Friday, August 27, 2010

The End of a Few Things and Life Lessons From Sarastro

As this new semester begins, I look toward the future and how I will very likely not be at BYU and will be off serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That is one of the most exciting things to think about. This is also going to be the last time that I will sing in a BYU choir for two years, which I'm sure I will miss terribly. This semester, BYU will also see something that has never and likely will never again be seen, namely me singing a role typically associated with a basso profundo. With plenty of low Fs, the role of Sarastro has plenty of pitfalls for someone who is really a baritone, like me. However, I seem to do it well enough at the moment that no one is particularly afraid for me. I do get the feeling though, that the second I step off the stage at my last performance, I will magically turn into a baritone. It's like God has been holding my voice in the basement for just long enough to do this role and as soon as it's over, it's over. I'm plenty thankful for this role though. It's certainly not a role that any other opera company in the world would give me and I get to experience something that many baritones don't come across very often: a role that's neither comic relief nor the villain. There's a lot to be learned from the benevolent leader Sarastro. He rules with absolute power and yet he lets truth (Wahrheit), charity (Wohlt├Ątigkeit), and goodness (Tugend) guide his actions. All people and especially leaders should try to be like this great leader. Could I have have hoped for a better role to be my last before serving my mission? I don't think so.