By Rosemary Pollock
'Accidental Tenor' Sings de Azevedo's 'Gloria'
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- George Dyer will perform in Lex de Azevedo's
"Gloria: The Life of Christ" and be featured in the role of Gabriel.
Dyer, sometimes known as the "Accidental Tenor," grew up in Virginia
among a family of music lovers, but Dyer steadfastly resisted his
first voice teacher's suggestion that his talents were in opera.
Dyer arrived in Provo in 1985 after serving a two-year mission in
Argentina for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He
started taking voice lessons from Ruth Melville who informed him he
should consider opera. "He fought tooth and nail for six months,"
Melville said. But she surprised him with the news that she had
entered him in a Brigham Young University voice competition.
In preparation he listened to several recordings of famous tenor
arias to help him select his aria for the competition. "I was
instantly infected with the opera virus," Dyer said. He doesn't
remember the singer but clearly recalls, "Una furtiva lagrima" from
Donizetti's "Elixir of Love." "It was the strangest thing; I
immediately fell in love," said Dyer.
Dyer married and moved to Salt Lake City a few years later and joined
the Utah Opera Chorus. "I learned a lot from other people," he said.
"I picked brains as much as they would let me." He was chosen for
Utah Opera's first apprentice program. His coach Lawrence Gee and
John Miller, a visiting instructor, told him he had "everything it
takes except technique." In 1995 Gee encouraged him to audition and a
string of engagements followed with the New York City Opera.
Dyer currently has a record contract with Shadow Mountain, an imprint
of Deseret Book. His new album, entitled "Wonderous Love" is on display
in the window of Deseret Book. "The cutout is only 5'5--that's
Mini-Me," Dyer protests. "I'm 6 feet tall in my shoes."
The Millennium Choir, orchestra and soloists including George Dyer
(Gabriel) and Christeena Michelle Riggs (Mary) will perform "Gloria:
The Life of Christ" Friday at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South
Temple, Salt Lake City. Tickets are $10 to $30.
Dyer Caught the Opera Bug, But It Was aLong Road to 'Gloria'
Salt Lake Tribune 17Dec00 A2
By Catherine Reese Newton: Salt Lake Tribune