Sunday, July 6, 2014

Interview with stars of Cincinnati Opera's "Silent Night"

Gabriel Preisser (Photo: Provided/Opera Philadelphia, Dominic Mercier)
As the Cincinnati Opera gears up to be the latest company to present Kevin Puts' Silent Night, the Cincinnati Enquirer sat down and interviewed three of the leading baritones from the production. Here is the interview with Craig Irvin, Gabriel Preisser and Andrew Wilkowske.

You were all in the world premiere at Minnesota Opera in 2011. Tell us about your characters.
Preisser: I play Lt. Gordon, the Scottish lieutenant who proposes the truce. I think he’s the kind of person who’s trying to do the right thing. He doesn’t go into it wanting to fraternize, but his troops are exhausted and he’s told they’ll be home for Christmas. The Scottish, I assume, have no idea why they’re fighting. It’s not their war. Yet there they are. So when he sees these German soldiers singing Christmas carols, and the bagpipe player jumps up on the trench, he has no choice but to say we need to have a truce.
Irvin: I’m Lt. Horstmayer, the German, who has to deal with Sprink (a private who is an opera singer), who’s questioning him all the time and going into no-man’s land, where Horstmayer feels he’ll be killed any moment.
Wilkowske: My character is Ponchel, the aide-de-camp of the French lieutenant. He’s the comic relief. … In an opera that’s about people getting killed all the time, it’s nice to be the guy who gets to have a couple of jokes. He carries an alarm clock to remind him that he used to have coffee every day at that time with his mother.
Irvin: In the Muppet opera version, we decided he’s Fozzie.
Preisser: In the “MASH” version, he’s Radar O’Reilly.

[Read the entire interview at the Cincinnati Enquirer]

Performances are on July 10 and 12 and tickets are available online.

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