The Atlanta Opera Blog

Four more from Faust

season, The Atlanta Opera celebrates Chorus Master Walter Huff’s 25th
anniversary with the company. The opera chorus for the production of
Charles Gounod’s Faust features 46 local singers, carefully selected and
rehearsed by Maestro Huff.

For today’s post, we’ve asked four veteran members
of our chorus to share their favorite Atlanta Opera memories.

Josh Borden, during
Il Trovatore

Josh Borden made his Atlanta Opera debut in our 1994 production of Bellini’s Norma
and has appeared in 43 operas since. He remembers his first rehearsal with the
company, “I was in awe of those around me, wondering how I got to be so
fortunate as to sing with the chorus.” Mezzo-soprano Lenna Turner shares his
sentiment. “I literally thought I would pass out at each rehearsal. The first
time I ever saw the Atlanta Opera Chorus perform [Mozart’s Requiem] I thought, ‘Oh
my God! I have to do that. It was the most beautiful sound. And now to be in the
middle of that sound as a chorus member…it still seems surreal.”

John Young, tenor

many singers, performing in our chorus remains a constant even as their
personal and professional lives develop. Tenor John Young began his Atlanta Opera career
in 1991 and says he’s been in too many productions to count. “When
I first became a part of the chorus I was one of the youngest people. Twenty-three years
later and all of a sudden I’m one of the ‘seasoned’ singers! It’s amazing
to be part of an organization for such a long period of time. I’ve seen
many changes and lots of growth. I’ve performed with The Atlanta Opera at Symphony Hall, the Fox Theater, Civic Center, and now CEPAC. Being a part of the organization as a young singer provides
an immeasurable amount of experience and knowledge needed to be

years after his company debut, Josh Borden remains in awe. He recalls just a
few of his favorite memories as a chorister, including a performance at the
1996 Olympic Games. He says there have been quite a few
unusual moments, such as “when they introduced snakes and monkeys (who don’t
get along) in Aida and when the men scalping Azucena in Il Trovatore
actually removed her wig during the Open Dress Rehearsal, and Marianne Cornetti
continued singing with passion as if it were planned.”

Tenor Greg Sterchi (rt) during a
1992 production of Carmen

Greg Sterchi has been performing with the Atlanta Opera since 1990 and has had his share of
memories.“One of the most memorable productions was the 1992 Carmen
which was set in the current time period. Ken Cazan was the director. Instead of gypsies, we were terrorists toting AK-47s and we wore spandex and
polyester costumes, Ray-Bans, and slicked-back hair. In typical Ken Cazan
fashion, it was full of sex and violence!  I met my partner of 10 years
during that production and built friendships that exist today.”

Lenna Turner

Josh Borden says, “Above all, there are magical moments that seem to creep into
each show.” According to Lenna Turner, she fell in love with opera through
the experience of performing in the chorus: “I fell instantly in love with an art form that I had
very little exposure to growing up. I always say ‘I can’t believe I get to sing
this with these talented people.'”

Atlanta Opera is honored to be part of the tradition of musical excellence in
our community. We thank our tireless chorus for their years of talent and
commitment, and look forward to sharing many more seasons making opera magic
with our wonderful colleagues!

Buy your tickets now to see these and other “seasoned” singers in the Atlanta Opera Chorus. Click here

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