Brad Walker, 2011-12 KU/Lyric Opera Apprentice and Fiorello in production of The Barber of Seville opening Saturday, recently sat down with us so we could pick his brain. Not only did he answer questions for our “10 Questions” series, but he also took some time to explain what the Lyric Opera Apprentice program means to him and how it has helped him grow as he enters the professional world of an opera singer. Watch the video below to learn about Mr. Walker’s Lyric Opera Apprentice experience. AND, don’t forget to scroll down afterwards to read all about this up-and-coming artist.
1. How did your initial interest in the art form of opera begin?
Mr. Walker: I first became interested in opera my first semester of college at Michigan State University. I was taking voice lessons and my teacher basically said, “Stop singing that pop-musical theater crap, your voice was made for opera!” So I looked into it, and found I really had a passion for it.
2. Where did you grow up?
Mr. Walker: I grew up in Lake Zurich, Il. A suburb about 45 minutes Northwest of Chicago.
3. Do you have a significant other? Children? Pets?
Mr. Walker: No. I have a wonderful roommate, who is “training” me to be a great husband around the apartment, but no significant other.
4. What is an average day like for you? Do you have a set routine?
Mr. Walker: I do have a routine! I just started using it in fact! I wake up about eight o’clock each morning and work out for about an hour. Head home, clean myself up and get ready for the day. I head to KU where I teach/practice/coach/work for the opera department. Around 6, I leave for Kansas City for whatever rehearsal I have that night. Get home about 11, and watch Hulu for about an hour. Rinse, and repeat. Though, I do take one day a week of and bum around!
5. What is your favorite opera to watch/experience?
Mr. Walker: My favorite opera is Mozart’s Don Giovanni. It was the first opera I ever saw, and I have loved it ever since. Not to mention, I would love to play all the roles in it some day!
6. Have you performed your role in Barber before? If so, do you have any interesting anecdotes you can share about the experience?
Mr. Walker: I have not. This is actually my first The Barber of Seville. So I don’t have any anecdotes, but I am plenty nervous to be the first one to sing!!
7. What language(s) do you speak fluently?
Mr. Walker: English is the only language I speak fluently, but I am trying to get my Italian back up to snuff.
8. What facts about you would our audiences be surprised to learn?
Mr. Walker: That I am a HUGE momma’s boy. One of the things I have had to learn to live with and adjust to, is that this career takes you away from your family. I try to call once a week at least, but I make every effort to get back home to see everyone as much as possible.
9. The opera role you haven’t performed, but would like to perform the most in your career?
Mr. Walker: Don Giovanni. No question about it. He is such an amazing character. You get to play so many emotions through the course of one show, not to mention sing Mozart!
10. If you bumped into me at a coffee shop and learned that I had never been to an opera before, what would you say to entice me to give it a try?
Mr. Walker: Try watching a movie without the music. It is BORING. Music is the only language everyone on our planet speaks. It connects all of us, and touches you far deeper than words. Why wouldn’t you want to experience an art form centered around it?!
Don’t miss Mr. Walker in The Barber of Seville at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City!