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Meet new Curtis student Martin Luther Clark

Jamison Hilliard at the President's PicnicMartin Luther Clark, a tenor from Marshall, Texas, entered Curtis’s opera program this fall after earning a bachelor’s degree and graduate artist certificate at the University of North Texas. He’s also sung roles with Central City Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and appeared as a soloist with the Kansas City Symphony. Martin is jumping right into roles with the Curtis Opera Theatre, singing in both fall productions: He’s the First Sailor in Dido and Aeneas (October 4–7) and Tobias in Sweeney Todd (November 14–16). Here he shares his excitement about the year ahead.

How did you hear about Curtis?
A mentor of mine mentioned he graduated from Curtis and he had a very successful career, but I never researched Curtis until an agent and a vocal coach strongly recommended I apply. I’m so glad I actually listened because this place is nothing short of amazing! One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed is the musical maturity in the students here. I’ve not heard every student perform but from what I have heard performed live or practiced through the walls is that each student has a romantic passion for their music. Their gift of music just freely flows and I believe it simply comes from the “learn-by-doing” way of teaching.

What has been your most important musical experience until now?
Studying with my opera director and taking organ lessons, both at the University of North Texas. Working with my opera director really taught me mental discipline when it came to studying text in different languages. When I reached graduate school, I decided to take secondary organ lessons. This helped me define my method of learning and understanding music, which is different from learning and understanding text. It was a revolutionary moment that gave me a huge sense of confidence in my musicianship skills.

What makes you excited about the year ahead?
I’m looking so much forward to the growth I’m going to have as both a person and a professional musician. Judging by just the few coachings I’ve had with the opera staff, I have a lot to be excited about for the future in terms of vocal and professional development.

Any initial thoughts about the experience of preparing an opera at Curtis?
The amount of heart that goes into the process of putting on a production by everyone has been life-giving. The coaches and production staff have all been incredibly helpful and so easy to work with. So far being at Curtis has sparked new motivation within me and I can’t wait for the rest of the year!