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The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 

Blog

"Ferociously Fierce, But Different."

Mo Brady

by Travis Waldschmidt

Travis Waldschmidt backstage at Met Opera’s  la Traviata

Travis Waldschmidt backstage at Met Opera’s la Traviata

Considering how close the two districts are—a mere stone’s throw away—the Opera and Broadway are two separate worlds. Both require a commitment to performance of the highest calibre but are quite distinct animals—ferociously fierce and beautiful, but different nonetheless.

The most obvious difference is that in the Opera, you have only two performances a week. Yes, TWO, as opposed to eight shows a week on Broadway. That’s if you’re only performing in one opera that season. The Broadway eight show schedule is harder than anyone can possibly imagine—so, a light work week for the win!

Another surprise was how we are called to the stage. On Broadway, the performer alone is responsible for making his or her own onstage entrances. At the opera, each member of the ensemble is called individually to stage when it is time for their entrance. I gotta say it’s quite nice being called and something I could really get used to. I worry about my return to musical theater - the opera has spoiled me!

This surprise still has me in awe about the Met: they don’t use microphones. Yes, you read that correctly: no mics!  When you attend the opera - which you should - all of the singers onstage are singing without amplification. They’re singing over the orchestra and filling the Met performance hall which holds 3,800 seats! To say I’m impressed would be an understatement.

Lastly, performing at The Metropolitan Opera in La Traviata is wonderfully magical and to be a part of this creation has been a thrill beyond words. Also, working alongside director Michael Mayer and choreographer Lorin Latarro has been amazing. What an honor and privilege to work in an establishment that I’ve always deemed as the pinnacle of the arts.

Travis Waldschmidt (second from right) in  Met Opera’s  la Traviata

Travis Waldschmidt (second from right) in Met Opera’s la Traviata