Cast Spotlight - Thao Nguyen, Baritone

Welcome back to our Opera for the 22nd Century blog for our final feature for the cast of Fortune's Children - A Zoom Opera by David Wolfson. We hope you plan to attend a performance (or two) of this exciting world premiere on either Friday, October 16 or Saturday, October 17. If you hadn't heard, 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 will play the role of Chris in our production. Thao is making his Hartford Opera Theater debut in Fortune's Children and we hope you enjoy learning about his career and what performing in this opera means to him.


Thao Nguyen is acclaimed by critics for his "velvety baritone and his ease and grace on stage." At home on the classical/operatic and contemporary stage, Mr. Nguyen has performed with many companies on the east coast including Connecticut Opera, Playhouse on Park, Piedmont Opera, Mountain Theatre, Lees McRae Theatre, Temple Theatre and Cape Fear Regional Theatre!  This year, Mr. Nguyen 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. This is gripping tale of a soldier in war torn Taiwan. It explores the tragedy of this moment in time and how humanity still can find a light in the darkness. As a champion of new music, he is delighted to be a part of the evolution of opera in this first of its kind "Zoom Opera" Fortune's Children by David Wolfson. 

Also active in film and TV, Mr. Nguyen is represented by The Brock Agency for Film/TV/Commercial.  You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @thetaoofThao and www.thaotnguyen.com.

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


HOTOpera: Is this your first time singing in an opera created for an online platform? If so, how is it different than working in person? 


Thao: Yes, this is my first time singing a piece that is made intentionally for an online platform. It is a different beast, in a sense, than the typical rehearsals we are used to. I miss the in person interaction and feeling the room vibrate with my colleagues voices. It also is a test to the "craft/technique" of the actor to combine the grandiose of opera, where you have to convey your message to the back of a 3,000 seat house, with the subtle world of acting for the camera, two polar opposites. 


HOTOpera: This opera is about COVID and the effect that the virus has on a family. Do you think it's possible for COVID to bring a family closer together? 


Thao: I do believe COVID could be a catalyst for families who have always had the intention to "want to spend more time together" but the opportunity had never presented itself, to come together. The quarantine, the "we can get through this together" mentality can all aid in bringing a family closer. 


HOTOpera: What are you most looking forward to when we can perform together again in the real world? 

Thao: I love the stage and I love working together with people and feeling that excited energy. I believe that is what I will look forward to the most when we return together again. 


HOTOpera: What is something fun that you want our audience to know about you? 


Thao: Aside from my performing career, I also run a private studio and offer masterclasses up and down the east coast. I find it hard to separate myself from my work/artist-self, because I find so much enjoyment from it and I've been so lucky that I can support myself by just doing my art.


When I'm not being "Artsy" you could probably find me fishing( a secret hobby of mine ) and biking which is a new hobby I've embraced during this pandemic. I also believe this is also a time to add your voice to the social justice revolution we are facing at this time, so a lot of my social media presence these days have been about that and the fight for equality and justice. 


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 and interviews with director, Moira O'Sullivan and the composer/librettist, David Wolfson. We hope to see you on Zoom on 10/16 or 10/17 at 7pm. Visit our website to purchase your tickets today and learn more about this innovative chamber opera created for Zoom!

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