For Jonathan Galle, there’s no time for “biddy-biddy-bum” this semester.
That’s because he’s the violinist—fiddler, that is—in the Theatre & Dance department’s upcoming production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
“It was kind of nerve wracking at first,” says the first-year violin performance major, a native of Washington state. He’s never acted before, so despite having performed on stage with orchestras and chamber groups, this appearance is new territory for Galle.
“I played in an orchestra pit, but never on stage during a musical or play,” he says. “You have to be ready and keep your attention on everything. Even during rehearsal, you could just be standing there watching and then boom, you’re up.”
Galle found out about the opportunity to perform in CU’s production of the beloved musical from his studio teacher, Assistant Professor of Violin Charles Wetherbee. “He emailed me with a proposition to play the fiddler, and I decided to audition. I played kind of a medley of songs from the musical, and I had them memorized.”
“Jonathan is a bright, engaging student with a real flair onstage presence,” says Wetherbee. “He’s great for the role.”
Galle wasn’t going in completely blind; the 1971 film version of “Fiddler” is one of his favorite musicals. But he says this performance will nonetheless be a new test for him. “The most challenging part is figuring where you fit in the puzzle,” he explains. “In a solo performance, you come in and do your thing. In a play, you wait for your cue in the big picture.”
As a musician, Galle says crossing disciplinary lines and working with the theatre department will make him a stronger, more expressive performer. “It’s is all about portraying how you feel to the audience and making them feel a certain way,” Galle explains. “In that way, it’s related to music.
“You have to be expressive as a musician, too, and embrace the theatrical. This experience will give me more depth and more ideas to express my music.”
It just might give him more ideas for his future career, too. As a freshman, Galle says he’s not yet sure which direction his music career will take him—he has an interest in solo and orchestral performance, chamber music and jazz. He’s even interested in owning his own recording studio some day.
You can learn more about Jonathan Galle's turn as the fiddler in this mini-documentary.
“Fiddler on the Roof” at the CU-Boulder University Theatre
Friday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 8, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2 p.m.