Live Oak —
Live Oak’s own Joshua Bartolotti is living his dream and he’s living it big. The 2009 Suwannee High School graduate is a performer with the Atlanta Opera and he’ll back home Sunday performing at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 4 p.m.
The 22-year-old began his college career at Stetson University before transferring to Reinhardt University on a full scholarship.
He is now with the Atlanta Opera and has been accepted into the master’s program at Florida State University, School of Music.
Singing, especially as a career, came as a mere suggestion from a teacher who thought Bartolotti had a naturally, gifted voice.
“About my second year in high school I decided to sing when I got into the SHS theater department,” said Bartolotti. “From there, I took voice lessons at FSU and from there, my teacher suggested I try an operatic career and it’s just grown from there.”
He added he had always sang in church when he was younger, but never dreamed that he would make a career out of it.
While at FSU with voice lessons, Bartolotti said he heard rumors that the Atlanta Opera does not normally accept college students. He transferred to Atlanta and “went out on a limb” and decided he really wanted to try out for it.
“I went there to audition,” said Bartolotti. “They wanted to hear me one more time, just to make sure that I didn’t have some fluke or a great day,” he laughed.
Bartolotti said that the day of auditions he was pretty nervous as he noticed he was so much younger than many of the others. He later received an email telling him that they wanted to hear him again.
Well, they decided it was no fluke and Bartolotti was hired. He recently wrapped a couple of productions and will be heading to Texas this summer for two more singing roles, Gianni Schicchi in “Gianni Schicchi” and also as Raul in “Hotel Casablanca”.
What’s next for this talented young man?
“For recent graduate students and young artists, they usually join opera companies like Cincinnati or Metropolitan Opera,” said Bartolotti. “Usually, they take you on as sort of an assistantship.”
He said normally they work for a couple of years and during that time are eventually put on the payroll and given smaller roles to gauge how well they do or will do.
“You work your way up,” said Bartolotti. “It’s a step ladder process.”
His June 2 performance will have a variety of different styles such as operatic, spiritual, American, and, according to him, “a little bit of everything”.
He added that he’s collaborating with a pianist from FSU and he’ll be singing both with an accompanist and a capella.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Music Center are co-sponsoring the performance and a love offering will be accepted. The offering will be given to Bartolotti to help cover his expenses for his upcoming trip to Texas.
St Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 1391 11th St SW across from Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center.