American tenor and 2018 Study Grant winner Eric Ferring takes us through his favorite songs on Spotify in a new playlist. You’ll hear a mix of opera, musical theatre, pop, and alternative. Eric tells us about his favorite artists and inspirations while giving us some insights into his upcoming debuts in our Q&A below.
Take a listen to our first artist takeover here.
1. Tell us a little bit about what you’ve selected for us!
I picked quite a vast array of things for this playlist. It’s basically “Eric’s Top-Played Tracks.” These are my go-to pump-up songs before shows, the gym, or just to listen for fun.
The first track on the playlist is the first piece and singer I ever heard sing opera, Placido Domingo’s Alfredo in La traviata. He has always been an inspiration and idol of mine, and I still hope to meet him one day!
Some other songs of note in the playlist are, of course, Love on Top as well as quite a large number of big belting numbers from Broadway shows like Dear Evan Hansen, Bring It On: The Musical, and 9 to 5! For the longest time, I thought I would be a musical theatre singer, so the genre will always have a special place in my heart.
I chose arias for you as well: Fritz Wunderlich’s recording of “Dies Bildnis is bezaubernd schön” from The Magic Flute, which is the greatest recording of this legendary aria, and Richard Croft’s recording of “Il tuo sangue” from Ariodante, which I will be covering at Lyric Opera of Chicago in March. I’m very excited for this opportunity!!
2. What role does music listening play for you?
Listening is an integral part of every singer’s research and practice. I can’t possibly overstate how much I’ve learned about singing and artistry by listening to the amazing singers of the past (and present). They continuously inspire me every day. I always listen to music while working out at the gym, but I actually enjoy a music-free commute. It allows me to clear my thoughts and prepare physically and mentally for rehearsal.
3. What piece of music made you want to be an opera singer? Were there any musical artists (operatic or otherwise) that you ever wanted to be when you were a kid?
As mentioned above, hearing Placido Domingo sing Alfredo’s aria from La traviata was a game-changer for me. I had never heard a voice sing with such power, elegance, and vibrancy. He will always be a huge idol of mine and one of my greatest influences.
4. You’re the recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant. Can you tell us about what those funds have gone toward?
The Sara Tucker Grant was such an honor and blessing to receive. Those funds were integral in providing further vocal instruction and coaching, as well as a new suit for auditions! The grant also allowed me the opportunity to pursue auditions that I otherwise could not have attended. Thank you so much for this crucial assistance in building my early career!
5. Which performances do you have coming up that you’re most excited about?
I am most excited for my debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Elektra on February 2, 2019. I’ll also be covering Lurcanio in the Lyric’s Ariodante. This March, WFMT (Chicago’s classical radio station) will record and air an art song recital of mine!