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Photo Credit: Jiyang Chen

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Backstage with Daniel Noyola

Daniel Noyola, prepares for each performance with workouts, pasta and silence until its time to go onstage.

Second-year Houston Grand Opera Studio Artist, Daniel Noyola always knew he wanted to be singing on a stage. He started singing mariachi music and performing in musical theater before the age of 10 in his home town of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. When he entered high school, his vocal teacher introduced him to classical music, and he very quickly realized his voice was suited to the complexity of the opera. Fast forward through musical conservatory in Mexico City and a stint as a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Noyola landed in Houston for two years as a Studio Artist.

Years of vocal training, language classes, dialect training, technique, costume fittings, and more vocal training are just some of the rigor’s opera singers go through to prepare themselves for the stage. Noyola’s life with the Houston Grand Opera is no different, and he has a strict pre-performance ritual he goes through before performing.

In preparation for a typical 8 p.m. performance, his day starts with a workout – nothing too extreme or tiring. “I work out a lot on my core because it is what supports my singing,” he says. Noyola indulges in pasta “for fuel” and a lot of silence until about 4 p.m. when he begins to warm up his voice slowly. He begins to get into character and goes over his parts of the show, all the while warming up his vocal cords. “I love digging into the characters and the story of the operas I sing in – it is one of my favorite things about performing,” says the bass singer.

Once the curtains close, fans and donors have been greeted, Noyola basks in the feeling of the performance adrenaline leaving his body. “When we are on stage, we are on ‘high alert’ because anything could happen, and it feels good to come down again,” he says.

As for what comes next for the rising star, after a few more scheduled appearances stateside, it appears he has his sights set on Europe. “My next big dream is to move to Europe and become immersed in the opera scene there. I want to move to Germany, Switzerland, or Austria – there are so many great opera houses, and I want to experience them all,” says Noyola.

Enjoy Noyola while you can locally because the next time you see him in a live performance might require a passport.

  • Photo Credit: Jiyang Chen
  • Photo Credit: Douglas Marquez