Tag Archives: Bass-baritone

what’s your favorite bass-baritone role?

Since it’s Bass-Bari Month on Operatoonity, a poll is in order. What’s your favorite role in classic opera? Write-ins welcome, too.

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Filed under Audience participation, Classic Opera, Poll

biceps that inspired a book . . . and a blog

Erwin Schrott / photo by Decca - Uli Weber

Guess what, sports fans? February is bass-baritone month on “Operatoonity.” And I simply have to kick off the month with the bass-baritone who inspired the book that inspired this blog  one year ago this very month.       

None other than the heart-stopping, jaw dropping, beautiful and talented bass-baritone Erwin Schrott.       

How did I end up writing a book because of Erwin Schrott?       

See, I had been advised by my literary agent (at the time) to write a my next book using classic opera as a backdrop. As I recall, she said, “I can sell it in a heartbeat.”       

Well, that hasn’t exactly happened. But I did write the book.       

But, as any writer can tell you, the problem with all books is how and where to begin. Once I decided that the novel should mirror the story line of Don G, I went looking for inspiration in the form of pictures, so my mind’s eye could settle in on a prototype of the man singing the role of  Don G for my small town opera company. That’s when I found this picture of Erwin Schrott. And as you might have guessed, my imagination raced to Alpha Centauri and back. Truly, my life hasn’t been the same since I laid eyes on this photograph of Erwin Schrott.     

Were these the biceps that launch’d three hundred pages
To scorch the world of blogs and books
Sweet Erwin, make me immortal with a flex.
        

If I said the book wrote itself I’d be lying, but I did flesh out a major character and made up a whole back story about my baritone who was a gaucho in Argentina discovered crooning to his cattle and went on to win an international singing competition called (what else?) “Operatoonity,” a victory that thrust him into the international opera circuit.       

At the time I wrote the book, I didn’t know a lot of details about Mr. Schrott. I hadn’t needed to know much. I saw his picture–it captured my imagination faster and more intently than a capable gaucho ropes a steer, and I wrote a book. It was almost as simple as that.       

Of course, that mean inventing many details about his life before my Erwin Schrott character became an opera singer  but especially while he was an up-and-coming talent –those really were the most fun concocting.       

If I hadn’t written a book about an opera company who begins turning into the characters in Don Giovanni, I would never had need for this blog.       

And if I’d never seen this picture of Mr. Schrott, who knows what my book would have been about? Probably an adaptation of Falstaff. Instead of having a “barihunk” to capture my reader’s interest, I’d have spent my writing time with an overweight bulbous-nosed, drunken gas bag filling my head, page in and page out, day in and day out.       

Now you can understand why I owe Erwin Schrott such a great debt.

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Character from DEVILED BY DON, DEVILED BY DON, Don Giovanni, Performers