Cast Spotlight - Thao Nguyen

Welcome back to our Opera for the 22nd Century blog for another feature from the cast of Changing Fortunes - A Zoom Opera by David Wolfson. We hope you plan to attend a performance (or two) of this exciting world premiere on either Friday, March 12 or Saturday, March 13. TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE and can be purchased through our website. Both performances will be presented live on Zoom. Today we're pleased to feature another talented cast member, baritone Thao Nguyen who played the role of Chris in Part I of the Fortune's Children series. We hope you enjoy learning about Thao's multifaceted career, what he's been up to since Fortune's Chidlren: Part I, and what being a part of this production means to him.

Thao Nguyen, comfortable on both the operatic and musical theatre stages, is acclaimed by critics for his "velvety baritone and his ease and grace on stage."


In this extra-ordinary time, Thao has had the pleasure of being a part of the English world premiere of Tropical Angel, a co-production based in NYC and Taipei, Taiwan. As a champion of new music in the classical world, he was delighted to be a part of the evolution of opera in one of the first "Zoom Operas": Fortune's Children by David Wolfson with Hartford Opera Theater and he is delighted to be invited back to rejoin the cast in it’s sequel Changing Fortunes.

Also active in film and TV, Thao can be seen in the upcoming 2022 feature film NEMESIS ETERNA directed by award winning director Stephen Van Vuuren. Thao is represented by The Brock Agency for Film/TV/Commercial. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @thetaoofThao and www.thaotnguyen.com for further information.

We recently interviewed Thao about performing in Changing Fortunes. Here's what he had to say:


HOTOpera: We're thrilled to have you back to sing the role of Chris in Changing Fortunes - the sequel to Fortune's Children: A Zoom Opera. What have you been up to since FC Part I?


Thao: I've been very fortunate to have been able to perform quite a bit since we left off in November! As we navigate through this pandemic, which has been about a year now, I am amazed and stunned at how well local/regional theatres have adapted, persevered and created beautiful works while keeping everyone safe.


I was able to perform another zoom-style show with a musical theatre company in NYC in collaboration with the cultural center of Taipei, to create the English world premiere of the musical Tropical Angel.


I was also in my first full length feature film called NEMESIS ETERNA which will be released in 2022.


HOTOpera: In Changing Fortunes, we find circumstances have changed the least for your character. How are circumstances different for Chris in Part II?


Thao: Chris has partially shed his "Frat boy" vibe and found a career path! He is now working at Mercy Hospital but unfortunately he has contracted the Covid-19 virus. To see how Chris' life turns out, you'll have to come watch the show!


HOTOpera: How have the brothers evolved since we last saw them? How has the appearance of your Mother (Sharon) changed things for the brothers?

Thao: Without revealing too much, things are turned up on its head for this sequel. This is a time of "Change" for EVERYONE in the family. Including our "Mom" who you all get to meet!


HOTOpera: What virtual projects (opera, theater or otherwise) have inspired you since the beginning of COVID? Have your ideas changed about how to create art in extenuating circumstances?


Thao: I don't believe my idea of how to create art has changed, but my ideas about what mediums and the "Where can we do this" has. With Zoom you can create and document and record anything you want, with anyone you can invite to join you, from anywhere in the world! I believe this is a very exciting and innovative time.


HOTOpera: What do you have to say to singers that are hesitant to participate in or organize an opera created for an online platform?


Thao: I would advise them to think about the future of opera BEFORE the pandemic. Everyone had the idea or has heard that "opera was dying". Opera audiences were dwindling because of notions that- it was for the elite, for people with money, unattainable to the "everyday" person. Now with zoom, operas can be as mundane as a movie on Netflix, that the "everyday" person can enjoy on their couch. It is no longer unattainable or scary. You can literally enjoy LIVE opera at home, in your pj's with a glass of wine!

Thank you for visiting our Opera for the 22nd Century blog! We hoped you enjoyed learning about Thao. Stay tuned next week for more features including interviews with tenor, Darius A. Gillard and composer/librettist, David Wolfson. We hope to see you on Zoom on 3/12 or 3/13 at 7pm. Visit our website to purchase your tickets today and learn more about this two part chamber opera created for Zoom!

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