A last minute debut...
July 08, 2018 / Daniel Carison
Stepping into a role at the last minute isn't entirely uncommon in the world of opera, but when that last minute swap is also a European debut, the stakes are raised significantly.
On the 26th of June both panic and excitement would descend as Daniel Carison was called in to cover the Hessisches Staatstheater's new production of Don Giovanni. With no more than 24 hours notice, Daniel would have to learn and perform an entirely new production, all without the aid of a full rehearsal period.
After suddenly being pulled out from a rehearsal for an upcoming production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Daniel was immediately sworn into a series of last minute preparations. First and foremost, a singer must be musically prepared to tackle such a huge task, after all, this will be their only saving grace on the stage. Unfortunately, the human voice can only withstand so much torture, so after two hours of studying tempos, piecing together recitative and singing through the entire opera several times, the next step was to head home and trust that a good night's rest was all part of the preparation.
The following morning (or better yet, the day of the performance), Daniel stepped into what could be best described as a simulation. A rehearsal room had been arranged with minimal set pieces to emulate the set for the current production. After one to two walk throughs of each scene and having made an entire library of mental notes, it was time, at last, to meet with the conductor. With only enough time to run through the show once, every single measure of music would be completely invaluable. It would be almost impossible to remember every single musical idea and gesture that a conductor gives only hours before stepping out on the stage, but one can only do their best. It is important to remember that when one is out on the stage, the conductor is in fact, your only friend and the only person who can either make your life easy or difficult. Thankfully, one is always in safe hands when Konrad Junghänel is at the helm.
No sooner after completing a run through with the conductor it was time to head up to the stage. Curiously, the first time Daniel would properly set foot on the Hessisches Staatstheater stage would be when he made his first entrance in Act 1. With an entire crew preparing for the performance ahead, Daniel had only 20 minutes to explore the surroundings, study his entrances and exits, briefly meet with some colleagues and meet with the gunsmith to learn how to fire his weapon in Act 2.
Singers are often quite particular when it comes to acoustics. In this instance, Daniel was yet to work with either the orchestra or the stage and thus, was going into this battle completely unarmed. By the time the curtain is raised there is little anyone can do to ensure that a performance will go smoothly. A singer under such stressful conditions can only put their faith and trust in their own abilities and the encouragement and support of their colleagues. An audience is not aware of how little time you may or may not have had in order to prepare for a performance, they merely expect that you will give an honest and dedicated performance.
After a successful 'jump in' it is a pleasure to report that the performance went off without a hitch! Daniel would go on to perform the next Don Giovanni two days later before the close of the season. Although it was a baptism by fire, Daniel's German and European debut left audiences curious and wanting to hear more from this Australian baritone.
A masterfull blend at Coriole
May 22, 2018 / Daniel Carison
Every year the Coriole Music Festival held annually in the Mclaren Vale serves up not only some of Adelaide's finest wine, but it showcases some of Australia's and the world's most outstanding artists. This year was no different and Daniel had the great privilege to join the festival for the first time.
This year's programme allowed Daniel to join forces with Russian born pianist, Andrey Gugnin. Schumann's Liederkreis op.39 were not only a terrific selection of songs for the delightful acoustic of Coriole's Barrel Shed, but they would allow Carison and Gugnin to blend perfectly in a performance that pulled audiences out of their chairs and onto their feet. The performance was not only well received by the capacity crowd, but well reviewed too.
Here is what the Adelaide papers had to say about the performance
“Gugnin was the sensitive interpreter of Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood, and was an excellent accompanist for young baritone Daniel Carison in Schumann’s Liederkreis. A singer just on the threshold of what could be a stellar career, Carison has a fine voice and lives the songs as he sings them.”
— The Advertiser - May 8
“The discovery this year was young baritone Daniel Carison. The heightened sense of romantic wonder and elevated nobility he brought to Schumann’s Liederkreis, again with Gugnin accompanying, made an indelible impression. This year’s festival was its finest: overflowing, thrilling and joyous.”
— The Australian - May 9
2018/19 Season Announced
It is with great excitement and privilege that we announce that Daniel Carison will be join the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden for 18/19 Season. In 2017, Daniel became the recipient of the German Australia Opera Grant (GAOG), a competition held yearly in Melbourne, Australia.
Each year, the GAOG enables one singer to take up post at the Hessisches Staatstheater as an artist in a number of principal and trainee roles. Recipients of the grant will go on to seek further employment in Wiesbaden in the years to come as they develop a name around Europe and build an international career.
Daniel is now preparing for a whole host of role debuts in 2018 and 2019. Here is what audiences can expect in 2018/19.