret Girl. (Guest star: Sahara as Little Ada)

Doing this show was probably one of the funnest things I have ever done in my life.  Gravvins is a British music store owner who constantly gets himself in trouble by being a big idiot and raving like a lunatic.  Here he is posing as the vicar:

He actually just looks like a beatnick.  And here he is in the world's most ridiculous cabaret costume:
There's a CD recording of the show you can purchase.  It's awesome.  Tell me you bought it and thought I rocked, even if you never do.

Last of the 2008 photos is Herisson de Porc-Epic.  He is the obnoxious ambassador from France who looks like a mime and wears Puma-brand tennis shoes.  This show was also outrageously fun to do.

So, point is: every character in 2008 was wildly different.  An Oklahoman farmer, a New York reporter, a Russian duke, a British musician, and a French ambassador.

Now on to 2009:

A sailor in HMS Pinafore

Dick Dauntless the sailor in Ruddigore

Enrico the sailor in A Night in Venice (Guest star: Tania as Barbara)

A chorus dude with a sailor hat in La Belle Helene (Guest star: Cecily.  We were wicked fierce!)

and a gangster?  Wait a minute!  He's not a sailor!  

But wait... he gets appointed to be the secretary of the navy in the second act of Of Thee I Sing.  Oh, that's better!  He's a sailor after all!

Everyday when I'd show up at the theater in 2009, it was just a question of which sailor outfit I put on.  I kept wondering if it was some cosmic sign I should join the navy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Settling in to Salt Lake City

We have now been here a month - we arrived on Tuesday, August 11th to a warm welcome at my younger sister's home where we stayed for a week.  Since that time we have been staying with my oldest sister while we have been figuring everything else out.  Things are finally falling into place.

I am working part time in the box office at Rodgers Memorial Theatre in Centerville.  It is an overall enjoyable job where I get to help people support performing arts by selling them tickets. Our Friend, Cecily helped get me connected with the opportunity and it is working out very well.

Anthony is on the substitute teacher list at 5 school districts - although it seems that everyone that is unemployed in Salt Lake has done the same kind of thing.  Not much has come of it yet, but it is also still in the first couple weeks of school  We are still hopeful that jobs will come from the schools.

On the music front, Anthony has also been busy trying to coordinate and work out some details for an opera recital series that will take place throughout the next year.  It has been tough trying to get it to come together, but I know it is something he is excited about, so I would be surprised if it didn't happen.  Anthony will also be directing the Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta HMS Pinafore for Rodgers Memorial Theatre in the early spring.  He is also teaching voice lessons - he has about half a dozen students with a few more wanting to start in a couple of months.

I am not sure if many of you know this about Anthony, but while in Binghamton he had a little more time than he counted on and has written a few children's books and has started a novel.  I am not going to get into any details, but he is busy continuing to write as well as digitally re-creating the artwork for his children's books.  Things are going great - and one of the books will probably be ready to send to a publisher within the month.  We just need to figure out the best way to do it - and have a real chance at being successful.

The other exciting thing is that we are starting a job as apartment managers.  It is really funny because we knew that some of the properties with open positions were downtown - and it ends up that we will be managing some apartments that we lived in for three years - several years ago.  We loved those apartments - and we are so excited that we get to live there again - and that our compensation is free rent!  It means we have a place to live and bring our baby home.

I have felt for months that the Lord would take care of us and that everything would work out and be okay.  Not everything is ideal, but we are going to be able to make ends meet, and Anthony is still going to be able to have artistic pursuits and fulfillment, and I think we will be able to make it so that one of us can be home with the baby (when she comes) almost all of the time.  We have been so blessed - and a lot of it is that we have generous family and friends that have been keeping us in their prayers and helping us with our networking.  Words cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel for the blessing that everyone around us has been.

A very special thank you to Valerie and Adam and Aunika and Bill who have so unselfishly opened their homes (and fridges) to us since we arrived.  Also, a thank you to my parents, Ray, and Mark and Maren for keeping all of our stuff while we have sorted everything out. We love you guys.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pregnancy Update

I am sure you are all wondering what news we have concerning our great expectations... 

Well you don't have to wait any longer.  I am now 23 weeks along.

As you can see, my belly continues to grow... but that is good news, right?

This past Tuesday was a wonderful day and well worth the wait.  As you know from my last blog I had an ultrasound.  At this point I am pleased to say that it is no longer 'it', but is now she.  We will be having a baby girl.  There are several parts of the ultrasound process that I loved...

First, actually seeing the baby in my belly.  It was fun to see her and watch her move around.  Second, when the technician checked "normal" next to everything on the checklist at the end.  And third, when Anthony said 'I can now honestly say I am excited.'

The debriefing after was also a huge relief.  The doctor was able to tell me confidently that based on the actual measurements of our babies head, brain and  femur that I am really due on December 5th.  It is really great to know (approximately) when to expect our first daughter.

Later that same evening, our friends Kalina, Sahara and Cecily kindly threw us a baby shower.  I think I will cut to the chase and just post some pictures of some of the fun.

Yes, it is a Girl!

The yummy food!

All our friends that came.

Some of our favorite gifts were hand made by our friends.  This one is a quilt from our friends Kalina and Cecily.  It is especially meaningful because time off is a valuable commodity while at the Ohio Light Opera.

"O" is indeed for Opera - I am laughing because the character in the picture is Anthony as Richard Dauntless in Ruddigore.

Which one of these will deliver the baby?

Even Anthony had fun at the party... he is wearing a College of Wooster bib.

The party was a lot of fun and our friends were very generous with us and kept in mind that everything needed to fit in our Toyota Corolla.

Okay, I think I have kept you in suspense long enough... if you are still reading this novel of a post you get the privilege of seeing our surprise pictures.  I think you will enjoy them, even if they are not of the best quality.

This is our baby's foot.

She is looking toward us - you can get a good idea of what she is going to look like.

This one you can see her profile.  Anthony and I both think that it looks like she may have his nose. 

She is waving.

It was such a blessing to be able to see our daughter and we are glad that we could share some of the latest news with you.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Do you ever feel like you are in the wrong place at the wrong time or that you take action a little too soon based on the information you have just to find out it was better left alone?  I do.  This morning I am so frustrated with myself.  I had an appointment for tomorrow for a comprehensive ultrasound.  On Friday at 4:30 I cancelled the appointment and scheduled it for a week later.  I did this because we discovered that the show Anthony is in that is being recorded is having all the dialogue recorded on Tuesday morning.  Yesterday, much to my chagrin I discovered that he does not have to be at the recording session until about 15 minutes after the scheduled end time for my appointment.  It is soooo frustrating.   I called yesterday to see if I could leave a message to try to get my original appointment time back, but the recording gave me other numbers I could call if I was having an emergency and would not let me leave a message.  So I called this morning about 3 minutes after the office opened to try to get my appointment back and they have already scheduled someone else in the time slot.  

Really in the big scheme of things having to wait another  week is not a big deal, but I learned a couple of things at a doctor's appointment last week that makes me a little anxious to have it done and over with.  First - The nurse and doctor that saw me were both a little distressed that I did not have an ultrasound in my first trimester.  The people I saw in Binghamton said nothing about needing an early on ultrasound to confirm the due date, and I was relying on them to let me know if I needed any procedures done in my first trimester and before losing insurance when I moved.  Second, when the doctor did the push-on-the-belly thing he looked at me and asked (for probably the fifth time in the appointment) "You are sure you know when your last period was?" Then he took out the measuring tape and measured my girth just to nod his head and say, "Yep, I think you are a month further along than you think you are."  What!?  A month less to get things settled when we move and make sure we are as ready as humanly possible!?  No further explanation from the doc. Third -  Just frustration with having cancelled an appointment that was actually okay. It ends up that the company is doing something it usually does not do with its recordings - they are staggering the times that people need to be there based on when they are actually needed and it ends up that Anthony is not needed before 10:15.  Anthony and I could have gone to the appointment and been just fine with the timing - the appointment was for 9 AM and was to last an hour.  It would be cutting it a little close, but is a risk I am willing to take.

I know I just need to let all this roll off my back, but I am still frustrated.  I guess I will just remind myself like I find myself doing a lot lately... "Everything will work out okay."  So I am just stuck in anticipation one more week - and the results of the ultrasound will probably be the same then as they would be tomorrow.  I am already getting exercises in patience and the baby isn't even here yet.  I think I am in trouble.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Random Thoughts

I keep wanting to write a blog, but I don't have enough ideas about any one thing to write about, so you get a spattering of my thoughts.

I am pregnant.  I am not sure if you have heard, but it is true.  I am expecting a baby.  I have been feeling fluttering movements in my belly... nothing concrete, like a kick, but it definitely has not been gas or hunger pangs.  Sometimes when I think about it I am humbled and amazed at the miracle that I am going to have a baby.  Theoretically I should be dead - without surgery I had a 21 year life expectancy - with no chance of having children - it would have killed me for sure.  Now, I am pregnant with a completely normal, healthy pregnancy so far and it is wonderful!  Some of the things I think I will not get used to...
  • People asking if I feeling  am okay - as if there is something wrong or like I should not be feeling okay.
  • People not letting me lift anything.  My philosophy is if it is lighter than a 3 year old It should be okay to lift (not carry) it.  Mom's lift their children all the time when they are expecting, so why can't I move a kitchen chair or carry groceries?
  • My belly is starting to feel like it is something separate from me.  The other day I felt fine, but I had a little ache in my belly - probably ligaments or something stretching, but it was definitely not me that felt funky, just my belly.

Me at 13 Weeks - 
Some of my clothes were just starting to get uncomfortable at this point

There is not a huge difference here, but it feels pretty big comparatively.

Me at 18 Weeks

This morning I happened upon an article in the Deseret News about a Utah born device that would fix a hole in the heart like the one I had - using a catheter to insert a sort of a patch that would immediately close the hole 60% of the time and would allow for new heart growth to close the hole the other 40% of the time.  The device has been approved for use in Europe - and is waiting FDA approval for use in the USA.  It is incredible to think that in just a few years people won't even have a scar like mine to fix the same problem that I had.  It is incredible.

By the way, a lot of people have holes in their heart like mine (just smaller) and if they go unfixed it can cause migraines and stroke.  I guess what I am saying is if you have migraines you might want to have your heart checked.


I think that some of our time in Limbo (not knowing anything about our future plans) is coming to an end.  Ohio Light Opera is ending in a few weeks and none of our possible plans have panned out, so it looks like we are moving to Salt Lake City in about a month.  I don't really have more details than that, but I am glad to know where we are headed next month.

More soon...

By the way, Thank you to Ray who kindly gave us his wonderful 'old' camera - I am getting things ready to post some pictures soon, so you can all see what we have been up to.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


In a few days, Anthony and I will be heading off to the Ohio Light Opera where he will be singing for the fourth summer.   I am finding myself looking forward to the quaintness of the quiet town.  A few summers ago when I first arrived in Wooster I thought that the town was rundown and dying.  Now I have been to Binghamton and understand that Wooster is still in excellent shape.  There are still new developments being built in the area and it is still attracting new commerce.  Honestly I am not sure if it is attracting any new industries, but hope still has a presence in the small – all American town.   Spending time in a town where hope has not died will be a wonderful thing after the time we have had in New York (not the city). 

Last weekend we stayed a couple of nights in Wooster – to take a few things down and for an audition in Dayton.  By the time we had been there just a few hours Anthony was acting more like his energetic – excited – motivated self than I had seen him act in several months.  I also found my spirits lifted – people there had nice things to say and were interested in having short, but very human sorts of conversations.  The clerk at the hotel recognized Anthony and me from last summer.  It is a small thing, but makes a difference and is so nice.  I am not sure what I will be doing for employment for the summer, but nonetheless I am finding myself looking forward to our few months in the humid, warm, green, hopeful paradise that is Wooster, Ohio. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009


One of the reasons I started a blog is so that I could keep people up to date on our adventures.  I have found it to be a difficult task.  I don’t want to say too much that is negative.  I prefer being positive.  I want to tell everyone everything that is happening, but not much is happening.  It ends up that the life of a young opera singer and his wife is not all that exciting.  I go to work every day – and try to be there by 8:00 AM.  I take a lunch starting somewhere between 1:30 PM and 2:00 PM.  I leave work at 5:00 PM.  I arrive home between 5:15 and 5:20.  Anthony generally has at least a few hours during the day at home with not much scheduled, so the dishes are always done and dinner is frequently already on the stove or in the oven.  We sit down and have dinner and a bit of conversation and maybe play a game.  Then, Anthony frequently leaves in the evening for some sort of rehearsal. 

Honestly, it almost feels like it did a few years ago, before I  went back to school and Anthony spent his evenings doing community theatre.  It is a little uncanny.  This time though, I know it is furthering opera opportunities – well, at least we hope it is.