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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Artist next door: Robyn rocks the opera gig

    Robyn Rocklein has grown through opera. Its taught me to trust myself more, and its taught me to take care of myself, she said.
    Robyn Rocklein has grown through opera. “”It’s taught me to trust myself more, and it’s taught me to take care of myself,”” she said.

    Robyn Rocklein, a second-year vocal performance masters student, compares herself to an Olympic athlete.

    “”We’re in constant training,”” Rocklein said. “”You have to take care of your body and make sure you’re not getting sick. It’s a whole apparatus with all these tiny little muscles.””

    Instead of working on her biceps and quads, she is strengthening her abdominal muscles, back muscles and vocal chords.

    Rocklein has been singing opera since 2001.

    “”I started singing in the choir when I went to college,”” she said. “”I got into opera through that.””

    The benefits of opera have been great, Rocklein said.

    “”It’s taught me to trust myself more, and it’s taught me to take care of myself,”” she said.

    Rocklein said she believes the hardest part of singing opera is the physical aspect; however, the hard work pays off.

    “”The most rewarding part is when I reach an audience,”” she said. “”If I can help them have a great time and enjoy themselves, and take themselves away from the world, that’s the best part.””

    Along with singing, Rocklein debunks urban myths of the opera world.

    “”There’s still the stigma out there that how well you sing is based on how large you are,”” she said. “”There’s the belief that you sing better if you have more weight, but that’s just not true. It would be (harder) to coordinate the air if you have that extra weight.””

    Rocklein said the character now decides how large the performer must be, adding that she would not have received her role in the upcoming “”La Perichole”” production if that weren’t the case.

    Through the mediums of music and acting, “”La Perichole”” weaves a tale of trickery, drunken antics and love, featuring two poor street singers, a conniving viceroy, a coincidental marriage, several disguises and finally, forgiveness.

    Rocklein plays a starving street singer, the lead role of “”La Perichole.”” She said she has had to combat several challenges in this role.

    “”The music is really hard for me,”” she said. “”It’s very high and proves to be an endurance kind of thing.””

    She also points to the length of the opera as part of the challenge.

    “”It’s a two-and-a-half hour opera,”” Rocklein said. “”I’m in every act, and for a great majority of the acts, I’m singing.””

    Rocklein said she believes the opera will be an enjoyable event for all viewers.

    “”It’s really a fun, fun opera,”” she said. “”The time flies by. It’s very entertaining.””

    ‘La Perichole’
    7:30 p.m., Nov. 20 – Nov. 22
    3 p.m., Nov. 23
    Crowder Hall
    $15 general admission

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