Meet tenor Brian Cheney, singing the title role in WERTHER (11/10 and 11/12 at BCO)

Brian answers questions about the character of Werther, French opera, and being an opera singer.

Q: What draws you to the character of Werther?

Photo credit Leslie Hassler

Photo credit Leslie Hassler

A: The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the opera Werther is the absolutely stunning music. It truly is a masterpiece and I am so excited and humbled to make my Werther debut with BCO! The character itself is a challenge to play. It took me some time to really pinpoint how I would define this complex man and portray his deep emotional frame of mind. As an artist, he feels everything so deeply and is totally encompassed by raw emotion. From the highest highs to the depths of darkness and despair, Werther allows himself to feel it all! I view Werther as a black star that absorbs and envelops everything until, finally, he implodes. It’s really been fun to go down that rabbit hole with him.

Q: How are you same/different from the character?

A: I do understand the artist’s perspective to deeply feel every emotion to its fullest. It’s what I love about opera for sure! Where I differ from the character is that I am an eternal optimist. Even in the worst situations, my mind goes to the positive.

Q: What do you enjoy about singing in French?

A: EVERYTHING! I am in love with the French language and it’s such a privilege to sing it.

Q: What do you enjoy about your career as a singer?

A: The work. I love character development in every sense and the art form of opera is the pinnacle of vocalism. I get so much fulfillment as an artist in being able to sing so many different roles.

Q: What is something everyone should know about WERTHER?

A: It really the best of the best of French opera. A stunning score with soaring, beautiful melodies. It really is like a 2 1/2 hour art song with such gorgeous and subtle nuance. Come get lost down the rabbit hole with me!

A special thanks to Brian for taking the time to write for us!

If you don’t have your tickets yet for WERTHER  (11/10 at 7:30pm and 11/12 at 3pm), we do still have some available. Click HERE to find out more about Brian and the rest of the cast, and click HERE to buy tickets which start at just $27.50.