Cook, Terry 2011-09-06

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General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Terry Cook

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: September 06, 2011

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Andy Wilkinson

Length: 01:02:27


Wanted to be an audio engineer, accepted into Electrical Engineering, Interested in classical music by listening to recordings, Born September 2, 1956, Plainview Tornado 1969, Destroyed school, his brother was given recordings from there, Church of Christ, Brother was the song leader, then Terry took over at about age 13, Brother was biggest influence, he got the recordings Terry listened to, Il Pagliacci, La Boheme, Meister Singer, Wagner Would imitate the, Wagnerian singers, training himself., Leading the congregation gave him confidence, singing in front of everyone, Bass already at 13, 14, Didn’t start in choir until high school, Played saxophone in junior high, Sang English Art Songs in High School, College, felt he fit in, but didn’t admit he liked Wagner in Plainview, Tech choir and voice lessons from the Gillas’s, Changed majors, High school choir director told him to consider music in college, Had never heard of a black person singing opera, thought that was ridiculous, Plainview has a museum with a little corner with his stuff, including recordings he made himself, with an orchestra accompaniment CD, Work at Texas Tech introduced him to the Met, Bass voice type development, John and Mary Gillas as teachers, Mephistopheles as breakout role, Porgy was real break out role, sung more than anything, Over 1,000 performances, Porgy and Crown, Met his wife, who is German, He was singing in Austria, she was the set designer, Considering teaching because of their 5 year old son, Wife did a documentary film about “Porgy and Bess”, Part of the film, Did not play in the US, Gershwin’s have problems with giving rights, “Porgy and Me”, Not actively looking for a teaching position, Michigan State job possibility required Master’s Degree or equivalent, 32 years of singing should count for something, How he keeps fresh doing the same role every night, has fun on stage, not always in the same production, new Bess, helping them along, uses it as a voice lesson, training while performing, Started singing Porgy with Houston Grand Opera at 28 years old, How he starts learning a new role writes the words to learn them first, listens to the music, sings along, read about the character, become the character on stage, John Parker, modern opera, Premiered role, former slave who helped free slaves, Premiere in Cincinnati, “The John Parker Story: Rise to Freedom”, Did a workshop a year before it opened, to work on music, Dvorak Symphony combined with Spiritual music in March 2012, Costa Mesa, California, Symphony vs Opera pieces, More comfortable singing than speaking, Movie, “80 Minutes”, speaking role, More comfortable speaking in German than English, Movie, “The Age of Innocence”, 1990’s, Played an opera singer, Race, growing up in Plainview never experienced prejudice in Plainview, Lawrence McCutcheon, cousin, first black at Plainview High, Los Angeles Rams, Family, Brother, degree in Music, now a train engineer since 1975, brother, Tom Cook, sister, Carolyn graduated Texas Tech Law School, worked for Texaco, sister, Barbara went to Lubbock Christian College, Tom, Terry, Barbara, Carolyn, Both parents born in 1931, one day apart, Son, Benjamin Cook Boehm, Wife, Susannah Boehm, 9-11 work in New York, The Trumpet Shall Sound from The Messiah, Deep River at John Jay College, was in New York when 9-11 happened, Riverdale, rode his bicycle downtown to see before the buildings fell, singing at the Met that year, also singing at cathedral on 110th Street, Germany, prefers living in USA, Socialized medicine is great there, Everything is closed in Germany on Sunday, Public transportation is wonderful in Berlin, Lives a block from subway, no car

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