Norfolk, Richmond, Fairfax, VA (October 26, 2016) Virginia Opera presents rising-star baritone, Will Liverman as Figaro in seven performances next month of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
Originally from Hampton Roads, the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk provided a young Will Liverman his memorable introduction to opera. His class was attending the final dress rehearsal (Student Night at the Opera) of Virginia Opera’s Die Walküre when he was abruptly aroused from nodding-off by the Ride of the Valkyries theme. Up until that moment he thought the familiar melody originated from a cartoon. He decided then, “opera was kind of cool.” The Governor’s School offered Will the opportunity to have voice lessons, perform in operas, learn to sing in different languages, and perform with a voice that filled huge theatres without amplification. At the age of fourteen, Will sang the role of Sarastro in the school’s production of The Magic Flute. Since then, opera has become his career and fortunately for the opera world, his impressive talent is making an impact. Virginia Opera welcomes Will back as he performs the title role in The Barber of Seville on the very stage he heard live opera for the first time.
Alan Fischer, Department Chair of Vocal Music at The Governor’s School for the Arts reminisces about Will: “Will Liverman may have been short in stature when he auditioned as an 8th grader for a place in the Vocal Music department of the Governor’s School, but his voice was anything but that. His voice already had changed and he was a baby baritone right in his first year. In his junior year he sang Figaro for us, sharing the role with another singer to be, Ryan Speedo Green, and in his senior year, he performed the role of Horace Tabor in our production of The Ballad of Baby Doe. Will was always a committed, dedicated young singer, and it was so exciting to watch him grow artistically in his four years with us at GSA. I am so proud that he is the first GSA graduate to sing a leading role in a Virginia Opera mainstage production. We will be cheering him on at the dress rehearsal!!!”
His training at the Governor’s School for the Arts under the dedicated mentorship of the late Robert Brown and Vocal Music Department Chair, Alan Fischer guided him along a direct path to success. Will credits The Governor’s School for his decision to become an opera singer, “What he (Robert Brown) and Alan Fischer brought out of us and poured into us was so priceless.” The Glimmerglass Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Lyric Opera of Chicago have given him significant debuts and the opportunity to deliver compelling performances. Future engagements include his reprisal of the role of Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with English National Opera and his Seattle Opera debut in the role of Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory.
Will’s advice for any young person who is thinking about a career as an opera singer: “Stay focused on what your own path is and don’t worry about the person to the left or right of you. Your experiences will be what they are and you must embrace those experiences and learn from them. Stay true to yourself and never lose the joy in why you decided to sing.” Virginia Opera is proud to feature Will as the resourceful, Figaro in the upcoming production of The Barber of Seville.
His entrance aria is the rousing Largo al factotum, which is considered one of the most difficult in the baritone repertoire with tongue-twisting lyrics and explosive tempo. This challenging aria is Will’s favorite. “I look back on those memories of GSA and my first memories sitting in those seats at Virginia Opera and am humbled and in awe that I am now singing a title role on that stage.”
John Baril, conductor for Virginia Opera’s production of The Barber of Seville remarks about Will Liverman as a performer: “Will, besides having a distinctively beautiful voice, is a very adept and skilled actor as well. He has great stage instincts, crystal clear diction and, besides, is a fantastic colleague. As they say now: “he is all the things.”
President and CEO Russell Allen commented: “Virginia Opera is thrilled to have Virginia native Will Liverman with us in this great new production. Will headlines an excellent cast that we know will take our entire Commonwealth by storm.”
From the moment Will makes his entrance as Figaro, the audience will appreciate the charisma and impressive talent that has helped define this young baritone’s auspicious career. Enjoy Will Liverman’s performance in Virginia Opera’s The Barber of Seville at venues across the Commonwealth:
• The Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House – Norfolk – November 11, 13 & 15, 2016
• The Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Arts Center – Richmond – November 18 & 20, 2016
• George Mason University’s Center for the Arts – Fairfax – December 3 & 4, 2016
About Virginia Opera Virginia Opera Association, Inc., in its 42nd season, is known and respected nationwide for the identification and presentation of the finest young artists, for the musical and dramatic integrity of its productions, and for the ingenuity and variety of its education and outreach programs. Mainstage performances in three markets across the Commonwealth reach nearly 50,000 attendees annually. In March of 1994, by unanimous vote of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Opera was named The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia in recognition of the organization’s contribution to the state as well as to the world of opera. For tickets and information visit vaopera.org or call 866.673.7282.
CONTACT: Ellen Bender, Development and Marketing Director, Central/Northern Virginia P.O. BOX 784 ● RICHMOND, VA 23218 PHONE: 804-644-8168 EXT. 3396 EMAIL: ELLEN.BENDER@VAOPERA.ORG