Local Talent Shines in Opera Carolina's Holiday Production of Amahl & the Night Visitors
Posted: Thursday, December 6th
What do a Physics professor at Davidson College and a Senior Desk Consultant at Wachovia have in common? They're both opera singers, of course! Meet Dan Boye of Davidson and George Washington III of Charlotte – better known as King Melchior and King Bathazar in Opera Carolina's annual holiday production of Amahl & the Night Visitors. Stopping to rest on their journey, three Kings – Melchior, Balthazar, and Kaspar – find a crippled boy, Amahl, living with his mother in poverty. Despite the family's dire straits, Amahl makes a selfless offering and discovers that generosity can truly create miracles. In their 2nd and 4th respective performances in this unique holiday opera, Boye and Washington III represent the depth of talent that resides in the Charlotte area.
Meet Dan Boye
Dan Boye of Davidson views life as the intersection of physics and music. At Davidson College, Boye teaches a course called Music Technology. "Students are required to go to an opera after learning about room acoustics, voice production, and how instruments make sound," says Boye. When he's not in the classroom, Boye is often rehearsing for future roles. Dan has performed in over 20 productions with Opera Carolina since his debut in 1991. "I have always been treated as a professional musician by the company," says Boye. "It is extremely exciting to perform with the caliber of singers that Opera Carolina brings to Charlotte."
Boye became interested in music when he performed the role of a peasant dancer in his hometown church's production of Amahl & the Night Visitors. After graduating college, Boye spent 3 summers at Brevard Music Center learning operatic repertoire and stagecraft. Last year he joined the Amahl cast as King Melchior. "Melchior is a powerful character," explains Boye, "who conveys the motivation for their quest and expresses hope for the future for all people, including the poor."
Meet George Washington III
George Washington III of Charlotte is truly a renaissance man. In addition to keeping Wachovia's computer systems up and running, Washington is also one of the hosts on Wachovia's internal television network. Two years ago, he was able to share his passion for opera with his coworkers in a segment highlighting his involvement in Opera Carolina's production of Amahl & the Night Visitors.
Washington earned a degree in Music from Northwestern University, but other commitments moved him into the corporate world rather than performance. "When I moved to Charlotte, the opportunity to sing with Opera Carolina during the 50th anniversary season came up," says Washington, "and I have sung at least one production with the company every year since." Juggling his work, rehearsal, and family schedule can be taxing at times, but after 26 productions with Opera Carolina since 1998, Washington proves that making time for his passion is well worth the effort. "Performing with Opera Carolina has given me a chance to sing with world class artists, be under the baton of outstanding conductors, and work with great stage directors," explains Washington. "Coming from the Chicago area, I would never have had the opportunities Opera Carolina has given me there, and as a direct result of work with Opera Carolina, I have had performance opportunities open with other symphonies and opera companies."
Opera Carolina's Amahl & the Night Visitors
Opera Carolina's production of Amahl & the Night Visitors is the story of the Magi's journey to Bethlehem. Performed in English and less than an hour long, Amahl is an accessible way for opera first-timers to experience a real opera. George Washington III explains, "Amahl has all the parts important to opera: full singing, dance, drama, and a compelling story. It is particularly good for children, who see a little bit of themselves in Amahl and the questions he asks." Amahl & the Night Visitors will be performed in the Halton Theater on the campus of CPCC, December 22, 2007 at 7:00 pm. This new production stars young local favorite Andrew Griner, Jr. as Amahl, with Ashley Kerr as his mother, and Dan Boye, George Washington III, and Dale Bryant as the Three Kings. Tickets are on sale now for $16 (adult) and $10 (child) and available online at operacarolina.org or at the box office at (704) 330-6534.
This production of Amahl & the Night Visitors is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Donald Haack Diamonds. Full cast listings and bios are available at: http://www.operacarolina.org/operas. To download images of this production please go to: http://www.operacarolina.org/about_media_photos.php.
Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, Opera Carolina today is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $3.5 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region's diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, Music Theater, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.
Opera Carolina is supported by the Arts & Science Council-Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc., The North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of North Carolina, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.
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