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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tamblyn talks beautiful music and fun opera

    When Dennis Tamblyn came to the UA as a biochemistry and molecular biophysics freshman, he had no intention of ever becoming an opera singer. But after joining the University Community Chorus as a senior, his love of classical music and opera won him over.

    The Arizona Daily Wildcat sat down with Tamblyn, now a musical arts Ph.D. student, to discuss opera and his return to the University Community Chorus for their performance Sunday.

    How do you prepare for a singing role?

    You know, one of the first things I do for a role is that I look through it and make sure I can sing it. I skim through the score and look at the overall structure, the other roles that are in it. Then I will read through a libretto, which will have the original language and the English translation so I can look at it and see what the story’s like and things like that.

    What are some common misconceptions about opera?

    I think of one of the biggest misconceptions is that it’s boring or not fun. Let me tell you, there are some operas that are hilarious. I’m directing a scene right now from “”Hansel and Gretel”” from an opera that’s all in German. It’s a really cute and really fun scene. Arizona Opera is doing an opera called “”Elixir of Love”” and it’s hilarious. It’s so fun and you’re going to have a smile on your face the whole time. Beautiful music. Catchy tunes that you can sing. It’s a lot of fun. For people who have not been exposed to opera, ask somebody who knows opera first before you go, so they can steer you in the right direction of what you should see first. It’s like sushi almost. When you go for sushi the first time, you don’t go into the raw stuff right away. Ease into it.

    What would you say to students who are coming to the show who don’t listen to classical music or opera – or to those who are unwilling or afraid to try it?

    Everything we hear now stems from these things. If you want to see the beginnings of popular music, come see this program. With classical music and opera, you’ll never know if you like it if you don’t try it. Come knowing that each set is relatively short – about 15 minutes – then you’ll get something new. You’re going to get tastes of music. Basically, I would say it’s like going to a music or musical theater show. You will find humor in a lot of the pieces. You’re going to get a lot of different musical styles too, even though they’re in German and Austrian. So you could be a well-rounded classical music-goer in one evening, without having to go to many things. If you go with an open mind, then I think you’ll enjoy it.

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