Brandon Delgado fell in love with musicals the way so many of us did; while watching one. Les Miserables may have started his love affair with musicals, but his role in Anastasia as Gleb is what is bringing attention to him all over the country. I sat down with this trained opera singer to discuss his role in Anastasia, the roles he would absolutely love to bring to life on stage, and what it is like bringing Broadway back to stages all over the country.
Michael Cook: Congratulations on playing Gleb in the traveling production of Anastasia. Broadway has certainly has come roaring back it seems.
Brandon Delgado: Thanks, I am really having a good time with it!
MC: With live theater returning, you probably have a much deeper appreciation for not just this show, but what you are able to do in general, is that fair to say?
B: Absolutely. For pretty much everyone. this was our first show in almost two years. A lot of us have been performing at all, there was no live theater because of COVID. Most of the places that we are going to, it is the first Broadway show there since before the pandemic. It is a really cool experience. It really didn’t settle in until we were in Richmond at Broadway in Richmond recently and we had sold out performances every night. Everyone was so happy to be back, seeing people in there tuxedos and watching a musical! It is so cool, it is something that the cast and I have talked about, we will be able to say one day “that post-pandemic we were part of the artistic recovery”!
MC: When did you know that musical theater would be the passion you would be following?
B: I have been singing since I was a kid, since I was six years old. I would sing in the church choir and all that. As far as musical theater, it was seeing Les Miserables. My boyfriend took me to see Les Mis a few years ago. I am a trained opera singer, so that was going to be the path that I took, I was going to sing classical music. My boyfriend said there was “this great musical and I can seeing you playing Javert one day“. He got me tickets to see it on Broadway and I totally fell in love with musical theater.
MC: What is it like to be part of a show like Anastasia that is such a large and splashy production?
B: At times it can be overwhelming in terms of the fan response and how many people love the show; Anastasia has super fans! We get messages on Instagram asking for our perspectives. The show is a grand show, from the costumes to the sets and the projections are amazing. I have to stop every so often and make sure I’m not dreaming. It’s so unreal, the people we have worked with, like (composer) Steven Flaherty who came by and we got to perform for him. It is such a cool experience, and a dream come true.
MC: Opera is known for it’s big voiced divas and even bigger personalities. If you had to choose an opera singer that you absolutely adore, who would it be?
B: I love José Carreras. I love Luciano Pavarotti of course, the king of operatic technique. And I have to choose a woman also, Maria Callas of course. Jessye Norman, the things she could do with her voice, her stage presence, such an inspiration.
MC: If you could manifest a role for yourself, what would it be?
B: The dream is to be on Broadway, eight shows a week. Making Broadway my home sometime would be really cool. Performing especially for my home city and all of the tourists that come through, it would be such an honor. I would love to be in a production of Les Mis as Javert. My dream musical, many are surprised by this, would be Miss Saigon as Christopher Scott. My type is not usually cast in that role, they usually go for a different type. I just think it would be so cool to have someone like me in Miss Saigon. My uncles served in that war and it is a story that is so close to my heart and the music is just gorgeous.
MC: Looking back at the last eighteen months, what do you see as the lesson you are taking from this time?
B: Never take art for granted. It is so interesting, when things were shutting down, people were bummed about concerts and sports events being cancelled. The arts can kind of get lost in that mix, and there was some uncertainty about when it could come back. Now that we are back and seeing how people are so hungry for it, it has reminded me not to take one moment of it for granted.
Follow Brandon Delgado on Instagram
Anastacia is playing at Kimmel’s Cultural Campus in Philadelphia through November 28th; click here for tickets and information