Listening to memories

Tonight, on a night before a performance, I’m sitting and relaxing while listening to “Billy Budd” from The Metropolitan Opera.
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This is a live broadcast of tonight’s opening of their current revival. How great to hear this extraordinary score once again. This opera has meant a great deal to me since I first worked on it in 1989 (23 years ago). I debuted at The Met in the role of Mr. Redburn (The First Lieutenant) on April 17, 1989. What a special night that was for me and for my family! I had no rehearsal on stage before my debut---and it’s a VERY tricky set. I remember being extremely nervous but also remember how supportive all of guys were in the show (there are no women in this opera). It was a great night and quite a success. The cast included Thomas Allen in the title role, Richard Cassily, Jan-Hendrick Rootering, Franz Mazura, and so many other men who have become favored colleagues and friends over the years. I was happy that we revisited the production three years later as well. In that revival, I was promoted to the first cast and had much more stage time. What a tremendous production by John Dexter---simply one of the best productions ever mounted at the Met or elsewhere.