It often happens with young artists, as they set out at the start of a professional career that they fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” group. Here’s the first of several postings on this blog to remedy that situation.
Tenor Shawn Mlynek graduated CCM in 2012, with a Master’s degree under his belt and a good command of vocal technique instilled in him by CCM Voice Professor Mary Stucky.
After co-founding with Autumn West the Cincinnati Chamber Opera Group, Shawn made his next move and headed for Germany, where he did the audition tour every aspiring singer has to do when they arrive in that country hoping to begin a professional career.
The young tenor landed a steady gig (festen Vertrag) in the ensemble at the Stadttheater Giessen – the municipal theatre in a small college town in the Hessian region of Germany, just a short train ride from Frankfurt.
In the German system of municipal theatres, a mix of concerts, opera, operetta, dance and theater is presented year round to the population.
As an ensemble member, Shawn has gotten his stripes singing small roles in opera, operetta and musicals while being groomed for the bigger assignments that he is now beginning to take on.
A pure-voiced lyric tenor with a flexible voice that has an even mix of sweetness and cutting power, and bearing an uncanny vocal resemblance to one of the great Russian tenors of the 20th century – Leonid Sobinov – Shawn has started to make guest appearances with other theatres and orchestras in Europe.
In 2017 he will essay several Mozart roles. Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio, which I wager Mlynek will sing in any one of the many languages in which he is fluent, will mark his operatic debut in Slovakia at the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava.
Shawn will next take on a still bigger challenge: Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Estates Theater in Prague.
There will be several levels of emotion at play in his heart as Shawn steps 239 years later onto the stage where Mozart’s dramma giocoso premiered in 1787.
Back in his home theater, Shawn will be covering the role of Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte and continuing to enlarge his repertory with roles large and small in Bernstein’s Mass, Verdi’s La traviata and Boieldieu’s La Dame Blanche.
When asked about his future plans, Shawn does not hesitate.
“My future plans are to continue to sing as much as I can, and prepare for the next phase of the journey which hopefully will include a family. I’ve really been learning how to balance a professional performance career with a personal life, so I look forward to all of the professional and personal adventures that await!”
Here’s Shawn Mlynek in concert, singing Levko’s aria, Spi moya krasavitsa (“Sleep my beauty!”) from Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night