The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts welcomes Pittsburg State alum and operatic tenor Robert Dean Smith performing with the Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra on Thursday October 17 at 7:30 p.m. The performance at the Bicknell will be followed up an encore concert at the Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City on Sunday Oct. 20 taking place at 5 p.m.
I recently spoke to Smith via Skype from his home in Switzerland and he told me it was a dream to return to Southeast Kansas. To be able to perform in-front of friends and family that still reside in the area and return to the campus where it all started.
Smith revealed that it wasn’t until his mid-20’s that he realized that he could sing professionally. Although he did know that he wanted to work in music, regardless of what he was doing to earn an income. Taking one step at a time, in addition to both courage and curiosity continued to propel Smith ahead in the competitive field of performing opera .
Over his 40+ year career Smith has appeared on 17 albums and has performed throughout North America, Asia and Europe. In 2008 Smith got a big break when he appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in the lead role of “Tristan and Isolde” which was broadcast as part of the “Met’s Live in HD” series to movie theaters throughout the United States. Ahead of his two performances later this month I inquired to what he would be performing with the SEK Symphony Orchestra.