Baritone Troy Cook, who stars as Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music (and was last seen at DMMO as de Brétigny in Manon and Younger Galileo in Galileo Galilei), answers questions about opera, singing, family and superpowers.
Q: Did you grow up in a musical family? When did you start singing?
I didn’t really grow up in a musical family. My family has a great appreciation for music and theater, so as a kid I always went to the broadway shows that would tour through Louisville, KY near my hometown. I was the one in my family who discovered the magic of classical music. I just fell in love with it, and then in college with foreign language, so no wonder I became an opera singer! I always sang in school and church growing up, and I guess, because of my ability, I often got solo parts. My nickname growing up was Tunely, because I was always singing something…
Q: If you couldn’t be a singer, what other careers would you have pursued?
That’s a tough one. I know now that if I wasn’t singing, I’d be working for an opera company most likely in development. I love this art form so much and I want to be sure that it will be around for years to come, and I’ll do everything that I can both on and off the stage to make that happen!
Q: What’s been your most memorable role (or production) to date?
I’d have to say singing the role of Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlo with Opera Philadelphia. I have never felt so much like a composer had written a role specifically for me, then when I sang Rodrigo! It’s just the perfect combination of character and vocalism for my voice, my intellect, and my heart!
Q: Have you sung the role of Fredrik before? Have there been any surprises about the character or the music during your study of the role?
This will be my first go at Fredrik. When I look back at my memories of seeing A Little Night Music, I always thought of myself as the swashbuckling Dragoon Count Carl Magnus, but when I looked at the piece more recently, the aging lawyer Egerman trying to renew his unrenewable youth seems a bit more up my alley. There’s a lot that I have learned in the last several years about myself that parallel Fredrik’s journey; Sometimes the things that you think will make you happy, don’t make you happy at all. Happiness often lies right in front of you… all you have to do is open your eyes and embrace it.
Q: If you could sing any role (regardless of fach or gender), which would you most like to sing?
Mandrika from Strauss’s Arabella
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to transport myself instantly from place to place. It sure would make traveling a lot easier!
Hometown: Eminence, Ky
Family: Two sisters 7 and 10 years older than myself, two nieces, two nephews and two great nieces!
Education: Centre College of KY (undergrad) Eastman School of Music (Grad)
Favorite composer: Puccini or Mozart. It’s so hard to choose!!!
Favorite singer: Ella Fitzgerald
Favorite opera: The one I’m doing, or Don Carlo
Favorite book: Me talk pretty one day – David Sedaris
Favorite foods: Baba Ganoush, Fried green tomatoes, Pot Roast and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Favorite color: Blue