As mentioned yesterday, Lee has been playing bisexual composer Vincent Bellini in Golden Age for over the past month. I’ve added some beautiful photos of the play to our gallery – all of them were taken by Joan Marcus.
There’s also this fantastic interview I want to share with you. It was posted one month ago on Theater Mania. Apart from his Golden Age role, Lee also talks playing New York Congressman Fernando Wood in Lincoln, Garrett in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part Two and Thranduil in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Where would you put your knowledge of opera on a 1-10 scale before you started Golden Age?
Well, I went to Juilliard, so you can’t help but get a little dose of opera when you go to that school. I’d seen a couple of things at the Met. And I had heard Bellini’s Norma. So it’s hard to say — but I guess 2, maybe 3.
Did that lack of expertise make this job harder for you?
I had a good month ahead of rehearsals to just listen to music and work on the research about Bellini. There’s so much fascinating research about this man, and I love doing research. My favorite thing about being an actor is to learn new things. But it wasn’t just about listening to the rest of Bellini’s stuff ; it was also listening to Donizetti’s stuff, Rossini’s stuff, Wagner’s stuff just to kind of get a real sense of what it was that Bellini was trying to do artistically, what musical information he had, and what influence he had on others.
Was exploring the music the most interesting part of the process for you?
One of the most fascinating things about the play to me was Terrence’s point of view on what it takes to make not just art, but to make an event out of an evening of opera. And that’s what Bellini does– the opera is not just the music, it is an event. It is all of the people in the boxes waiting to see the show and it’s the stars who step up on the stage and perform this incredible athletic feat of singing these notes. And it’s about arranging that kind of night and figuring out a way to make that night emotionally poignant and meaningful.
Full interview can be read here.
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