Meet baritone Christian Bowers, who will sing the role of Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy this summer. Clyde Griffiths is a small-town boy in pursuit of his idealized dreams. He makes a series of unfortunate choices, leading to a mysterious death in the Adirondacks.
A native of Hankins, New York, Christian recently completed his final year as a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts and is in his first season of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, where he made his debut as the Army Surgeon in The Force of Destiny and was also seen as Stubb in Moby-Dick. Other recent roles include Masetto in Don Giovanni at Opera Colorado and Sciarrone in Tosca at Santa Fe Opera. Here is our Quick Q&A with him:
What has been your favorite role so far and why? Renato in Un ballo in maschera. The music, drama, character, and the challenges he is presented with make this one of the most interesting characters I have had the privilege to perform.
What is your dream role? I would love to do Eugene Onegin and Simon Boccanegra.
Is your family involved in the arts as well and how? My mother does pinch pottery and works with watercolor and acrylic paints. My father plays many instruments including fiddle, guitar and mandolin.
Are there any artists you feel particularly inspired by? Pete Seeger, Keb Mo, Alison Krauss, Chris Thile and my teachers William Stone and Diana Soviero.
What do you sing or listen to for fun? Jazz, Blues and Bluegrass. I have been enjoying Johnny Adams, the Punch Brothers and Alison Krauss and Union Station most recently.
What are your interests or hobbies? I love hiking, kayaking and camping. If you can’t find me… I am probably out hiking or in some lake or river swimming. I also enjoy relaxing and philosophizing with my friends as well as reading and pickin’ on my banjo.
If you hadn’t become a singer, you would have: If I hadn’t become a singer…I would be lost!
Any hidden talents? Finding new talents and interests every day!
One thing you can’t live without: My friends and family.
Why are you most looking forward to the 2014 Festival at Glimmerglass? New friends and adventures along with amazing music! I am excited to be performing Clyde Griffiths in An American Tragedy composed by Tobias Picker and libretto by Gene Scheer. This is a revised edition, and I am excited to see how it changes the overall vision of the piece. I feel privileged to be able to create opera with a living composer and librettist. I also feel honored because the novel is set in upstate New York, which is where I grew up. This whole piece hits close to home and is an American classic.