Parlando: The COC Blog


Next Season's Debut Artists: Mark Delavan

[This is part of a series profiling the artists making their COC debuts in the 2011/2012 season]

“The finest overall voice of the evening was that of American baritone Mark Delavan, who plunged into the part of Scarpia with leering lust and the total technical control of a vocal palette that could paint as many colors as the drama demands.” – Associated Press, on Mark Delavan's performance of Scarpia with the Metropolitan Opera

Name: Mark Delavan

Range: Baritone

Where he's from: Princeton, New Jersey

What he's singing: Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca, at the COC from Jan. 21 to Feb. 25, 2012

Where he's been: Scarpia in Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and San Francisco Opera; Jack Rance in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Danish National Opera; and, the title role in Sweeney Todd with New York City Opera.


Interesting Fact: 

In addition to his official website as an opera singer, Mark Delavan maintains The Delavan Edge, devoted to his handmade knives, which he carves himself. In the "about" section of The Delavan Edge, he talks about how he got started as a woodcarver by carving a pipe as a prop for a performance of Puccini's Il Tabarro:

". . . I decided [Michele] wouldn’t just sit and smoke his pipe, he would turn that pipe into a thing of beauty like his lost child. Therefore, I asked permission of the opera company to carve on the pipe prop that had been given to me. I remember it was a burl.

They reluctantly agreed.

Next thing I know, the pipe was lost! Frankly, I’m betting I accidentally left it somewhere and it was thrown away. It seemed awful at the time; I was almost finished carving it! However, the cool thing was that I had to start over. This time, I wasn’t going to let the pipe out of my sight. I remember that during the production I would be under the stage during a performance, with a piece of sandpaper working on that piece.

The beautiful stage management staff of that fine institution gave me that pipe as a gift of the production."

You can read more about how his singing and carving practices inform each other in this article from the San Francisco Examiner.

Watch and Listen

In this video (audio with still production images), hear Mr. Delavan as Rigoletto, singing "Si, vendetta."

Here he is singing something decidedly non-operatic. Bonus: Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato and Nicole Cabell as dancers.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / comments (1) / permalink

John (6/8/2011 3:43:00 PM)
C'mon Cecily! There has to be a story behind that video.

Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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