The Mindset Forge
The Mindset Forge
Aug 18, 2021
Adam Flowers: Dramatic Tenor shares how Operatic Performance has Parallels with Sports
Play • 36 min

Adam and Barton chat about the similarities between performing arts and sports performance. Adam is a professional opera singer, having performed principal tenor roles. In this episode, he shares his mindset strategies around showing up before a performance which can also be applied to sports.

Surrounded by Music
Adam never imagined himself performing onstage, but his love for music speaks for itself. Having been exposed to operatic and classical music in his childhood years was the spark that later on lit his flame. Adam witnessed performances that blew his mind. Then, in high school, his friend forced him to audition for a jazz choir, and he got in. Adam majored in journalism in college, but his teachers were the ones that pushed him to shift to voice. All these influences mattered to Adam as he needed that extra push to reach his goal. His passion was already on full display, and all he needed to do was to look in the mirror to realize it. 

Opera and Sports
Performing onstage may look different from playing sports, but Adam says these two are similar. Physical conditioning is the same context for both, only differing on how these are carried out depending on where the training is focused. There are also similarities when it comes to mindset. One example is to be prepared for any mistakes. When unavoidable circumstances affect performance, a singer knows how to adjust and improvise. That is the same as a player changing strategy to increase winning chances. Like sports, singers also do warm-ups. The concept is all the same, and execution is the only thing that distinguishes one from the other.

About Adam Flowers:
Adam has performed principal tenor roles in opera houses throughout North America, Hawaii, and Japan. In July 2006, he completed a five-year artist-in-residency for Opera San Jose, performing over 32 roles. He has performed with the San Francisco Opera Chorus, San Francisco Symphony Chorus and is currently the tenor section leader at San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Church Choir.  He is a teaching artist for Pacific Actors & Singers Workshop, the San Francisco Opera Guild’s Book To Bravo, and Opera A La Carte educational programs with students in the 5th-12th grades. Finally, Adam has written feature articles for San Francisco Opera’s production programs and the SF Opera Board of Directors quarterly newsletter Behind the Curtain. 

Outline of the Episode:

[01:57] Adam’s discovery of singing

[09:58] How artistic and technical aspects in a performance matter

[13:10] The analogy of an operatic performance to sports performance

[18:09] Preparations and mindset before an opening night

[20:56] Teachers behind Adam’s success in his operatic career

[28:38] The moment when Adam had to figure out something mid-performance

[33:22] Advice from Adam’s friend that changed his mindset around performance

Hear Adam Sing:

Star Spangled Banner:
Che Gelida Manina:
Excerpts from Cavaradossi:
Folk song “Molly Malone”:
Adam’s Website:

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