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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 22, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 20Dec00

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


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