10 Can’t-Miss Classical Music Festivals

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BY TOM HUIZENGA

In much of the country it still feels like summer is a long way off, but it’s not too early to plan on hitting the road and hearing great music. From bucolic college campuses in New England to musical rafting trips down the Colorado, these are 10 of the most intriguing classical festivals. And below them is a listing, by region, of many of the best fests. Been to one we missed? Pass along your own advice in the comments section or via or .

June 26-Aug. 17, Aspen, Colo.

In many ways, the Aspen Music Festival is the Cadillac of summer classical music fests, in terms of its unparalleled roster of guest musicians and its extensive student training program. This year, the 65-year-old festival explores the idea of the New Romantics. Violinist Joshua Bell takes up the old school sound of Bruch, while Robert McDuffie finds the contemporary Romantic in Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 2, “The American Four Seasons.” There’s Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin, but also Lowell Liebermann’s recent operatic take on The Picture of Dorian Gray. Seven world premieres are scheduled — from the likes of Mason Bates, Matthias Pintscher and others — amid more than 300 events. Need more than classical? Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell makes an appearance, as do Tony Bennett and Rufus Wainwright.

June 27-Aug. 17, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Celebrating its 25th year, the adventurous Bard Music Festival picks a single composer and creates an immersive experience including music from contemporaries, plus film, dance, drama and lectures. Schubert and His World is the theme this year, with concerts following the stages of the composer’s short but fertile career. Schubert’s songs come into sharp focus in performances throughout the festival by Paul Appleby, Susanna Phillips and Nicholas Phan. And there’s an opportunity to hear Schubert’s opera Fierrabras and Carl Maria von Weber’s Euryanthe, both rarely performed. Leon Botstein conducts several of Schubert’s symphonies and Luciano Berio’s fascinating Rendering, a reworking of fragments Schubert’s unfinished Tenth Symphony.

June 27-Aug. 2, Vail, Colo.

If musical heaven is overdosing on orchestras, Bravo! Vail is the place to be. The New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Dallas Symphony are the headliners. Alan Gilbert leads the New Yorkers in music by Richard Strauss and Pulitzer winner Christopher Rouse, including the former’s Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel and the latter’s Oboe Concerto. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Philadelphians in Beethoven’s “Eroica” and pianist Hélène Grimaud joins them for the Brahms First Piano Concerto. Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas musicians offer Beethoven’s Ninth, Copland’s Third and Barber’s Violin Concerto with James Ehnes. And, to scale down a bit, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, the Calder Quartet and others are on hand for chamber music from Steve Reich and Bartok to Bach and Vivaldi.

June 21-Aug. 3, Katonah, N.Y.

Opera mavens flock to Caramoor, as the festival often gives plum roles to important young singers. In 2010, when soprano Angela Meade sang her first Norma there, critics gushed and many others discovered an amazing voice for the first time. She’s back this year in the title role of Donizetti’s hair-raising Lucrezia Borgia. Verdi’s Rigoletto stars Stephen Powell and Georgia Jarman. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein is Caramoor’s artist-in-residence; she’ll give a solo recital, join the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Elgar’s brooding Cello Concerto and team up with the Ariel Quartet for chamber music by Schubert and Arensky.

June 11-Aug. 16, Chicago, Ill.

Not to be confused with Chicago’s huge, multi-genre (running concurrently), the Grant Park Music Festival, now in its 80th year, focuses on classical music. Best of all, it’s all free (if you don’t mind picnicking on the lawn or sitting in seats near the rear). Pulitzer-winning composer William Bolcom’s week-long residency includes the premiere of his Concerto for Orchestra. Festival artistic director Carlos Kalmar, known for his creative programming, leads performances of Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Northern Lights and Piston’s Suite from The Incredible Flutist. Guest artists include Leonard Slatkin leading Shostakovich and David Robertson conducting Britten’s Violin Concerto with soloist Gil Shaham.

Aug. 28-Sept. 8, Moab, Utah

It’s tough to beat the scenery at the Moab Music Festival. The organizers like to think of their festival as “music in concert with the landscape.” Where else can you hear chamber music in a red rock grotto amid immaculate wilderness or take a four-day, three-night musical rafting trip down the Colorado River? This year, a few geographical themes emerge, including a nod to England with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial By Jury and Britten’s English Folk Songs and a Polish/Russian exploration of music by Chopin, Mieczysław Weinberg and the excellent but little known Grażyna Bacewicz. Mercurial Colombian jazz harpist Edmar Castañeda makes the trek with his quartet.

July 25-Aug. 23, New York, N.Y.

Naturally, large doses of Mozart are on offer at this Lincoln Center festival. High points will likely include pianist Richard Goode’s performance of the Piano Concerto No. 23 on opening night and the Requiem that ends the festival. In between, conductor Osmo Vänskä teams up with pianist Yuja Wang in a concerto by Shostakovich, and the in-demand-everywhere conductor Gianandrea Noseda leads a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth. Another top draw this year is the Mark Morris Dance Group with three performances of Handel’s Acis and Galatea (arranged by Mozart). Some of the festival’s most popular events are the hour-long late night concerts in the Kaplan Penthouse overlooking the city. Richard Goode, clarinetist Martin Fröst, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and pianist Steven Osborne are on the roster for these 10 p.m. shows.

June 12-June 15 Ojai, Calif.

What the Ojai Festival may lack in terms of its length it makes up with a concentrated supply of intriguing concerts in both early morning (Brooklyn Rider playing Glass at 8 a.m.) and late night (Uri Caine’s Sextet with Gershwin at 10:30 p.m.). Perhaps the most anticipated work on tap this year is the world premiere of The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts), a chamber opera based on pianist and pedagogue Charles Rosen’s book The Classical Style by festival music director and pianist Jeremy Denk and Pulitzer-winning composer Steven Stucky. Crafty young pianist/composer Timo Andres teams up with The Knights chamber orchestra in music by Andrew Norman, and Pink Martini singer Storm Large stars in Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins.

May 23-June 8, Charleston, S.C.

Churches, theaters and parks in historic Charleston play host to Spoleto Festival concerts. Three performances of the oratorio El Niño by John Adams headline a broad variety of events this year, which include operas by Janáček (Kát’a Kabanová) and Michael Nyman (Facing Goya), lunchtime chamber music, orchestra performances and a pair of concerts by the Westminster Choir.

June 27-Aug. 30, Lenox, Mass.

The summer home of the Boston Symphony will be buzzing this year as Andris Nelsons, the orchestra’s new music director, is poised to take over. He’ll lead the orchestra in four concerts including an all-Dvorak program with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, Brahms’ Third Symphony and excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier. Soprano Renée Fleming opens the festival, which includes concert performances of Leonard Bernstein’s opera Candide, Handel’s Teseo and a new chamber version of Jack Beeson’s gripping Lizzie Borden. The list of A-list guest artists, as usual, is long.

7 Guaranteed Ways to Fail in the Arts

cropped-tkv3.jpgBy:By Suzana Stankovic

Are you tired of success? Do you feel like you’ve had enough? Are mediocrity and failure what you’re after now? Or, do you simply want to stall your career and keep success at bay for a while? Well, you’re in luck! I sat around thinking about that, and came up with seven tips that are sure to set you on the path toward failure. Together, they offer the perfect formula for existential and artistic death. Here’s what you can do starting today, if you absolutely want to fail in the arts:

1. Sit around and wait for approval, permission, and authorization to be what you dream of being and do what you want to do. It doesn’t matter that the greatest artists of all time were daring, fearless visionaries who boldly took matters into their own hands with whatever resources they had. Don’t you do the same!

2. Follow the rules and follow the crowd. Play it safe! Don’t think outside of the box, don’t be different, audacious, or brave ever, unless you’ve been given permission or approval as stated above. Disregard the fact that humanity needs the artist to dream big, take risks, and bust through conventions. It must not be you who does this. Wait for someone else to do it first.

3. Care deeply about what people think. If someone doesn’t like your performance or your headshot or your play or whatever, go home and cry, and seriously question your talent.

4. Actively seek out the opinions of others, especially those who have never taken any risks on behalf of a dream or created any art of their own, and then change your work according to their advice, which they are usually happy to share at length.

5. Do some more waiting around for permission and approval. It’s the best use of your time, so get comfy and cozy. Do not, by any means, create your own circumstances, opportunities, and marketing materials with the free tools available to you such as the Internet, social media, YouTube, and Vimeo.

6. At all times, try to please everyone and be sure to live with a paralyzing fear of rejection. This will keep you on your toes and far from any artistic risk-taking and growth.

7. Allow others to define you, industry professionals and laypeople alike. It’s important that you really know who you are, so always allow them to determine your worth and whether or not you’ve got a future in the arts. Do not follow your heart. Do not look within and trust your own inner guidance.

I hope you’ll find these tips helpful on your journey. Remember to practice them daily if you want to give away your personal power, feel insecure, uninspired, and ruled by fear. Failure is right around the corner!

Singing show tunes helps fight off dementia, Alzheimer’s disease: study

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BY David Harding
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Singing show tunes helps fight off dementia, Alzheimer’s disease: study
A recent research study found that those suffering from moderate to severe dementia did particularly well singing show tunes from movies and musicals such as ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Oklahoma!’ in group settings and had a marked improvement in their remembering skills versus those who simply listened during the sing-alongs.

The hills are alive with the sound of music, which could help people with Alzheimer’s stave off the effects of the debilitating disease.

A study by U.S. scientists has shown that the brain function of those suffering from dementia can be improved if they belt out their favorite show tunes.

Researchers working with elderly residents at an East Coast care home found in a four-month long study found that people who sang their favorite songs showed a marked improvement compared to those who just listened.

Among the songs sung during 50-minute sessions were hits from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Oklahoma!” and “The Sound of Music.”

The most improvement was among those sufferers with moderate to severe dementia.

Jane Flinn, one of the scientists involved in the study who works at George Mason University in Virginia, concluded singing was beneficial.

“Even when people are in the fairly advanced stages of dementia, when it is so advanced they are in a secure ward, singing sessions were still helpful,” she said.

“The message is: don’t give up on these people. You need to be doing things that engage them, and singing is cheap, easy and engaging.”

Opera Star says…..’Stop selling opera by dumbing it down’

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Meeting Joyce DiDonato in the green room at the Wigmore Hall, I have to resist an impulse to fall to my knees in reverence. A few days earlier I had heard her at Covent Garden singing Elena’s rondo “Tanti Affetti” in Rossini’s La Donna del largo, and I can only say that the sound she made was so perfectly beautiful – so purely projected, so elegantly shaped, so intensely felt and delicately coloured – that adjectives such as angelic and sublime floated to mind.

Fortunately, the delightfully warm and upbeat Miss DiDonato – born Flaherty (DiDonato is the legacy of a now terminated marriage) in 1969 – emerges as a straightforward Kansas gal, and I manage to remain respectably upright in her presence.

But I do find it hard to think of any other female singer of today so gloriously in her prime, commanding not only a stupendous technique, exquisite musicality and the ability to light up a stage, but also a rigorously professional commitment to her status and its responsibilities.

London has been good to her over the years, and she will be back at Covent Garden next season to sing the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda. Meanwhile, there’s some fun stuff to get through – she’s booked to be this year’s vocal soloist at the Last Night of the Proms.

She’s sung at the Proms before and often catches up with concerts on her laptop, so she knows roughly what to expect: it’s an extra thrill for her that this year’s concert will be streamed to the US, so her extended family in Kansas can get a taste of the party.

Fashion mavens will be tantalised to learn that she teasingly denies me a sneak preview of the wardrobe she proposes for the occasion. “Just let me reassure everyone that I shall do my damnedest to uphold the grand tradition. And that sparkle will feature somewhere.”

Arias by Handel, Rossini and Mozart make up the first half of her programme, with Over the Rainbow, Danny Boy and You’ll Never Walk Alone for dessert, before the inevitable Rule, Britannia, into which she may introduce some spectacular baroque flourishes.

The inclusion of Over the Rainbow was non-negotiable. It’s a song with a message that she feels encapsulates the way she’s lived her life, and it was the last thing that her late beloved father ever heard her sing. “He was a choral director, a Bruckner man, who always hated Judy Garland. But on his deathbed, he told me that I’d finally made him realise what a beautiful song it was.”

There’s also going to be a special hug on the night for her manager, the London-based Simon Goldstone. “He’s the only manager I’ve ever had, and our relationship goes back 15 years, to a time when I was starting off. Agents kept turning me down and I was very disheartened. When Simon called and told me that he thought he could make me a star, I told him he was crazy, but I went with him anyway – and one of the first things he said was that he just couldn’t wait to hear me sing at the Last Night of the Proms. So this is one for you, Simon.”

It may all sound too cute for words, but it isn’t. Along the way DiDonato has had plenty of struggle and heartbreak, both personal and professional. “I’ve developed a thick skin,” she says, and behind her bubbling charm and impressive range of extra-musical enthusiasms (including baking, wine, photography, yoga and tennis) she is remarkably focused and canny, as well as being a sterling trouper of the old school.

The conductor Antonio Pappano’s recent attack on flakey singers could not apply to her: she has only cancelled two performances in her entire career, “when my father was dying”, and has even struggled through recitals “relying on a box of Kleenex on the top of the piano”.

Perhaps the most impressive instance of her show-must-go-on attitude was the now legendary occasion at Covent Garden in 2009, when she slipped on stage and broke her fibula during the first act of Il barbiere di Siviglia but chose to finish the show on crutches, with absolutely no loss of verve or style.

Yet she doesn’t pass snap judgment on people who are less spunky than she is. “The pressures are intense, and it’s not surprising that some singers get a bit flighty. To them I would say: don’t forget that you have a job to do, and learn how to say no when you map out your advance schedule. But managements are often at fault, too. They continue to hire people who are unreliable, and that makes them feel that bad behaviour is permissible.”

DiDonato tries to find time to mentor young singers and inculcate them with good habits. “I don’t do formal teaching, but I like to pass on whatever experience I have – I think it’s important for students to have contact with people who are in the thick of it, not just those who have retired.”

What does she tell them? “It’s difficult. I’m painfully aware that even in the most prestigious conservatories like Juilliard only 10, 15 per cent of students will go on to make a career in opera, but they’re all looking at me and thinking – up there is someone living my dream.”

“So I tell them that it’s not about us, the singers, it’s about the music. We’re just the messengers, the vessels, and the freer we can be from our own egos the more of Mozart or Handel than can come through.”

“I advise them not to attempt to turn the sound they make into something it isn’t – don’t try to be Bartoli or Pavarotti. I did that when I was 25 and it got me into trouble. Have the confidence to be yourself and shed the pretence: that’s something I feel I’ve only learnt recently myself.”

She has trenchant things to say to the people who run the business too, and has a blast at certain operatic marketing campaigns that she believes are misleading and unhelpful. “Stop apologising, stop trying to sell our music by dumbing it down. Sell opera on the basis that it is like nothing else on the planet, not on the basis that it’s superficially cool and hip – that is so phoney.”

“Recently I performed at the Grammy awards. I felt like a fish out of water surrounded by all these rock and jazz musicians in a huge conference hall environment. But I sang the second half of Cenerentola’s rondo, and it seemed to go down very well.”

“What really moved me was an African-American girl who might have been 15. She came running up to find me afterwards and said ‘I don’t know what you call that sort of singing, but it was the most wonderful thing I have ever heard. Where can I find more of it?’ If we do our job properly, people will listen and get it. You see, great music just works.”

Rupert Christiansen

By , Opera critic

7:00AM BST 05 Sep 2013

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalmusic/10245140/Joyce-DiDonato-Stop-selling-opera-by-dumbing-it-down.html

 

 

Long-Term Benefits of Music Lessons

By SINDYA N. BHANOO

NEW YORK TIMES

Published: November 11, 2013

Childhood music lessons can sometimes leave painful memories, but they seem to carry benefits into adulthood. A new study reports that older adults who took lessons at a young age can process the sounds of speech faster than those who did not.

“It didn’t matter what instrument you played, it just mattered that you played,” said Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University and an author of the study, which appears in The Journal of Neuroscience.

She and her collaborators looked at 44 healthy adults ages 55 to 76, measuring electrical activity in a region of the brain that processes sound.

They found that participants who had four to 14 years of musical training had faster responses to speech sounds than participants without any training — even though no one in the first group had played an instrument for about 40 years.

Dr. Kraus said the study underscored the need for a good musical education. “Our general thinking about education is that it is for our children,” she said. “But in fact we are setting up our children for healthy aging based on what we are able to provide them with now.”

Other studies have suggested that lifelong musical training also has a positive effect on the brain, she added. Dr. Kraus herself plays the electric guitar, the piano and the drums — “not well but with great enthusiasm,” she said. 

Opera Agent responds BRILLIANTLY to AMERICA’S GOT TALENT inquiry….

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By ADA Artist Management
In recent days, ADA and several of its management company colleagues received an unsolicited email from America’s Got Talent. It was an impersonal, wide-sweep style email that in no way recognized the specific talent and quality of the artists that we manage, nor did it even address the email recipient by name. The original AGT email is below.

This is the official ADA reply to AGT’s email:

Dear AGT Producer,

Thank you for message. I have discussed it with my colleagues (fellow opera agents) and I understand that at least 3 of them have received the very same email you sent below.

I will be honest when I say that I do not believe we have the kind of talent you are looking for. AGT seems bent on finding raw, untrained talent with the potential to appeal to a mass audience that does not choose to understand the musical significance and connection that trained singers offer. It is not my intention to respond out of snobbery or disrespect, but instead from the standpoint of someone who is acutely aware of the kind of instruction, preparation and training our clients endure in order to make a living as professional opera singers. Being a professional, working opera singer requires the same kind of practice, polish, skill and dedication to the craft that an Olympian must dedicate to his or her sport.

We manage the careers of singers with the mindset of aiding them in building a LONG-term career. It is our goal that our singers perform worldwide and realize careers marked by longevity, the experience of being involved in new and innovative productions and the appreciation of both stalwart opera enthusiasts as well as the burgeoning new opera crowd. A true operatic career requires not only years of vocal training, but the in-depth study of languages, musical styles spanning over 400 years, acting, dance, and even stage combat. The people we have seen AGT put forward as “opera singers” wouldn’t be hired in the most humble of opera houses in the real world.

I understand you are doing your job and that the focus of that job is to uncover exciting acts that will then be “discovered” on national television.

I am quite happy to announce that our fine artists have already been discovered.

Best of luck in your search,

Ana De Archuleta and the team at ADA Artists

Original AGT Email:

Hello,

My name is XXXX and I’m a Casting Producer for America’s Got Talent. I am currently looking for the latest and greatest acts, of all ages and group size. After browsing your website, I believe that the members of your talented network would be ideal candidates for our upcoming season and I would love for you to share my casting information with everyone amongst your database of TALENT! Also, I’d love to speak with you directly and ideally get your stars on board to audition for our 9th Season of America’s Got Talent! If you think your TALENTED CLIENTS and ARTISTS have what it takes to be on America’s Got Talent, then please contact me today!

If you, or any of your colleagues have any incredible referrals or recommendations, please email me directly at XXXX with:
NAME, AGE, DESIRED AUDITION CITY, BRIEF DESCRIPTION of their TALENT, GROUP SIZE, CONTACT INFO and any VIDEOS or WEBSITES they have to showcase their act! **The more the videos can showcase their INCREDIBLE TALENT, INTENSE PERSONALITY and ENTERTAINMENT VALUE, the easier it will be to move forward with our casting process.
PLEASE SUBJECT THE EMAIL WITH – DESIRED AUDITION CITY/NAME OF ACT. This is very important!
Example: ATLANTA AUDITIONS- Taiko Warriors
Example: NEW YORK AUDITIONS – Dance Dance Romance
You can also find more information on our website.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Have a wonderful day.

Best,
XXX

Movie about Bounty Hunter turned Opera Singer, in the works…..

He curses like a sailor and sings like a virtuoso. He speaks with a slightly gruff timbre that disappears on stage. Michael Keaton is planning to make a movie about his life, but that’s hardly the most interesting thing about Carl Tanner.

That would be the story of how Mr. Tanner, 51, went from poor Virginia boy to truck driver and bounty hunter and, finally, Met-quality opera singer. Last month, he made his Pittsburgh Opera debut as Radames in “Aida.”

At times, his story sounds like a plotline from the television show “Glee.” When Mr. Tanner was attending Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va., he was a star wrestler and football player. Upon hearing him sing in the shower, a neighbor encouraged him to try out for the choir. At first, Mr. Tanner wasn’t interested — he said he thought guys in the chorus were “sissies” — until the friend told him how much Luciano Pavarotti made.

Carl Tanner, a former bounty hunter and truck driver who now is an acclaimed opera singer, is shown here in performance with Pittsburgh Opera. (YouTube video; 11/13/2013)

For Mr. Tanner, money was an important consideration. His father left school in the sixth grade to work in a sawmill. He eventually became a painter for the government, retiring with an annual income of $23,000. His mother had been a detective for the Arlington County police. Mr. Tanner was the youngest of four boys.

After joining the chorus junior year, he took a few lessons from his choir teacher. Out of high school, he made plans to play right tackle at the University of Maryland. He attended for only a week, deciding he wasn’t college material.

So he drove a florist van instead, picking up and delivering flowers around Washington, D.C. He enjoyed the independence of the job, spending his days listening to the radio. But he was ashamed to tell his friends what he was doing, so after driving for a few more months, he decided to try singing again.

Mr. Tanner auditioned at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va. He knew only a few songs — “O Holy Night,” “Amazing Grace” and “Arm, Arm, Ye Brave” from Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus” — but won over the audition committee nonetheless. He became the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college. His mother asked him what he wanted to do with his new diploma.

“I said, ‘I think I’m gonna drive a truck’ … Even though I was a good singer, I didn’t want it bad enough.”

He got a commercial driver’s license and drove a truck for a picture frame company for four years. During that time, a friend told him about a bounty hunter, an aging ex-Green Beret, looking for a partner. So began Mr. Tanner’s two years both truck-driving and chasing people down, from Haitian drug kingpins to old ladies operating an illegal day care center to lawyers who wouldn’t pay child support. During his first year, he made $80,000. He had never seen so much money in his life.

“It wasn’t easy. I wrestled people to the ground. I got punched in the face,” he said.

His stories go on and on. Sometimes, his dates don’t quite make sense, but you don’t want to interrupt him.

In one job, he hunted down a 16-year-old delinquent hiding out in a West Virginia cabin. When he approached from the front, the teenager started firing at him with a rifle. He and his partner eventually hog-tied him in their truck.

On the ride home, Mr. Tanner lectured the teen. “You can start your life over every day when you’re 16,” he told him.

Years later, at a 7-Eleven, Mr. Tanner saw the young man. He thanked him for helping him get his life in order and said he was now working at a nearby Honda dealership. And Mr. Tanner?

“I said, ‘I’m an opera singer.’ He said, ‘You’re [kidding] me, right?’ ”

Mr. Tanner gave up his bounty-hunting and truck-driving career not long after a man he was chasing was electrocuted by a power line right in front of him. “I saw him light up like a Christmas tree. Slowly, my mind healed after that.

“I’ve seen much worse in opera.”

He moved to New York City to pursue a singing career, taking a job as a singing waiter. After singing an aria from Puccini’s “Tosca,” he was approached by Richard Gaddes of Santa Fe Opera, who recruited him to be an apprentice with the summer opera company.

The gig would launch his career. He was too old, and had too mature of a voice, to do traditional opera training programs. But the tenor signed with an agent, took the occasional gig and learned technique and repertoire. He earned roles on the regional circuit and then in larger companies, from New York City Opera to La Scala.

Before his in-house debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 2010, Mr. Keaton stumbled upon a New York Times article about Mr. Tanner. Mr. Keaton, a Pittsburgh native, contacted his agent and then Mr. Tanner to discuss the possibility of making a film based on the tenor’s life. Like all budding Hollywood movies, its fate is unclear, and it’s too soon to tell whether it will ever make it to theaters.

“I like Carl so much, and I thought his story was so great, and he’s such a decent dude,” said Mr. Keaton, who plans to direct and produce the film. “[The project] has already gone a little farther than a lot of other projects I’m working on.”

Stan Chervin, who wrote “Moneyball,” wrote the script for the latent movie, which Mr. Keaton said will be a comedy.

“It’s not a quiet study. He was a bounty hunter,” said Mr. Keaton.

“As long as it doesn’t make me look dumb,” said Mr. Tanner, a self-described “educated redneck.” He enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh and is even considering moving here with his partner and 5 year-old son.

Having numbers of Mr. Keaton and other famous Hollywood types in his phone is a little bizarre for Mr. Tanner. Then again, it’s just one in a long list of surprising things about him.

“At the end of the day, I’m a poor boy from Virginia, and I’m blessed. And that’s it.”

 

Elizabeth Bloom: ebloom@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1750 or Twitter @BloomPG. Blog: Measured Words at www.post-gazette.com/measuredwords.

 

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/music/2013/11/13/Trucker-to-tracker-to-a-world-class-tenor-1/stories/201311130042#ixzz2kZG9npPS