Last week's guest on Crossover was Turkish Bass Burak Bilgili. Turkish? Not necessarily the first nationality that comes to mind when you think "opera singer." But, wait till you hear that voice!
A 2004 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Bilgili made his international debut in 2002 - while still a student at AVA - as Duke Alfonso in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at La Scala. His Metropolitan Opera debut was May 7, 2004, when he sang Leporello without either a full-stage or orchestra rehearsal in the final performance of Don Giovanni that season. When he took his solo bow at the end of the performance, the audience roared in appreciation. He returned to the company in 2009 as Ferrando in Il trovatore.
Starting Saturday evening, March 2nd, Bilgili will appear in the lead role in the Academy of Vocal Arts' production of Don Quichotte. Performances run through March 9th at AVA, and March 12th and 14th at Haverford's Centennial Hall. The production will also be heard as a Sunday Opera Special on March 10th at 3 pm on WRTI and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.