Christopher Tiesi, den amerikanske tenoren er utdannet ved The Juilliard School og The Curtis Institute of Music i Philadelphia. Nemorino i Elskovsdrikken ved Glyndebourne i 2013 markerte hans europeiske debut. Denne store suksessen førte til en rekke engasjementer ved Semperoper Dresden i roller som Ferrando i Cosi fan tutte og Grev Almaviva i Barberen i Sevilla – for å nevne noen.
Christopher Tiesi American tenor
I USA har Christopher Tiesi vært feiret som Nemorino og Ferrando i Pittsburgh, Rinuccio i Chicago og Almaviva i Saint Louis. Hans debut med Filharmonien i Los Angeles som Beppe i I Pagliacci under Gustav Dudamels ledelse, står som et høydepunkt i hans ennå tidlige karriere.
An artikel from Herald Tribune About Christopher Tiesi
Christopher Tiesi has long been a prodigy.
At age 10 he persuaded the leadership of Easter Seals, a nonprofit agency that serves people with disabilities, to waive its minimum age requirement for volunteers.
At age 12 he was the youngest person in history to receive a “Points of Light” award from Gov. Jeb Bush for volunteering.
At age 16 he participated in a summer opera program in Orlando that only accepts people age 28 and older.
This fall Tiesi, now 17, will join a rare group of young people to study at The Juilliard School, a preeminent New York conservatory where first-year students are usually two or three years older. He is one of 10 incoming freshmen, and the only one from Florida.
He was accepted into the school’s vocal opera program, and will be taking private voice lessons from faculty member Marlena Kleinman Malas. This, too, is unprecedented because Malas, acclaimed singer Luciano Pavarotti’s former coach, is known for never teaching the freshmen.
“It’s a great honor; it’s totally amazing,” said Tiesi, who received a $50,000 scholarship to attend Juilliard after graduating in June from Pine View School for the Gifted. “I’m really exited about going.”
Tiesi’s résumé as an opera singer already is impressive.
The Bradenton resident has appeared in musical productions at the Venice Little Theatre, Booker Visual and Performing Arts Center and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
He has performed at many community churches, Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, the Bradenton Opera Guild, the Sarasota Opera Guild and the Asolo.
And he has recorded three CDs.
His enrollment at Juilliard comes as no surprise to many people who have followed his career.
“I’ve known him since he was 7 or 8, and I predicted then that he was a talent that would go all the way,” said Ann Stephenson-Moe, organist and choir master at Church of the Redeemer in downtown Sarasota.
She is directing him in a farewell concert Sunday at the church. He is the tenor soloist, along with soprano Michelle Giglio and baritone Glenn Darling, in the performance of “Messa di Gloria,” written in the late 1800s by Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini.
“We’re going to miss him terribly,” Stephenson-Moe said. “It is a new beginning for him and for us.”
Tiesi’s late grandfather, Dajer Acra, sang opera in the Dominican Republic to put himself through medical school. Acra had five children who didn’t inherit the gift.
But when Christopher Tiesi was born, Acra predicted that his grandson would sing opera.
Tiesi remembers doing vocal and breathing exercises with his grandfather, who died in 2001.
“It turned out he was right,” Tiesi said. “He is the main reason why I think I have such a love for opera. He started it in me. The spark hit the haystack and it just went crazy.”
Many who hear Tiesi sing agree.
Last April, a Northwestern University alumni and supporter now living in Sarasota attended a Tiesi concert, purchased a CD and mailed it to Sherrill Milnes.
Milnes is internationally recognized as the leading Verdi baritone of his time and a three-time Grammy Award winner who sang with the Metropolitan Opera for 32 years. He is Tiesi’s hero and a former classmate of Tiesi’s coach at Church of the Redeemer, Monroe B. Olson.
Currently Milnes is a distinguished professor of music at Northwestern.
“When we got the recording we knew we were listening to something profound,” said Maria Zouves, Milnes wife, who also had a successful opera career. “We’ve got an extraordinary kid here.”
The couple founded V.O.I.C.Experience, which stands for Vocal and Operatic Intensive Creative Experience, in 2001. It is a training program for singers age 28 and older, held at Epcot near Orlando.
They first invited Tiesi to a training program for ages 12 to 18 in Chicago, but “he was far beyond the other singers,” Zouves said. So they waived the age requirement for the Orlando program.
She and her husband said they are impressed with Tiesi’s charm, his love for opera and his dedication to train to be the best he can.
“When I got him in front of me I said ‘Wow,’” Zouves said. “He’s a sweet boy. Look what he can do.”
Milnes said Tiesi’s sound is mature — he sounds more like a 25-year-old singing in French, German and Italian and his sound is sincere.
Christopher Tiesi auditioned for Juilliard and took his entry exams about six weeks ago. His mom, Paula, said they learned last month that he had been accepted.
Milnes contacted his friend Malas, Pavarotti’s former coach who teaches at Juilliard and is a member of the audition committee, and asked her to pay special attention to Tiesi. He wanted her to coach him.
“She got very excited just talking about him,” Milnes said. “She loved him, and I knew that she would be motherly but tough.”
Tiesi said he wants to sing in the big opera houses in the world. It could happen.
“I never like to say that someday that boy is going to be famous, because who knows?” Milnes said. “But in the meantime, he moves a lot of people with his singing. You melt with him. You enter into a picture he is painting with words and the sound of his voice.”