A former NFL player is the star of the latest performance of opera Longview. For ten years, Larry Harris bulldozed defenders as an offensive lineman with the Houston Oilers. Now he's Lawrence Harris, opera singer.
"Well, I trained in college as a singer. I majored in music, and I always wanted to opera music store in my home town of Sherman," he says.
"He's a great talent , has a wonderful sense of musicality. I was surprised at just how talented he was," said Longview Opera director James Marvel.
He's surrounded by big talent literally. Members of the cast are 6-5 or taller. "It's a little intimidating cause I have to hold my own next to theses big guys. I still have to be my character and be strong," says female lead opera singer Kerri Marcinko.
"Yeah, this is a big cast. We have a whole offensive line here I think," Harris says. The Oklahoma State graduate has performed more than 30 roles in operas across the country. The Longview production of Puccini's Tosca is a story of love, jealousy and murder, and comically Harris doesn't find the transition from football very different.
"You get out there. You tackle all the other singers, knock them all down, make sure they stay down. The competition is just as fierce if not fiercer," Harris says.
But there's no mistaking talent, and those involved in this year's cast are excited. "Great place, great production, very talented people," says Harris.
Performances of Tosca will be held at T.G. Field Auditorium in Longview at 7:30 p.m. on June 8th and 10th. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Opera Longview.