Timmy Yesudasan dreams of becoming an opera star.
In his native India, access to voice teachers is limited, even in large cities. But some of the world’s leaders in the field of operatic performance work tirelessly to provide opportunities for young people with the raw talent.
That search led to opportunities for Timmy to take master classes with instructors in the United Kingdom.
He made a lasting impression.
When it came time to select an all-Indian cast for a production of Haydn’s La Fedeltà Premiata in Mumbai’s restored Royal Opera House, Timmy’s dream of taking the stage took flight.
Not only did Timmy appear onstage with the chorus, he also understudied the lead role during the opera’s three-day summer run.
“It was really fun working with different people who have much more experience than I do,” Timmy says, adding that some of the most valuable and memorable moments of the experience came during the four-week rehearsal schedule rather than during the actual performances.
“This gave me an opportunity to meet professionals who have studied in different parts of the world.”
For example, Timmy completed two vocal technique sessions with famed operatic soprano Patricia Rozario, a British citizen who was born in Mumbai and has a keen interest in finding talented Indian vocalists.
“We have some great natural talent in India,” Rozario told The Indian Express in October 2016, “and we hope to develop it to a world-class level so that our Indian singers are able to sing in the Opera Houses around the world.”
Performers in the La Fedeltà Premiata cast must pay close attention to Italian diction and pronunciation, so Timmy also connected in rehearsals with famed Italian conductor Massimo Taddia.
“He would say it and we would repeat it, and he’d pick out the smallest mistakes and correct us and help us through it,” Timmy says. “It was really nice to work on Italian diction with an Italian.”
Timmy took the initiative to find many of the connections that led to this wonderful opportunity prior to becoming a student at TIU. Despite these advantages, Timmy recognized in himself a lack of a well-rounded musical education. He needed to receive personalized, regular vocal instruction and teach him how to educate others. That need led him to TIU.
The faculty at TIU celebrated Timmy’s summer opportunity and prepared him to take full advantage.
“Having the chance to work with a professional opera company as a young singer is of course a great experience,” says John Hacker, an adjunct music instructor at TIU. “Already a hard-working, dedicated student, he worked even harder to prepare his music for the summer and grew through the challenge.”
Timmy is working toward a dual major in vocal performance and music education. He not only wants to perform, but also share what he’s learned.
“Being part of a Western classical opera in his home country captures his passion for sharing what he has learned at Trinity to serve others,” says Brian Reichenbach, assistant professor of music at TIU.
His journey through the opera experience went smoothly, but there are times when international students experience logistical glitches that bring stress and even doubt into their minds. Timmy, for example, received his travel visa only four days before the start of classes at Trinity in early 2017.
“God reminded me that if He is to take me somewhere, He would provide and I need not worry about it,” Yesudasan says. “And it was that peace that gave me confidence.