Steamboat native looks forward with senior voice recital |

Steamboat native looks forward with senior voice recital

Margaret Hair

— When he was in eighth grade, Ian Noble sang “La donna e mobile” from the opera “Rigoletto” to audition for a scholarship from Emerald City Opera.

It’s a song for a tenor, and, at the time of his audition, Noble didn’t have the range for it. So he sang the piece an octave up and won the scholarship. Voice teacher Christel Houston looks back at that performance as evidence of Noble’s take-it-as-it-comes approach to singing.

“He kind of doesn’t care what other people think – he is really his own person, and he’s always been like that since I started teaching him, since he was a kid,” Houston said, pointing out Noble’s ability to pick up on musical concepts and lead a balanced life.

“I would say, if I could sum it up, he’s an amazing artist that’s just a regular guy, which is kind of rare,” she said.

Noble, a senior at The Lowell Whiteman School, will perform a senior recital at 5:30 p.m. today at United Methodist Church. The program includes six classical pieces and five alternative songs. Some of Noble’s friends will back him as a small jazz band on two standards, “Fever” and “Mack the Knife.”

“I really like a whole bunch of different types of music, and it’s a way to showcase music that I like,” Noble said about the diverse program. It’s also a way to show how his voice has developed in years of appearing in school musicals, community theater productions and Emerald City Opera performances.

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In the fall, Noble will start a four-year opera program at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music.

“I really wasn’t planning on doing opera until I went and visited DU,” Noble said. The music school faculty and its intensive opera offerings drew him in, he said.

“Before, I was doing acting. : But I thought about it and weighed the pros and cons, (and) opera is really a more sustainable way of income for anybody other than a mezzo-soprano – those are a dime a dozen,” Noble joked to Houston, a mezzo-soprano herself, before changing the subject to what he likes about opera. “I would be able to do it for the rest of my life, because it’s never the same.”

After 10 years studying singing with Houston, Noble said he has come to think of his voice lessons as a weekly catharsis. Through music, Houston has taught Noble a lot of life lessons, he said.

“The first thing that comes to mind is, ‘Enjoy it.’ Don’t let your tasks become a trial, try to find the joy in everything you do and smile while you do it – because you’re going to have to do it anyway,” Noble said.

If you go

What: Ian Noble, senior voice recital

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: United Methodist Church, corner of Eighth and Oak streets

Cost: Free

Call: Christine Noble at 879-6574