TACOMA, WASH. (Oct. 23, 2015)- While many students are cranking away on midterms, one Lute’s voice is being heard loud and clear at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Noah Baetge ’08 is making his eleventh appearance on stage at the Met Opera House, this time as Walther von der Vogelweide in the opera Tannhäuser.
Baetge grew up in Monroe, Wash., and attended college in Bremerton before coming to PLU from 2001-2004.
“PLU had both great teachers and great coaches,” Baetge said. “I got to work with the choir, which was a great place for me to work on my voice. I loved having the ability to go out and take all of these interesting classes at my will because I was at a full undergrad university.”
Many who decide to pursue a career in music attend conservatories, which are schools that focus specifically on classical music or art, but Baetge is happy he chose to attend PLU.
“I thank my lucky stars every day for [that] experience. It made me a more rounded person and more rounded performer,” Baetge said.
Baetge left PLU in 2004 to pursue professional opportunities at the Skagit Opera and the Seattle Opera and to spend two years training at the Seattle Young Artist Program. With just one credit needed to earn his degree, he then returned to PLU and graduated with a bachelor’s in vocal performance.
After graduation, Baetge moved to Pittsburgh where he spent one season as a Resident Artist of Pittsburgh Opera. He then moved to New York City, where he attended The Juilliard School and graduated with an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies.
“Through my connections at PLU, I was able to make connections with the Seattle Opera and was able to connect with the Met,” Baetge said.
Since 2013, Baetge has appeared on stage at The Met every year and is already scheduled to make a 2016 appearance as Captain of the Guard in the opera Simon Boccanegra, which debuts in April.
Baetge’s advice for PLU students aspiring to be vocal performers is simple: perform wherever and whenever you can.
“Being in Washington is difficult, because you have to get out of state for bigger auditions,” said Baetge. “But sing for whoever you can and don’t knock the smaller experiences. Opera chorus work was my biggest foundation and I got that through my PLU experience … make your opportunities.”
Tannhäuser will have its final showing on Oct. 31 but it will be streamed in HD in various theaters across the country.