By the way, this piano was built in 1904 by Conover for the St. Louis World's Fair, and is called a Giraffe Style piano. Look it up!
The Lyric Opera of the North (LOON) is Duluth's own professional opera company. They are producing Verdi's masterpiece this year, with performances on June 22nd and 24th at the Marshall Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth. And I have been asked to take on the daunting title role. (See www.loonopera.org)
I made my career singing dramatic tenor roles (Tristan, Otello, etc), and Rigoletto is considered a baritone role. Still, it is a high, dramatic baritone role- not so different from the music I have been singing for years. I studied it in college, and have sung bits and pieces of it over the years, before making the switch to tenor. It is one of the great roles in all of opera, so, being asked to do this part now is a great honor. The results will be on display in about 2 months.
As time permits, I will continue to report on this production, staged by Dorothy Danner, and conducted by our own Dirk Meyer, featuring Sarah Lawrence as Rigoletto's daughter, Gilda, who falls in love with the aforementioned Duke, disguised as a poor student, Gualtier Malde, sung by John Cudia.