by Travis Waldschmidt
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.