In September the Metropolitan Opera Chorus opened Otello, Turandot, Il Trovatore, and Anna Bolena in the first week of a very busy season. In October we opened Tannhäuser, Tosca, and Rigoletto. During the day, we rehearse for the next round of operas opening in the coming months.
Honoring four decades of musical and artistic excellence
Since being appointed Music Director in 1976, Maestro James Levine has built the Metropolitan Opera into the world’s premier performing arts institution. He has guided the artistic standards of the Orchestra and Chorus, and helped forge a path toward greatness for every artist and artisan in the house. That standard of excellence continues for the company, even now, as he transitions to Music Director Emeritus.
The Chorus looks forward to Maestro Levine’s continued guidance in the coming seasons. We anticipate his leadership, in addition to that of our Chorus Master Donald Palumbo, will further enrich the art form.
Maestro Levine has inspired each of us to be better musical artists. The Chorus holds him in the highest esteem and admiration, and wishes him fulfillment in his new position while we continue to work together to uphold and elevate our artistic achievements.
What's it like to be a Met Chorister?
Follow Metropolitan Opera Chorister, Liz Brooks, to see what a typical day for a full-time opera chorister looks like
The final installments of A Day in the Life of Liz Brooks, Part 11
The season still has a few weeks left, but some choristers, like Liz, are in nearly every remaining performance. It can take a grueling toll on the voice, the body, and avoiding burnout is key.
A Day in the Life...Part 12
Liz explains the schedule - hers especially is quite hectic as she describes what she has coming up: 7 shows per week for 7 weeks.
Tonight she is prepping for Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci. Liz explains the dark drama and her austere appearance.
A Day in the Life...Part 13
After a short intermission, Liz is back for Pagliacci. That makes 4 different operas for Liz in one day.
A Day in the Life...Conclusion
In Part 14, her final chapter, Liz discusses that there are some days when she doesn't see her husband because of their different schedules. Even though today was a long one, she is happy, positive, and grateful to friends and family who have supported her throughout the years. Liz gives a special shout out to her teacher, Mark Oswald, and to all of the teachers who inspire their students to aim high.
To see the first 10 installments, click here.
Spotlight on Chorister, Marc Persing
Marc Persing grew up in the little town of Lewisburg, PA, right on the Susquehanna River. His childhood was spent as a boy soprano with the Lewisburg Men and Boys Choir. He loved playing Atari and Pac-Man in his spare time, and watching reruns of The Brady Bunch. Although he started as a pre-med major in college, his first voice teacher encouraged him to pursue his vocal studies - which he did, initiating a transfer to The Hartt School of Music to major in opera.
He continued with graduate studies at Westminster Choir College. Marc has been with the Met Opera Chorus since 2002, and made his debut in Les Troyens. A lifelong Beatles fan, Marc sings 2nd tenor.
What is your favorite word?
Which opera stars do you believe are the most influential?
Fritz Wunderlich, Alfredo Kraus, Pavarotti
Are you a bathroom singer?
Not always, but if I do sing it's usually my Beatles!
If I gave you an elephant where would you hide it?
Maybe I could teach it to cook & just put a big chef's hat on it. :)
Two things you refuse to eat?
Cold pizza & Jello
What do you do when you're not working?
Like to travel & plan family trips. Especially love to visit the National Parks and being surrounded by nature.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I guess I do. I met my wife in Middle School & thought she was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. We've been married for 25 years!
Which famous person would you most like to see play you in a film?
Probably Jim Carey. I think he would get a kick out of what we do here at the Met day in & day out.
If I came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find?
Hmm...A pretty good smorgasbord of leftovers (my wife's a good cook!), lots of dairy (I LOVE cheese & yogurts GO CHOBANI!), Friendly's ice cream (Mint Chip Rocks!)
Tell me your favorite joke.
Knock, Knock! Who's there? Banana! Banana who? Banana Banana! Knock, Knock! Who's there? Banana! Banana who? Banana Banana! Knock Knock! Who's there? Orange! Orange who? "Orange" you glad I didn't say banana!
If you were an opera character, who would it be?
Probably Rodolfo. I'm just a sucker for a good love story and Bohème is one of the most touching and endearing stories in all of opera.
Where is your most favorite place in the world?
Antigua! My wife & I just celebrated our 25th Anniversary at an awesome all-inclusive resort there this past summer. The water was warm & the sun reflected its gorgeous turquoise hues. Wish I was there right now!
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?
Paul McCartney. He's just the coolest songwriting dude ever! To actually hear tunes in my head like he does and then fully realize them with the right chords, lyrics, and instruments? Amazing!
Five all-time greatest singers you’ve ever heard?
Paul McCartney, Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Sherrill Milnes, David Bowie