Benjamin Britten Centenary Celebration

On Sunday, July 1, 2012, I was blessed to perform two duets at the 52nd NATS Conference in Orlando. The composer was Benjamin Britten, 1912-1976, whose music I’d only performed before in opera – as Florence and Nancy (two separate productions – Peabody and Opera North) of Albert Herring and in the chorus of Peter Grimes at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

I sang “Mother Comfort” with Beverly O’Regan Thiele, a fantastic soprano, and the opening of “Canticle II” with Steven Stolen, a wonderful tenor. We were accompanied by Hal Leonard’s vocal music editor, Richard Walters. The other singer on the program was baritone Kurt Ollmann.

I had been more nervous about the former, because I had more solo lines. However, as it turned out, the Canticle presented more challenges. Steven and I were the voice of God in this piece – consequently, everything had to be together. Onsets, phrasing, releases – our blend had to be impeccable.

And it was! It was such a fantastic experience. I got great feedback from my colleagues, those on stage and those in the audience. (Wanna know pressure? Sing for a roomful of voice teachers!)

And I didn’t have any performance anxiety – except for burping. I don’t know where that has been coming from. But I’ll take it over dry mouth, shaking, and mental fuzziness any day!

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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