First Afternoon Symposium…Delightful!
Approximately 150 guests filled the Holy Family Catholic Church Social Center to hear Ogden Opera Guild’s first afternoon symposium. During January, as always, Christopher McBeth, Artist Director for Utah Opera, is tied up with rehearsals, so this year OOG invited Paula Fowler, Education Director for Utah Opera, to bring two members of the Ensemble to perform. AJ Glueckert, tenor, and John Buffett, baritone, gave a delightful presentation of classical arias to an enthusiastic audience.
These exuberant and talented twenty-four year olds are currently understudies for roles in “Hansel and Gretel”. Their counterparts in the Ensemble, Angela Theis, soprano, and Katherine Tombaugh, mezzo-soprano, are performing in the opera as Dew Fairy and Sand Man. The young men were accompanied on the piano by Willem van Schallwyk, originally from South Africa, who now has a doctoral degree from the University of North Texas.
Paula gave the audience background into the myriad duties of the apprentice artists and each then described his background and how he came to major in voice and to strive for a career in opera. She then explained that in addition to continuing with singing lessons, the apprentices learn the basic operatic repertoire and perform at over 200 schools a year.
They have no agents other than themselves and must plan their futures alone.
We all loved the afternoon program with its scintillating music and the infectious enthusiasm of the performers, which was followed by delicious desserts, coffee and hot chocolate. The food committee was assisted by students from the Youth Impact program; for most this was the first time they had heard arias from operas and all thanked for the opportunity.
Judy Vander Heide