In this excerpt from the podcast, Morris Robinson remembers the experience. (And yes, that’s Morris singing. It’s from his recent CD of spirituals, Going Home.) [2:28]
Morris Robinson: It was Aida. And I was singing the king. And it was at Boston Lyric Opera. And it was about a month-and-a-half after I started studying. I mean, the first month was like a whirlwind. I was singing Bluebeard’s Castle and Bluebeard in English in a semi-staged piano production at the school, and auditioned for the chorus at Boston Lyric Opera. And the director of music wanted to hear me, because they’d been talking about me, and he gave me some music and said, “I want you to learn this and sing it for me next week.” And I auditioned for them, and came back and sang, it was the music for the king in Aida, and they called back to the school, and said, “We’ll be back in touch with you.” They called back to the school when I got up there and says, “We know you don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re singing the king in Aida with the Boston Lyric Opera. Don’t mess up.” So, I was used to pressure, and I mean, football, and being in sales, and you know, I’m used to that type of thing. It’s just a matter of preparing myself, you know, to make sure that I can do the best that I can. And I remember opening night. Standing on stage, holding the onyx, and the curtain went up for the triumphal first scene of the king walking in. And I walked out there and this house is full. I think the Shubert Theater held like 2,300 people, and the stage was full of the chorus, and everything is happening, and the conductor is down there, and they got on tuxedos now. This isn’t rehearsal. And I thought for about a brief second, “What in the world am I doing here?” I really was just like, it went through my mind, like, “I can’t believe I’m here.” And then I took a deep breath, and I started singing, and that was it. I mean, that’s what I do now. That’s my thing.