For the third year in a row, tenor and former baseball player Joshua Kohl will sing the National Anthem at the Baltimore Orioles’ first Spring Training game of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, March 5th at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
A huge Chicago White Sox fan, he played ball throughout his youth and was a varsity player in high school. “I was an avid baseball player growing up and all through high school starting varsity as a freshman” he says. “There’s nothing better than hitting a home run in a game. It’s exhilarating!”
He loves it so much that he decided to forego the high school musical in his senior year to play on the team. “I figured I’d be singing for the rest of my life but this would be my last chance to play ball. The funny thing is that the odds for being successful in either field are probably about the same!”
However, today Mr. Kohl has hung up his cleats and is currently singing the principal role of Edgardo in Sarasota Opera’s 2012 production of Lucia di Lammermoor. He has also sung leading roles at opera companies such as Dallas Opera, Tulsa Opera, Nashville Opera and Hawaii Opera Theater.
Judging from the reviews he has received for his portrayal as Edgardo, he made the right decision. He was described as “powerful” by the Herald Tribune and Albert Cohen of ProOpera.org applauded Mr. Kohl’s portrayal of the role writing, “He covered the entire emotional range from adoring lover to a furious whirlwind…”.
About being asked to sing the National Anthem for the third year in a row, he says, “Getting to sing the National Anthem is always a great experience. As for the Orioles, I remember going to the old Memorial Stadium, and then to Camden Yards. Going to card shows and stadiums growing up was such a great deal of fun. And yes, I cry at the end of FIELD OF DREAMS every time.”
Baseball and Opera continue to be family activities in Kohl’s household. His wife of 6 ½ years, soprano and Boston Red Sox fan Sarah Asmar, is currently singing the role of Frasquita in Carmen and is a Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera this season, has sung the National Anthem at Fenway Park.
Don’t miss your chance to see Joshua Kohl on stage! Performances of Lucia di Lammermoor will continue through March 23rd and tickets are available online at http://www.sarasotaopera.org/ or by calling the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300.