I'm always thrilled to return to Opera Santa Barbara. The company has been a center of growth for me and gave me some of my very first professional opportunities. This time it will be a reunion of many sorts, seeing I'll have the pleasure of working with both Kostis Protopapas and Kristine McIntyre. I last collaborated with them when I was an apprentice in Des Moines and knowing both of their abilities this Manon is certain to be wonderful.
The role of the Count is one of the most beautiful cameo roles in opera along with Prince Gremin and Rosenkavalier's Italian Singer. I'll have the chance to sing a truly beautiful aria that I've known for many years in the context of the grandeur that is Manon's world.
Below is a recording of this beautiful moment sung by the great Belgian Bass-Baritone, Jose van Dam