An exclusive interview with American Idol favorite Eric Anthony Lopez
American Idol favorite Eric Anthony Lopez is currently in the Chicago Revival by Time Line Theatre Company of Terrence McNallyʼs Tony Award winning play Master Classat Stage 773. Lopezʼs stage credits include The 25th Anniversary of Broadway’s Crazy For You(Lincoln Center), GRAMMY Nominated Broadway’s Inspirational Voices, Carmen (London), Tosca (London), Elijah (Sydney Opera – Australia), Christmas Spectacular (Premiere Tokyo Cast), The Jackie Mason Musical (Off-Broadway), Dido & Ane’s (Birmingham Opera).
How are you liking Chicago & Master Class so far?
I am absolutely loving Chicago so far. Iʼve been to 4 cubs games on my days off and itʼs just a beautiful city. Everyone is so chill and laid back. I feel very zen (laughs). As far as work is concerned, we are in previews now and I am absolutely in love with this play and this company. Even though I play an opera
student studying at Juilliard, Master Class isnʼt a musical or an opera — itʼs the very first straight play I have ever done so being brought in from the New York community as a leading role was a little intimidating but Iʼm always up for a challenge. Itʼs been fulfilling in so many ways. This cast & creative team is really quite stellar. I love coming to work everyday.
Youʼre only 23 and known for your work on Television and on stages in New York, London & abroad. What was your audition process like for Master Class?
So I found out this was happening in March while searching the web for Maria Callas aria I couldnʼt remember the name of — saw the audition notice and emailed the director. He didnʼt answer. I emailed him again.
No answer. (Eric laughs) — three days later I got on a plane at JFK went to the EPA [Equity Member Open Principal Call] and came back to NY that night. I didnʼt even realize the director was in the EPA room & were seriously looking. I got a call the next day for call back I did the same thing. Crazy right. Iʼve always been a go-getter and it felt really good to ultimately earn the part. For my final call back I read with beloved Chicago veteran actress & now dear colleague Janet Ulrich Brooks. Working with her has been such a treat and Iʼve learned so much. She really leads our company with such grace & passion. I adore her so so much.
Your opera voice is astonishing for your age. Where/who did you train growing up?
I am self taught in both opera and contemporary. I do check in with vocal coach Mary Setrakian (notable teacher to Nicole Kidman, Mary J Blige & Broadway star Sierra Boggess) every now and again to make sure everything is healthy & ready to go.
Do you think Terrence McNallyʼs Master Class will return to New York & Do you want stick with straight plays or continue with musicals/opera?
I would absolutely love for it to return to my home state but I think the Chicago production will really make its mark in itʼs own way, just like Betty Buckley is right now with Hello Dolly down the street at Chicagoʼs Oriental Theatre. Regarding straight plays and musicals — I would like to work on anything that fills my soul, regardless of genre. New York, Chicago and London are all great places for world class theatre. I am so honored & blessed to be part of all those communities now.
You have a huge built in following from your 2015 American Idol days. Itʼs nearly four years since you came on the scene in a big way, what have you learned?
American Idol was the first thing I ever did and first professional showbiz job I ever had. I was also doing a musical in New York eight times a week simultaneously. It was crazy time. People must think itʼs weird to call what I do job but it really is. Itʼs work and I am appreciative of my time with IDOL and every other project Iʼm associated with. took a risk and went on IDOL to try to build/start building a career. I was 19 — so hungry, green & inexperienced. After landing a Manager/Agent & a dream come true music deal release my contemporary/classical album 21 & Counting — I began to work all over the world and learned so much. Iʼm nearly 24 but I feel like Iʼm 28 because real life… my post collegiality life started when I was 19. I became financially independent and had my own apartment the whole 9 yards at that very young age. Iʼm so grateful I had the guidance of my mother & my faith to keep my grounded. I do feel like I canʼt relate to many people in my profession that are my age unless they started “early”. My association American Idol brand has kept me working and I will always be grateful to the ABC Network/Fremantle Media for that extraordinary life changing opportunity. Iʼve learned to be very strong and to have a very thick skin. I never rest on my laurels and always push push push for the next big thing to get to where I want to be/who I want to work etc.
How long do you plan to stay with Master Class, any plans for a show on Broadway or back in London or Australia.
Iʼm with Chicagoʼs Master Class until 12/9. Iʼm not trying to be cute or coy thatʼs all I can say for now contractually. But Iʼm extremely excited for what the future holds. Performances for Terrence McNallyʼs MASTER CLASS are at
Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenuein Chicago.
For tickets and information,
call the Box Office at