OPERA NEWS - Liner Notes: Tyler Angle
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Liner Notes: Tyler Angle

By Louise T. Guinther

Liner Notes Tyler Angle lg 1218
Angle in George Balanchine’s Chaconne
© Paul Kolnik

The Basics

TYLER ANGLE, a native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, started dancing at the age of nine. He apprenticed at New York City Ballet (where his elder brother Jared was already a member of the company) beginning in 2003 and rose to the rank of principal dancer in 2009. After his performance in George Balanchine’s Diamonds this season, Alastair Macaulay wrote in The New York Times that Angle “demonstrated the skillful chivalry in partnering that lies at the romantic heart of most ballet.”

OPERA NEWS: What was the first opera you ever saw?

TYLER ANGLE: The year before I moved to New York, my parents let me stay with my brother Jared during the Christmas school break. My friend’s brother, a cellist in the Met orchestra, got us tickets to Il Trovatore. I still have the stub. I was right on the aisle. It was utter magic!

ON: Did you ever have a desire to be a musical performer?

TA: I daydream about it, but the fullest expression of whatever music is inside of me has always been through dancing—although most of my performance-stress dreams aren’t dance-related. They start with me as the page-turner, and right before the first piano entrance in some unnamed concerto, the soloist up and leaves the pit, and the conductor looks right at me!

ON: If you could sit down with a great opera figure, whom would you choose?

TA:  I would love to sit down with any of the great coaches or accompanists of yore. I’m very process-oriented in my own work and would love to gain insights from the people watching the people who are singing. You see so much from just behind the sight lines in the wings!

ON: What is it about opera that most appeals to you?

TA:  Immediately it’s the music. I hear and feel music deeply. It’s the reason I’m a dancer. Then it’s the voices. The physicality of singing struck me immediately in the beginning of my opera life. It is so different from a dancer’s physicality, but at the same time it is incredibly familiar.

ON: Who is your favorite opera singer?

TA:  Not a fair question, because there are so many people to love, but I am a devotee of Joyce DiDonato’s. Handel plus Joyce equals euphoria.

ON: Do you particularly enjoy the ballet sections of operas?

TA: Not usually! I’m like, it’s my night off—I came for the singing!  

Something Else to Consider   

Angle is a dedicated amateur pianist. “I moved to NYC at fifteen to study at SAB, and that was when I actually started to enjoy playing,” he says. “I would even sneak up to the Juilliard practice rooms!” Angle’s operatic ambitions place him in the pit, not on the stage. “I would love to conduct—from my harpsichord—and play the recits for something like Theodora!” he says. “I saw Ivor Bolton do that—it was Così, I think—at the Salzburg Festival. Bliss!” spacer

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