NAME Robert Davidson
2018 Summer Opera Festival ROLE: Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust
What are you looking forward to most about preparing your role? Singing that beautiful music over and over!! Faust is a classic opera, and at one time was the most popular opera the world over. It is beautiful melody after beautiful melody, and a real treat for the audience.
If you had to choose a pop song that best describes the character you are portraying, what would it be? "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones. I thought pretty hard about this one! Although the musical treatment of the subject is quite different, Mick Jagger captures a lot of Mephistopheles' pride, cynicism, domination, and the air of being a grand swindler in his lyrics. Those are Mephistopheles' driving forces.
What do you think will be the most challenging part about preparing your role? Working the role into the voice, so that it comes out naturally. It takes a lot of practice for me to really feel the music flowing easily, as it would from the character I'm portraying.
Why do you love to sing opera? The physicality of the singing! I love the feeling of putting it all out there for the audience. It's tremendously rewarding to me, on a physical level, to sing this grand music. I used to run and swim long distance, but for some years now I prefer to sing long distance!!!
Aside from singing, name a talent/stupid human trick/hobby others might not be aware of .... I'm really nuts about coffee!!! It's one of my little simple pleasures...I seriously can't get enough. I love to try new roasts and beans. And it helps keep your wits about you while learning difficult music haha!