David Cody – Music Director

David Cody - Music Director at Bigfork Summer PlayhouseWelcome back David Cody, Music Director for Full Monty! A music professor at the University of Montana in Missoula, David directs his sixth show with the BSP and we’re thrilled to have his talents again! Learn more about David below.

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?

Music Director – The Full Monty

What is your personal history with theatre?

I had a hard time finding my place in high school, and knowing that I wanted to do. But when a group of cute girls stopped me in the hallway and asked me to audition for the school’s musical, Carousel, I thought, “OK.” I was not a singer then, but I showed up anyway. The next thing you know I was cast as the lead, Billy Bigelow, arguably one of the most challenging roles in the repertory. Of course, I was dreadful, but at least the experience got me started on my path.

I majored in music in college and went on to graduate school at Indiana University, where my focus was opera. My first professional theatre job was at a repertory theatre south of Cleveland called The Ohio Light Opera. I sang four seasons there and learned more from those summers than any college degree could have taught me. Back in those days they did an eight-show season in rep for twelve weeks. Eight shows! We called it “opera boot camp.” We did four Gilbert & Sullivan and a handful of old-school European and American operettas like Fledermaus, Naughty Marietta, New Moon, etc.

After OLO, I was an apprentice at The Opera Theatre of St. Louis before I embarked on the career I’d always planned for – teaching music in higher education. I came to Montana in 1993, and teach at The University of Montana. I teach voice and lecture in opera and musical theatre history, and music direct for our opera theatre program. Among my proudest accomplishments are the successes of my students. I am so fortunate to have had great students like Bigfork alumni David Erigo, Andy Meyers and Lizzie Hatfield and so many others who work in opera and musical theatre.

David_Cody_2How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?

Full Monty is my sixth show at Bigfork, beginning with 1940’s Radio Hour. I ended up here because the Thomson’s asked me. This is a very special company and a magical town. The Playhouse is one of Montana’s greatest success stories and a real treasure of “The Treasure State.”

What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?

I love downtown, a walk along the trail above the Swan River, and a safety meeting at the Garden Bar. But my favorite is the bar at the Bigfork Inn, where everybody knows my name.

What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?

Enjoy some summer on the water (floating and fishing) and getting ready for another big school year at UM.

Anything else you would like to add? My wife of 23 years, Anne, is also my colleague at UM. She is the director of UM Opera Theatre and a fabulous coloratura soprano.  Also, I am related to Buffalo Bill Cody (depicted in Annie, Get Your Gun), although I don’t say that a lot in Montana, since he killed a lot of bison and exploited native Americans in his shows.

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