Call them the ultimate tag team — with really great voices.
Four baritones will take the spotlight in Opéra Louisiane’s “Baritones on the Bayou,” on Thursday, Sept. 10, in Louisiana’s Old State Capitol.
“A lot of people are familiar with the Three Tenors concerts,” says Mark Walters, who will take the stage with fellow singers Dennis Jesse, Ivan Griffin and Todd Thomas. “Well, this is like that, only we’ll have four baritones, and we’ll start off the program as sort of a tag team.”
That’s when the familiar lyric “Figaro,” from Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” will be handed off as one baritone finishes the line of his predecessor.
“We’ll be singing operatic songs with familiar baritone arias, along with musical theater songs that Michael has arranged in four-part harmony for baritones,” Walters says.
“And as Michael always says, that is one of the most important components to performing is to have fun with it,” Thomas adds. “This is going to be fun.”
Both refer to Opéra Louisiane’s Artistic Director Michael Borowitz, who has created a gumbo of operatic and musical theater selections, spicing it with guest soprano Rachel Cobb.
“I don’t know how the musical theater selections will work out, because we’re all opera singers,” Thomas says. “But when you have Michael doing the arrangements, you know it’s all going to be good.”
This will be the second time Thomas, who lives in Philadelphia, performs with Opéra Louisiane. He made his Baton Rouge debut in the company’s 2012 production, “Feast With Flastaff.”
He and Walters, who lives in North Carolina, are looking forward to Louisiana’s hospitality and food.
As for the others on the program, Baton Rouge opera fans are already familiar with Dennis Jesse, who not only has performed in and directed numerous local productions, but is an associate professor of voice at LSU.
New Orleans fans will recognize Ivan Griffin, who performs with the city’s Opera-Creole company.
Borowitz will accompany the quartet on piano.