Alumnus holds master class about life on Broadway

John Wasiniak, Class of 1985, performing in Phantom of the Opera | September 20, 2005

John Wasiniak, a 1985 graduate who is currently performing on Broadway in Phantom of the Opera, is holding a master class to talk about his career on Friday, Sept. 23 from noon to 2:00 p.m. in Edgecliff Hall, Room 101. This event is free and open to the public.

During the class Wasiniak is working with Xavier voice students as well as members of the Xavier Players. He is also talking about his life as an entertainer and performer.

“When I was an undergrad, a Xavier dance teacher brought in a performer from La Cage aux Folles to do a master class,” Wasiniak recalls. “It was so much fun and so exciting and I soaked up every word. I hope by doing a master class I can now help the students at Xavier.”

Wasiniak graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts. While at Xavier he appeared in such productions as Annie Get Your Gun, The Glass Menagerie and several Shakespeare plays, including Taming of the Shrew. He also studied voice with Harriet Beebe who is still a voice instructor at Xavier.

Shortly after leaving Xavier, Wasiniak studied classical operatic voice at The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

“I broke the mold there,” Wasiniak says. “Though I was studying classical voice I was auditioning for musicals. No one had done that before.”

Before Wasiniak finished his studies at CCM he went to New York City to audition for one of the Phantom touring companies. He didn’t get the job and ended up going to Germany where he performed for more than two years in Cats, Das Phantom der Oper, and Elegies…for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.

Wasiniak returned to New York City and appeared in off-Broadway productions including When Pigs Fly and Babes in Toyland. In the spring of 2001 he got a call from the producers of Phantom asking him to audition again, this time to be part of the Broadway cast. He’s been with the production ever since.

“I’m in the ensemble and also cover for the role of Ubaldo Piangi,” he says. “I’ve played the role quite a few times.”

While in Cincinnati, Wasiniak is performing on Sunday, Sept. 25, at United Church of Christ, 5808 Glenview Ave., College Hill. He is joining other CCM alumni at 2:30 p.m. for a free concert of Broadway and Brahms music.