Bass-Baritone Nathan Stark is currently covering in Billy Budd at the Metropolitan Opera.
What a thrilling, and terrifying, experience to get a call from the Metropolitan Opera saying, “you’re on today, Mr. Stark – the artist you’re covering is sick and unable to rehearse this evening. Please be here in 30 minutes to begin staging Act 1, scene 1. We’ll also need you to sing through the musical run-through of act 2 this evening.”THANK GOD I was prepared musically, off-book and memorized. I barely had time to take a 5 minute shower, warm up my voice (while in the shower) and jump on the A train to Lincoln Center before I was standing between opera superstars like Nathan Gunn, James Morris and Dwayne Croft singing through Billy Budd – an opera I’d never done before. Everybody from the artists to stage director, the coaches to the conductor congratulated me afterward for being so well prepared in stepping in. They were all so very kind to me and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.