Some of these might not have been so sweet to anyone else sharing a stage with me...and it's not the stage many would think of me doing... Not only did I work the comedic stage for ten years...I also appeared on the operatic stage for six operas... If I had a chance to have given one of those two up...I would have chosen the comedic stage because opera was my first love... The worst thing was that the opera company went out of business before I had a chance to get truly warmed up...

My first performance was bittersweet at best...and it was as a guest conductor of the orchestra for the Mahler Resurrection Symphony... The choir (and especially the choir director) wanted to kill me during rehearsals...as well as a number of them out of the orchestra pit... They didn't fall in too many of the major traps...but the minor one they fell in during the third movement was barely noticable... The choir didn't fall for the trap and telegraph their entrance because of what I kept doing during rehearsals... I warned them that if ANYONE in that chorus stood too soon...everyone's making overtime... I chose the two best soloists out of the choir...and one was my girlfriend's 16 year old sister (and I married her eight years later)... She didn't get the Urlicht passage due to her voice being too light for it...but the other redhead I chose was perfect for that passage...

The reviews wee about 70-30 favorable...but the 30 brought up my antics during rehearsals...stating that my unorthodox style put those reviewers off...and made no notice of the actual performance...

The other five perfermances...I was actually singing on stage...and twice with my girlfriend's sister (Don Pasquale - my Ernesto to her Norina and La Boheme - My Rudolfo to her Mimi)... The other three were with other sopranos (Faust - in Boito's
Mefistofele... Tamino in Mozart's Madic Flute... Nanki-Poo in the Mikado)... I got raves as Ernesto and Nanki-Poo and lukewarm on the rest... If I could live this over again...I would have found a way to keep that opera company afloat so I would have had a lifetime there... I didn't even consider that as work...so much as doing something I loved and happened to get paid for it...