Rodney Gilfry: The Accidental Opera Star

Rodney Gilfry: The Accidental Opera Star
Spring 2003

story by Gail Matsunaga

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His arms wrapped around her in an eternal embrace, the two lovers lay motionless. At last they have put their demons to rest.

The scene fades as the Narrator delivers his final aria lamenting the loss of Nathan and Sophie and all who perished in the Holocaust. The orchestra, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, fades to silence.

For a moment the audience is still. Then, like a giant wave hastening to shore, applause rushes to fill the Royal Opera House. From the orchestra section upward to all four chandelier-graced balconies that wrap around the theater, nary a soul departs. The cast–including international opera star Rodney Gilfry '81–who has created the role of Nathan in the eagerly anticipated Dec. 7 world premiere of Nicholas Maw's opera Sophie's Choice, makes curtain call after curtain call.

“... the central performances of Angelika Kirshschlager and Rodney Gilfry as doomed lovers Sophie and Nathan were... among the most committed and convincing ever seen at the Royal Opera House.” –The Independent, London

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