Each week we will be sharing some fun stories and facts about our 2023 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars! Starting on March 6th, they will be rehearsing and living at Caramoor up until their performance on March 12th. We hope you will join us!
This week we are introduced to tenor Colin Aikins!
“There’s nothing else I want, can, or need to do. I’m an opera queen. I can’t get enough,” says a fast-talking, friendly Colin Aikins. He remembers the very moment he got bit by the opera bug, as a ten-year-old boy when his grandparents had Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye” playing on their radio. He rushed home to find the singer on YouTube, a path that led to him discovering Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, and Maria Callas, all of whom remain today among his favorite divas.
As a high school student, Colin volunteered to sing for residents in nursing homes, an audience he believes helped him grow as a performer as much as he helped brighten their days. When nonverbal Alzheimers patients could suddenly sing every word along to the old standards, he knew the cliché was true: music truly is a universal language.
To pump himself up before a performance, he does something many of us would do: swoosh down a caffeinated beverage or two. But Colin has a minor quirk. Unlike other vocalists who might decry dairy products for their congestive properties, he always first relishes a tall glass of whole milk. He’d rather his throat “be gunky with mucus than dry” (in his words!). Hey, if it works…! He chases that with Gatorade and water, all leading up to his energy-jolting shot of espresso.
If the caffeine’s still in his system long after the curtain has closed, this once-a-wannabe-forensic-pathologist (thank you, Pennsylvania Jr. Academy of Science) might end the day indulging in some true crime on Netflix. Think Euphoria, Mind-Hunter, and Elite.
Italian on both sides of his family, Colin’s go-to meal is pasta topped with his nonna’s mouth-watering marinara sauce. È delizioso!
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