With Opera San Antonio's upcoming production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, audiences get two phenomenal experiences.
First, this Italian tragedy is OSA's grand return to live performance following the pandemic, and second, it brings Texas-born baritone Scott Hendricks back to the Tobin Center stage.
The celebrated singer is playing Enrico, the main character's brother who wants to use her as a pawn to restore his family's power. Torn between her brother and her lover, who cannot see past his own pride, Lucia is driven to madness and a frightening finale (which also happens to be one of the most famous scenes in opera).
Running May 6 and 8 and performed in Italian with English supertitles, tickets start at only $45. In advance of the new staging's premiere, CultureMap spoke to Hendricks about his career, his Texas ties, and what he's most looking forward to with this role.
CultureMap: You were born and raised in San Antonio. What was your path to becoming an opera singer?
Scott Hendricks: I auditioned for the Converse Judson High School choir at the beginning of my senior year, and then it was all music, all the time. My first exposure to opera happened while I was a freshman at Texas State University, and it was love-at-first-rehearsal.
Then I transferred to Louisiana State University, where I received a bachelor of music education degree, and then I studied vocal performance at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
This is when I decided to go for it, so to speak. I was engaged at the Wolf Trap Opera in the summers of '96 and '97, and I was accepted into the Houston Grand Opera Studio around this time as well. Then I became a member of the Oper Köln ensemble for the 2000/2001 season, and Europe has been my base ever since.
CM: What do you love about the role of Enrico?
SH: Well, he’s a flawed character, for sure. I love how his angst, ambition, and desperation are portrayed in the music.
Musically speaking, I love how we experience bel canto in all of its glory, as well as witness a glimpse of where romantic music is headed. Enrico’s duet with Lucia is, without a doubt, my favorite moment in the opera. In this scene alone, the range of emotions for both characters runs the gamut.
CM: What are you most looking forward to with this performance opportunity?
SH: This specific opportunity is important to me because my family and friends can attend. Since I spend so much time in Europe, my mother and sister don’t get to see me perform very often anymore.
And I’ve never participated in an opera production in my hometown, so I’m thrilled to be able to make my debut with Opera San Antonio. I’ve seen a few rock concerts at the historic Tobin Center, so it will be nice to perform on that stage for the very first time as well.
CM: This is OSA’s grand return to the stage — and live performance — since the start of the pandemic. How does this impact you emotionally as an artist?
SH: Oh my gosh, to be able to hear the orchestra tune, to perform for an audience, and for me personally to have my family and friends in attendance … It’s going to be overwhelming in the best possible way.
To purchase tickets to Opera San Antonio's Lucia di Lammermoor, contact the Tobin Center box office online or at 210-223-8624.