Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Under The Blade

Exactly who is this colourful character who piqued the curiosity of all the attendees at the Salome backstage party and what is his connection to Vancouver Opera?

Meet our man who executes Salome. Milford Kemp is a trained dancer, former professional boxer and fashion designer (he only wears his own creations) from Montreal. Part Jimmy Hendrix and part Bootsy Collins, you would never know from his physique and wearing a leather thong onstage that Kemp is 54 years young.

VO Company Manager Adrianne Wurz explained that she found out about Kemp from a supernumerary when she was casting Rigoletto. Wurz' criteria for the role of the executioner: someone who was comfortable with their body, someone who could wear a thong and little else and someone who could perform onstage in front of 2600+ people.

We found the right man it seems and the feeling's mutual. Kemp who's never been to Vancouver or to an opera before (much less perform in one) is so impressed with Vancouver, its people and the art of opera that he may very well bring his flavour and style and make Vancouver his next home.

VO can chalk up another opera convert.

~ Ling Chan

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