Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Where are they now: Matthew Anchel

Now that the Grand Finals have passed for about two months and the 2012-2013 season of the Metropolitan Opera came to a close, I thought it would be great to see what our winners are up to this summer and beyond.  First up is our Grand Finalist: 

Matthew Anchel

Matthew as Alidoro in La Cenerentola at the Knoxville Opera
Opera Idols: What have you been up to since the Grand Finals?
Matthew Anchel:  A few weeks after the auditions I went down South to perform with Knoxville Opera. I sang the role of Alidoro in La Cenerentola. It was such a nice experience and Knoxville is a really cute town.

OI: What plans do you have for the summer?
MA: This summer I'm going out to Santa Barbara to do Music Academy of the West. I'm singing the role of Sarastro in The Magic Flute and singing in the scenes concert. I'm really excited to get to work with Warren Jones and Marilyn Horne. I am also looking forward to being out West; I LOVE it out there and I've never been to Santa Barbara before so I'm excited about that.

OI: How has participating in the National Council Auditions changed your career? 
MA: After the auditions I was initially very bummed not to be a grand prize winner. Some opportunities I thought I'd have fell through and I was sort of worried about my future. Luckily, I got an offer from the Met to cover two roles next season. When I didn't win, everyone told me that "just making the Finals means you're a winner." At first I was too disappointed to realize that, but it's really true. I've met so many amazing people, I have a job at the Met next year and the money I received just from making the finals has allowed me to thoroughly coach my upcoming roles and not worry about getting a survival job. After working at the Met next season, I'll be going back to Opera San Jose in the Winter and Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the Spring.

OI: What was your experience like at the Met?
MA: Everything was amazing. Going to the Met and working with the incredible people they have there was daunting, but everyone was so welcoming and understanding of how overwhelmed we all were. The conductor and the coaches were all so wonderful and then there are the amazing people in the offices, "behind the scenes," who make everything happen for the competition. The week of the finals, I realized my tuxedo no longer fit me, so I told someone and I was sent on a shopping trip with an amazing patron to get a new tux. I sort of felt like Cinderella or something, and the best part is that I will use the tuxedo for a very long time and remember how happy I was when I got it. When I finally got to the stage with the orchestra I was very, very nervous. I've sung in lots of different theaters, but nothing can prepare you for how enormous the Met is.

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