You may have seen Don Matthews as Lancelot in “Camelot” or as Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha” at the Camelot Theatre. You may have heard him on the radio; he’s the Classical Music Director at JPR. Don sings with the Siskiyou Singers, the Reparatory Singers, and the Rogue Opera. He teaches in the Music Department Southern Oregon University. Over opulent omelets at the Morning Glory café in Ashland, Don and I talked about how performing can be both terrifying and liberating.
DM: There’s nothing more personal than singing or acting. You are your instrument, you’re up there. There’s no place to go. You can’t hide. As a singer, when you’re standing there singing a recital or a concert, it’s just you. You’re a little more exposed because you don’t have a character to play. When you’re playing a character, you can let yourself be in that character. It’s still you, but you don’t actually own it in the same way. You get to be somebody else. You can be all these things that you can’t be offstage. It goes back to your ability to allow yourself to feel and experience things which would just not be acceptable in our society.