NORMAN — Vince Leseney dabbled in musical theater as a child. But when push came to shove the Des Moines, Iowa, native settled on studying opera at William Jewell College and Oklahoma City University.
While at OCU, Leseney auditioned for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” and was cast as Curly. His performance prompted him to leave behind opera forever and a love affair was born.
Leseney now teaches voice for musical theater at the University of Oklahoma and frequently performs at Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City.
Catch Leseney during his performance as Eddie and Dr. Scott in “The Rocky Horror Show” at Lyric Theatre Oct.16-Nov. 2. For more information visit lyrictheatreokc.com.
Q: What attracted you to musical theater in the first place?
A: Honestly, it was the success of that audition. I went in thinking I didn’t have anything to offer in musical theater and thinking I was an opera singer. And then I did well in the audition — I wasn’t doing that well in opera. I enjoy the process of musical theatre process more than opera.
Q: Why did you do “Oliver!” when you were a kid?
A: My mother was the stage manager at the theater. She was up there anyway and she kind of wanted me to perform. I was a lazy kid — I wasn’t going to ask to do anything, I just liked sitting around. [laughing] I got in and I enjoyed it. When “Music Man” rolled around I did that, too. And then my voice teacher in high school really pressed me to pursue singing as a living.
Q: How did you land into opera then at that point?
A: Well, if you’re going to be a professional singer, opera was the more respectable way to do it. I was brainwashed into it. [laughing] I was perfectly capable of it, I just wasn’t great at it.