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Mar 212013
 

Q&A

Mark Doss Mark S Doss answers the Gramilano Questionnaire… Singers’ EditionWhen did you start singing? 
I was in the 5th grade when the music teacher, Mrs Mapson, asked me to sing the Wells Fargo Wagon song from Music Man. She heard me sing it back to her and then exclaimed, “Wow, that’s beau­ti­ful! You could go to New York right now and make a lot of money!” Scared to death of that com­ment I didn’t sing ANYTHING for a long time afterwards.

Why did you start singing?
I took voice les­sons to aid my min­istry, as I was in the Cath­olic Sem­in­ary at the time.

Which singer inspired you most when you were young?
Mario Lanza was pretty much the guy I think every male singer wanted to be like, and I was no dif­fer­ent. Even though I am a bass-baritone that qual­ity of open aban­don on the top notes dis­tin­guishes me from many oth­ers and I would say Lanza is responsible.

Which singer do you most admire?
Cesare Siepi and George Lon­don are pretty much in a close tie, but and Mirella Freni are right up there as well.

What’s your favour­ite role?
My favour­ite role is a tie between the Dutch­man in Wagner’s The Fly­ing Dutch­man and the title role in Boito’s Mefis­tofele.

What role have you never played but would have liked to? 
I’ve coached Mozart’s Don Gio­vanni at La Scala and Oper Frank­furt but I have never been for­tu­nate enough to sing the role.

What’s your favour­ite opera to watch? 
When you not IN the opera it can some­times be dif­fi­cult to just watch and enjoy it. Good pro­duc­tions and excel­lent singing mat­ter a lot, but I would say Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci is usu­ally pretty enjoy­able to watch.

Who is your favour­ite com­poser? 
If well sung I think just about any­thing by will move me to tears.

Who is your favour­ite writer? 
My favour­ite writer would be St Mat­thew, for his writ­ing of the Gos­pel in the New Test­a­ment – which is extremely import­ant to me as God­spell in high school was my first ever musical pro­duc­tion and appear­ance on stage.

Who is your favour­ite dir­ector? 
My favour­ite stage dir­ector would be Jean-Pierre Pon­nelle and the incred­ible pro­duc­tions he put together.

Who is your favour­ite actor? 
My favour­ite actor is Laurence Oliver.

Who is your favour­ite dan­cer? 
Cristina Hoyos and Ant­o­nio Gades (Fla­menco) are very high up there, as well as Fred Astaire, but it’s Don­ald O’Connor’s “Make Em Laugh” seg­ment that caused me to “take out an entire brick wall” at Santa Fe Opera when as an appren­tice I tried to dance on it, and then saw it crumble to the floor right in front of my eyes. John Crosby came into the dress­ing room, and as I was hold­ing my breath, and to my great relief said, “We were going to take that wall down anyway.”

What is your favour­ite book? 
This is a 3 way tie between The Bible, Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled and Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effect­ive People.

What is your favour­ite film? 
This is a tie between The Sound of Music and Luther.

Which is your favour­ite city? 
Port­land, Oregon.

What do you like most about your­self?
My pas­sion for whatever it is I am doing.

ESCAMILLO Mark S.Doss Fondazione Arena di Verona FOTO ENNEVI 333x500 Mark S Doss answers the Gramilano Questionnaire… Singers’ Edition

Mark S. Doss as Esca­millo at the Arena di Ver­ona — Fondazione Arena di Ver­ona, Foto Ennevi.

What do you dis­like about your­self? 
My dif­fi­culty at dis­cern­ing the bet­ter choices in my life.

What was your proudest moment? 
Win­ning First Prize at the Verdi Com­pet­i­tion in Bus­seto, Italy.

When and where were you hap­pi­est? 
In the 2nd grade at St Edwards’ Ele­ment­ary School when I won a ten­nis racket in a raffle.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? 
Whatever I am doing at the moment.

What is your greatest fear? 
Being behind in anything.

If you could change one thing about your­self, what would it be? 
I would elim­in­ate what I do poorly and accen­tu­ate what I do well, and that would put me in a con­stant state of change.

What do you con­sider your greatest achieve­ment? 
Per­form­ing well the role of Jochanaan in Strauss’s Salome at La Scala.

What is your most treas­ured pos­ses­sion? 
My FAITH.

What is your greatest extra­vag­ance? 
Occa­sion­ally eat­ing an entire pack­age of oat­meal cook­ies at a single sitting!

What do you con­sider the most over­rated vir­tue?
Of the so called 7 Heav­enly Vir­tues: Chastity, Tem­per­ance, Char­ity, Dili­gence, Patience, Kind­ness and Humil­ity I find NONE to be over­rated, and we would cer­tainly find Heaven on Earth is every­one prac­tised them.

On what occa­sion do you lie? 
I find no accept­able occa­sion to lie.

If you hadn’t been a singer what would you have liked to be? 
A priest.

What is your most marked char­ac­ter­istic? 
Pas­sion for achiev­ing excellence.

What qual­ity do you most value in a friend? 
Empathy.

What qual­ity do you most value in a col­league? 
Support.

Which his­tor­ical fig­ure do you most admire? 
Jesus Christ.

Which liv­ing per­son do you most admire? 
Brother Hugh Hende­r­son, who inspired me to enter the Cath­olic Seminary.

What do you most dis­like? 
Bad communication.

What gift would you most like to have?
The gift of friendship.

What’s your idea of per­fect hap­pi­ness?
I think I visu­al­ize per­fect hap­pi­ness when I sing the Spir­itual “Heaven Is One Beau­ti­ful Place”.

How would you like to die? 
To die the way my dad went — as he was sleep­ing in a chair — is prob­ably a good way to go, but dying on the opera stage would be more dra­matic. Let me flip a coin…

What is your motto? 
Strive for excel­lence while pur­su­ing the impossible dream, then find that pot of gold at the end of the rain­bow — while learn­ing from your mis­takes, and know that all things are pos­sible with God.

— a biography

Mark S. Doss as Mephistopheles in Santa Fe Opera Faust Photo Ken Howard 369x500 Mark S Doss answers the Gramilano Questionnaire… Singers’ Edition

Mark S. Doss as Mephis­topheles in Santa Fe Opera’s “” –photo by Ken Howard.

Award win­ner, Mark S. Doss, has sung 55 roles in more than 60 major opera houses around the world, the most not­able being Milan’s , the , London’s Cov­ent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and .

Mr Doss first sang on the stage of the House in New York City at the age of 28, and a few months later won First Prize in the Inter­na­tional Verdi Com­pet­i­tion in Bus­seto, Italy. Adding another achieve­ment to his list, he began the cur­rent 2012/2013 sea­son singing the title role in The Fly­ing Dutch­man with the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy, fol­lowed by his most per­formed role of Esca­millo in Car­men with the same com­pany. This past sum­mer found him singing the title role of Paul Ray­ment in Nich­olas Lens’ world première of the opera Slow Man in Poznan, Poland, which was done between con­cert per­form­ances as the can­tor in Earn­est Bloch’s Sac­red Ser­vice in Hou­s­ton, Texas, and the bass-baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Sym­phony at the Inter­lochen Cen­ter for the Arts in Michigan.

Mr Doss sang the role of Thoas in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Taur­ide to open the Cana­dian Opera Company’s 2011–2012 sea­son. The pre­vi­ous sum­mer he took the stage as Méph­is­tophélès in Gounod’s Faust with the Santa Fe Opera, and prior to that made his début with the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy, as Priest Grig­oris in The Greek Pas­sion. In March of 2011 he made his début at the Vienna State Opera as Amonasro in Aida.

Hav­ing sung under the bat­ons of not­able con­duct­ors such as , Lorin Maazel, , and Robert Shaw, Mr Doss has sung with the major orches­tras of Clev­e­land, Chicago and Phil­adelphia. Dur­ing the 2012 hol­i­day sea­son, Mr Doss was once again wel­comed back to Chicago as the bass soloist in Handel’s Do-It-Yourself Mes­siah, one of the city’s most beloved hol­i­day traditions.

Upcom­ing engage­ments in 2013 include double bill per­form­ances at Seville’s Teatro de la Maes­tranza in Sarka and Caval­leria Rus­tic­ana, play­ing the roles of Premysl and Alfio; the title role in Wagner’s The Fly­ing Dutch­man with the Teatro Comun­ale di Bologna (live tv broad­cast), Amonasro in Aida at the San Diego Opera; and The Four Vil­lains in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoff­mann with Opera Tokyo.

Mark Doss was awar­ded Planet Africa’s pres­ti­gi­ous Enter­tain­ment Award in Octo­ber of 2011, and accen­tu­at­ing his sports related back­ground has become a highly sought after anthem per­former, singing for a Tampa Bay Storm / Clev­e­land Gla­di­at­ors foot­ball game in Tampa in April 2012, and the National Anthems at a Toronto Blue Jays / Boston Red Sox base­ball game in Toronto in Septem­ber 2011.

Con­nect with Mark S. Doss on Face­book, Google+ and Twit­ter.

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