“The only time it all consistently makes sense is when I sing.”
–Nicholas Phan, host of “Grecchinois”
Tenor Nicholas Phan has been singing all over the world for years. In 2011 alone, he’s been to Torino, Florence, Helsinki, and Paris, just to name a few world-class cities. Yet as busy as he is–touring, recording–he makes time to blog regularly at “Grecchinois.”
“Grecchinois” is a philosophical blog that is part travelogue and confessional. One-hundred percent compellingly written, enlightening, and at times heart-wrenching. (See his post On Being Out).
As Nick travels around the world, he takes “Greccinois” readers with him, sharing highlights from the varied places he’s performed, reflecting on the works he has sung. His blog also allows his non-performing readers to vicariously experience the life and lifestyle of a classical singer on the international circuit.
Welcome to Operatoonity, Nick!
O: When did you start blogging and why?
Nick: I started in May of 2006. It mostly began as an experiment – I’d always harbored dreams of becoming a writer when I was a child, and I figured that it could be a nice way to make writing a hobby to distract and occupy me during my down time while I was on the road. I guess I also started blogging, because it was a way to muse about life in a formal way – it’s a way to ponder all of my life experiences and the world around me, yet there is an audience. Even though I am pondering and musing, I am pulled out of my own head, and into a dialogue of sorts. In all of these years of blogging – and I really never expected this as a side-effect – I have noticed that it has helped me really define my artistic philosophy when it comes to being a musician. Somehow, by writing about music, singing, and my work/life in this field, my ideas about process, performance, why I do this, and why it is important that I do this have become quite clear and defined in ways I never expected them to.
O: What is your biggest challenge? Biggest thrill?
Nick: My biggest challenge? As a blogger – it’s to find the bravery to begin writing something. I find it terrifying to begin most posts, because I am so petrified that what I have to say is meaningless, empty, and silly. The biggest thrill is when I’ve posted something, and people comment – showing that whatever I’ve written has somehow resonated with them and touched them in some way.
O: Favorite post(s) and why?
Nick: I have a few favorite posts that I am proud of – I am not sure I could pick just one. I’m proud of them for their honesty – it’s incredibly scary to expose yourself for the whole world to see. A few friends have described my writing as a bit “self–deprecating,” but my goal in writing this blog is to share aspects of my life’s journey and how its twists and turns push me to grow. There is a parable that once a young man dreamt of changing the world, but, as he grew older, he realized that he couldn’t change the world, so he set about trying to change the town he lived in. Then he realized he couldn’t change the people in his town, so he focused on trying to change his family. Finally, as an old man, he realized he couldn’t change his family, and he decided that the only person he could change was himself. Once he began to focus on changing himself, he realized that in doing so, he had the power to change his family, and that his family could then change his town, and then his town would have the power to change the world. When I blog – I aim to be that man in the final stages of his enlightenment. The only way I can affect and move the world around me is by sharing my life stories – hopefully, those experiences will help inspire, move, and lead others to a better place, as well.
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Stop in on his blog, “Grecchinois.” You can also visit Nick’s official website, follow him on Twitter @grecchinois, or “Like” Nick on Facebook. His debut solo “Winter Words” comes out Tuesday on Amazon. If you love the wonderful music of Benjamin Britten, you can order a copy here.