ARTIST SPOTLIGHT Donald Hartmann

Where are you originally from?
Greensboro, NC

Who has inspired you/been your greatest influence professionally? Why?
This would be a difficult question to answer. I have always been inspired by the many teachers I had as a student. I suppose as soon as I became an “artist”, I received most of my inspiration from colleagues: singers, conductors, stage directors, etc. There have been too many influences to list!

Who/what brought you into the world of Opera?
As a student, I began to listen to opera recordings. I heard two very famous singers perform recitals in person: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Leontyne Price. Those events changed my world.
I had NO idea how the human voice
could sing like that and they could enthrall an audience. The two programs
were amazing.

Where do you live now?
I live in Greensboro, NC where I am a Professor of Voice at the University of NC at Greensboro.

What are your hobbies when not performing?
Walking, gardening, enjoying life.

What is your favorite Role/Opera/Piece?
I suppose my favorite opera opera is the one I have sung the most, the Sacristan in Tosca. It may sound like a cliché, but my favorite role is the one I’m currently singing, whether I have sung it multiple times, or for the first time. I simply love what I do. There’s nothing more thrilling than to be a part of a musical/operatic production.

What is your favorite thing about being a professional musician?
I simply love music. I love watching a production come together. I love the sound of an orchestra. I love interpreting artsong. I love the challenges of recreating what a composer has written.

Least favorite?
I’m not sure what would be my least favorite aspect. There are challenges with schedules, personality conflicts, fatigue….

What is something you enjoyed about being in Grand Rapids?
It’s a pretty city and has terrific restaurants!

Where is your favorite place to travel/perform? Why?
I have a way of making each location “home.”   I can be happy wherever I travel and I have learned how to “nest.” So, after a while, even the most isolated or busy location becomes comfortable. It’s sometimes sad to leave.

What performances/plans do you have in the next year?
Next season includes Grand Rapids, Toledo, and Charlotte, NC at the moment as far as operatic ventures. I do have other vocal performances pending.

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