Five Minutes: Sophomore connects with audience
Sarah Krusleski: Is the United States more of an opera country than Denmark?
Adam Frandsen: Not necessarily, but the way they teach opera over here is different. The way I wanted to sing was the way they teach over here. The young artists programs at various operas are very good in the States, especially here in Houston.
Krusleski: What would you say is the difference between the way Americans teach singing and the way people in Denmark approach it?
Frandsen: In Denmark and Northern Europe in general, there’s a tradition of a much lighter singing style. In Italy, there is a lot of passion in the singing and the Italian lyric requires a different approach to the voice than most of the German music, Mozart and so forth, which allows for a much lighter voice.
Krusleski: So what are you playing in the upcoming opera?
Frandsen: The upcoming opera is a contemporary Spanish-language opera by a Mexican composer called Daniel Cat’aacute;n. It’s called Florencia en el Amazonas and it actually premiered here. I’m singing the lead tenor, which is Arcadio. He’s a deckhand on a ship going down the Amazon and the captain’s nephew, and they’re going to see an opera singer named Florencia Grimaldi. She’s actually on the boat, but the only one who recognizes her is the captain since he sailed with her before and she’s looking for her long-lost love somewhere in the jungle.
Krusleski: I’m guessing for you, since you’ve been studying it, if you hear a song you remember the notes.
Frandsen: What can be difficult, especially in more modern pieces, is the rhythms that can really change a melody into something because it has to be at the right time and so forth, so it’s very tough to remember. It’s almost impossible not to forget something in the acting or the singing, but that’s what makes it exciting, because I think that also the audience can feel that … it’s not some big machinery.