September 11, 2014

Meet the artist: Doug LaBrecque

Doug LaBrecque
Whether your musical tastes lean toward the classic melodies of Cole Porter and George Gershwin or the contemporary showstoppers of Marvin Hamlisch and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the RPO’s first Pops concert of the season this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. is guaranteed to please the palate of any Broadway fan.

On Tuesday, we introduced you to one of two featured guest artists, soprano Lisa Vroman, who starred in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, among many other accolades. Today, we introduce you to tenor Doug LaBrecque, a Michigan native who now lives in Manhattan. Like Vroman, LaBrecque is also known for his work in The Phantom of the Opera, where he played both Raoul and the title role. Other major credits include a starring role in the original cast of the Harold Prince Broadway revival of Showboat and the national tour of Les Misérables. He has appeared with more than 125 orchestras worldwide and most major pops orchestras in America including the Philly Pops, the Boston Pops, and the New York Pops.

For tickets and more information, visit rpo.org!

Q and A with Doug LaBrecque

My favorite Broadway show:
Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince's original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd.

If I had to perform one role for the rest of my life, it would be:
Loyal brother, trusted friend, and avid gardener.

Proudest moment of my career:
When my family came to Toronto for my first Saturday night performance playing the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera. Their support (and rousing ovation!) was extraordinary.

Your favorite song from this weekend’s program:
All of them! I will be singing Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Arlen, Lerner and Loewe, and more with the RPO this weekend. How could I possibly choose just one?

What’s your pre-performance ritual?
Two hours before a performance, I review my music and patter for the evening while I iron my dress shirt and tuxedo.

My favorite person to collaborate with is:
There are a number of colleagues that I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to work with. Jeff Tyzik of the RPO is a very supportive and creative collaborator. He is the real deal and Rochester audiences are very fortunate to have him! Lisa Vroman is one of the most respected singers of her generation and I adore working with her.

When I’m not onstage, you can find me:
Golfing! For me, the craft of singing and golf have many similarities. They are both extraordinarily technical, have strong elements of required mental focus, and both take a lifetime to even begin to scratch the surface of mastering. The perfectly placed breath moves through the vocal folds in much the same way the ideal swing passes through and connects with the golf ball. Posture, rhythm, follow through, and focus are required at each step along the way. I also am an avid gardener, a passionate locavore and I cook whenever I have the time away from my touring schedule.

Advice to young people interested in a performance career:
Don't let the naysayers hold you back. If you are truly passionate about it, hone your craft, study, and learn all that you can. If a performance career is not for you, you will learn that fairly quickly. I don't go out of my way to wildly encourage people to "go for it" but a lifetime of regret can bankrupt your life.


No comments: