They say “all the world’s a stage,” but if North Carolina isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the world of opera, you aren’t alone. Yet one opera star made his way out of a rural town to the great stages of New York, London and Vienna. On a recent visit to the cathedral, baritone Lucas Meachem shared his journey from his high school choir to the singing competitions where he found success to his college where he studied music, but still thought he would end up singing musical theater or pop. Meachem said he “didn’t even consider opera” until his early 20s when he first gained exposure to the art and found his true career path.
Now, years later, Meachem travels the world performing classic works from the likes of Verdi, Puccini and Mozart. He named the title character of the Barber of Seville, which he did last year at SF Opera, as his favorite role to perform, despite it being a challenging role for most others. “It’s just me going out on the stage and being me” Meachem said of the character known for being “a nice guy who likes to get things done.” Another favorite role? Famous playboy Don Giovanni, whose escapades are a far cry from the life Meachem himself lives.
Next month, Meachem will return to SF Opera, where he was recently named the 2016 Emerging Star of the Year, to play Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s comedy Don Pasquale. In Meachem’s words, the playful production is about tricking old Don Pasquale into allowing his nephew to marry the woman he loves rather than marrying for money.
But before he takes the stage in September, Meachem will sing some of the world’s most renowned arias in a performance here at Grace Cathedral on Saturday, August 27 at 2 p.m. Joined by his wife, Irina Meachem, on piano, and several other musicians on harp, keyboard, tabla and oboe, Meachem will present a celebration of summer in our unique and stunning setting. Considering the cathedral’s famous acoustics and in particular its “7 second reverb,” Meachem warned, “Some of my high notes might ring out into the city of San Francisco a couple of times. You have to look out for the echo.”