When I saw the cast list for the upcoming Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities
production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, I was delighted to see the
names of so many performers whose work I’ve seen and enjoyed: Broadway’s
Heather Lee, who recently appeared in Annie Get Your Gun; the fabulous Tracy
Lore, on our Outstanding Featured Performance list for The Full Monty;
actor/reviewer Dink O’Neil; Lateefah Devoe, sensational in Kiss Me Kate; and (as
Cinderella) Nicole Werner, whom I’d seen starring in 42nd Street at the Lawrence
Welk Theater a couple years ago. But there was a name on the list I’d never seen
before: Douglas Carpenter as the Prince. Turns out I was right not to recognize his
name.  This is Doug’s very first professional role in musical theater!

Cinderella Photos: Alyssa Brennan

The handsome young singer/actor recently sat down and answered some of our
questions about life in Las Vegas, opera, and becoming an overnight CLOSBC star.

Hi Doug, and welcome to Los Angeles. And congratulations on being cast as the
Prince in Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.


What was it like growing up in Las Vegas? Did you and your friends used to go
tourist-watching on the strip? (Only half joking—I’m really curious about what life
is like for natives.)

I actually moved to Vegas during High School, and I loved every minute in that
town that it wasn’t 115 degrees outside (which is about a half the year). Besides
the Strip, Vegas is just one big suburb. I spent a lot of time at my performing arts
high school doing shows and hanging out like every other kid does. I did work on
the strip as a gondolier at the Venetian Hotel from the time I turned 16 until I left
this past summer.


Doug in The Magic Flute and as Don Giovanni

You performed in a number of operas while at The University of Nevada at Las
Vegas (UNLV), including The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, etc.). How did you develop
your taste for opera? Were you exposed to it at a young age?

I really started singing seriously in my sophomore year of high school. I had been
taking voice lessons on and off for 3 years before that, but my teacher at that time
really convinced me that singing could be a career. He really opened my eyes to
opera. He really made opera exciting and real for me. I remember him calling opera
the Olympics of singing. The idea of vocal acrobatics just appealed to me I guess.

You only recently graduated from UNLV, and now here you are getting ready to
sing two of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beautiful songs (Ten Minutes Ago, Do
I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?). How does a young opera singer in Las Vegas
end up starring in musical theater in Southern California?

A series of fortunate events. I actually just started my masters at UCLA in vocal
performance, and moved here back in late September. Musical theatre was always
my first love, and being in LA finally put me in a position to begin auditioning. I was
fortunate because Cinderella happened to be my first audition.

Wow! That’s an amazing bit of good fortune! (But as a UCLA grad myself, not


You’re going to be working with one of our premiere director/ choreographers Dan Mojica. Excited about this? Does this music performance and voice major also dance?

Working with Dan has been an incredible honor. In my short time with him, I’ve really
learned about being brave in life and in your performance. I think in opera there is
always the chance to hide behind your vocal technique; I think we did something
more vulnerable in Cinderella. As far as dancing, Nicole and I have been really working hard to get some moves together. I tried to get Dan to add a dream ballet for us, but he really wanted to keep the show down to 90 minutes… (Doug chuckles.)

You’re rehearsing with some of musical theater’s top talents, including Broadway’s
Heather Lee, the fabulous Tracy Lore as your mother and actor/reviewer Dink O’Neil
as your father. Are you getting a crash education in doing a Broadway style

Dink and Tracy have been great to work with. When you’re around performers of that
experience and caliber all you can do is hope to sponge as much information as you
can. They make a dynamic team, and I’ve rarely seen two performers play both the
comedy and tender moments with equal dexterity.

Doug, tell us about your career goals. Where would you like to see yourself five or ten
years from now?

I’d love to try some more pop/rock theatre. I know it’s strange for an opera singer. I’d
also love to make a niche in the more legit theatre as well as doing some operatic
work. Beyond that I’ll be happy if I can do a run of Les Miz at some point in my career.

Thanks Doug. We look forward to seeing your CLOSBC debut in Cinderella!

Headshots by Guy Viau

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