February 08, 2002

"America's Tenor" Daniel Rodriguez takes the next step in his extraordinary new singing career in accepting Placido Domingo's invitation to join the Vilar Young Artists Program of the Washington Opera. In March, Rodriguez will (take a leave of absence from his responsibilities with the New York Police Department to) travel to Washington, D.C., to begin the three-month program, which is designed to provide the highest level of coaching and instruction for singers who are on the verge of international careers.

Earlier this month, Manhattan Records, a division of Capitol Jazz & Classics Records, released Rodriguez's first recording, The Spirit of America, featuring 12 inspiring songs the singer himself selected to capture a shared sense of determination and hope in these historic times.

Though he works as an officer in the New York City Police Department and captured the public's attention singing at ceremonial and sporting events, Rodriguez has performed in opera and musical theater since his student days in Brooklyn, and his inspiration to sing came from the recordings and films of the legendary American tenor Mario Lanza. He came to the attention of Domingo -- who is artistic director of the Washington Opera -- through his many performances following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

As a participant in the Vilar Young Artist Program, Rodriguez will receive private instruction and take classes designed to enhance the transition from singer to artist, and to ensure a long-lasting and healthy performing career.

The program's curriculum will include private voice lessons, vocal coaching and dramatic coaching from the finest instructors in the country, as well as non-musical counseling on career management, nutrition, stress reduction and onstage performance. The participants will be given master classes by visiting conductors, singers, directors and coaches, and they will also work with the fight master, choreographer and makeup artist. Members of the program will also sing and cover roles in the Washington Opera's mainstage productions, as well as perform as a part of the company's education and outreach programs. The program will be guided and overseen by Domingo, and it is made possible through the generous support of Alberto Vilar.

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