Schyler Vargas is a Mexican-American baritone who grew up in a very musical family. From a young age, Schyler’s mother made sure that he and his brothers participated in shows at their community theater and participated in their church’s youth choir. Taking a break from music, Schyler found his way back later in high school and quit football to sing in musicals. It wasn’t until he started his undergraduate studies though that opera came into his life. Originally pursuing a business degree, a voice teacher showed him his potential and new career path!
Schyler has most recently performed with The Glimmerglass Festival as Marchese in La traviata and Frank in Show Boat, and covered Beaumarchais in Corgliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles with the Châteaux de Versailles Spectacles. He has also performed nationally at companies including Dayton Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and The Atlanta Opera. Prioritizing new works, he has worked with Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion, workshopping new works including Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian and Tobias Picker’s Awakenings, as well as Nicholas Benavides’ Gilberto.
For Schyler, it’s important that new operas are created to bring new composers and librettists to light and to share diverse, powerful stories through music. “I strive to be an honest and versatile performer and have accepted many challenging tasks to help tell these stories whether it be incorporating serious dance, fight choreography, spoken dialogue, vocal percussion or playing the harmonica on stage.” He dreams of a project where he will be able to originate a character in a bilingual opera that tells a story about Latinx experiences in the US. “Extra points if that opera included dance!”
The power of music is a main driver in Schyler's work. He is inspired by artists who pour themselves into their singing to bring the text and music to life. He has also seen first hand how music can spark the curiosity of young people through a performance for students: ”In my second year pursuing my operatic career, I had the opportunity to sing for a regional company in Colorado playing Samuel and covering the Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. As a cover, I was able to perform the Pirate King for children in the afternoons which included a Q&A after the show. After getting to perform for them and interact with them after the show, I saw the excitement and awe on their faces. My proudest accomplishment was receiving an email from the company including a statement from one of the teachers saying that her class of children decided to start an opera club at their school where they would listen to music from operas and guess what language they were singing.”
Learn more about Schyler and connect with him at https://www.facebook.com/schylervargasbaritone.