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Adam Interviews Opera Star Gregory Kunde

Penfield resident finds renewed success from 2 roles with the same name

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Gregory Kunde's neighbors in Penfield don't see him all that much.
 
That's because the opera star is in high demand all around the world.
 
Kunde's 40-year career began in high school in Illinois when his principal demanded that he join the chorus.
 
All it took was one audition at Lyric Opera of Chicago to launch his career that has now lasted decades.
 
He moved to his wife's hometown of Penfield where they've raised their daughter.
 
Kunde sat down with Adam Chodak to talk about his musical journey:
 
Adam: How has this industry been for you?
 
Kunde: It's been very good to me. I have not had to do anything but opera for 40 years, I've been incredibly blessed. I've gone through some changes vocally, but I've gotten to work with some of the greatest opera singers ever.
 
Adam: Your career experienced a rebirth in the last decade because of your performances in both Rossini and Verdi's Otello. Notably, you're the only singer to perform both roles in the same year.
 
Kunde: I've probably done Otello of Verdi more than any other role than I've done in my career and that's been quite rewarding. It's a dream role.
 
Adam: How have you cared for you voice over the years?
 
Kunde: I try not to abuse it. It's really been common sense. As a singer you have a feeling inside your throat, you know what's good for you and what's not good for you. I think the trick for me is not to overdo it.
 
Adam:  One of your notable features is how high you've gone vocally. 
 
Kunde: I became famous in the late 80s early 90s when there's an opera called I Puritani, the Puritans, by Vincenzo Bellini, one of the Bel Canto composers we were talking about, and there's a written High F that is rather unusual, he actually wrote it a couple of times and I actually did it, performed it, it had been out of the repertoire and people said no, no, no, you can't do that, but because of my experience in a rock band, I knew how to sing those notes, you know like Journey and those kinds of bands and the director said, Oh my God, you have to sing that. That became one of the things I was known for.
 
Adam: What has it been like to live this international life while living in the Rochester area?
 
Kunde: Well, it's kind of nice. You come home and you have your friends here and you kind of just chill and be normal, but living the international life it's pretty difficult I have to say, but I get to see the world, it's a great career.
 
To learn more about Kunde, click here
 

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