We constantly hear our teachers say how badly they’d like to see their students succeed. This can be repeated as often as possible; however, the fact remains that actions speak louder than words.
Emmy-award winner James Bobick is spending his first year teaching in the D’Angelo Department of Music doing just that showing his students how to make it in the real world. There is no person more suited to do this than Bobick. He’s truly been there and done that when it comes to the world of opera and music.
Mercyhurst has welcomed Bobick with open arms.
“Mercyhurst has welcomed me in a way I could have never expected,” said Bobick. “Different disciplines can be very insular. Both my wife (Melissa Bobick, assistant professor of dance, was newly welcomed into the dance department as well) and I have been very warmly welcomed from many departments on campus. I do believe there is a web of support at Mercyhurst among faculty that not only benefits the staff but, in turn, also benefits our students.”
His work at Mercyhurst hasn’t stopped him from sticking to his ultimate passion: singing. Bobick is currently performing a leading role in the world premiere of “Death of Webern,” by Michael Dellaria at New York City Opera, reprising “Babes in Toyland” with the Mercyhurst dancers in December, directing the world premiere of “The Selfish Giant,” which is based on a short story by Oscar Wilde and directing the spring opera, “La Cenerentola,” with the D’Angelo Department of Music thanks to Louisa Jonason, assistant professor of Voice and Director of the Opera Program.
Bobick is also enjoying a leading role in Mercyhurst theatre program’s upcoming production of “Urinetown.”
As somebody who adores American musical theatre, Bobick was overjoyed to perform the role of “Mr. Cladwell” in the production.
After studying the role, Bobick was delighted to find that “Urinetown” is catchy, incredibly funny and had a cultural significance he wasn’t aware of before researching the production.
When asked whether he’d been enjoying his first year at Mercyhurst so far, Bobick said, “Absolutely. I’ve always loved teaching and it’s the role of an artist to share his knowledge with those who will come after him to be able to eliminate those experiences that didn’t help, and distill it down to the important ones for his students. That’s the key to success.”
“My mantra comes from Ralph Emerson, ‘Every man I meet is in some way my superior, and in that I can learn of him.’ I believe if you’re open enough to see the world that way, it can only better you as an artist and a person,” Bobick said.
Through all of this, Bobick remains a vigilant, effective and caring professor at the university.
“Teaching is quite a bit like performing in that one can’t be superficial,” Bobick said. “Both experiences are about knowledge and experience; it’s about sharing what you know. It all distills down to truth.”