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Sarasota Opera tenor to sing National Anthem at Orioles/Rays opener

Singer Joshua Kohl combines passions: opera and baseball

February 24, 2010 12:18 PM

Patricia G. Horwell, Communications Officer
 (941) 366-8450 ext. 332

Joshua Kohl always wanted to become a baseball player. He became an opera singer instead. On March 3 he’ll have the opportunity to combine his two loves when he sings the National Anthem at the Baltimore Orioles’ first Spring Training game of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. 
Mr. Kohl, a tenor, is currently singing the principal role of Tamino in Sarasota Opera’s production of The Magic Flute.  A huge Chicago White Sox fan, he played ball throughout his youth and was a varsity player in high school.
“I love baseball. I used to collect baseball cards with my father,” he says. “When I was a kid I used to say ‘I want to be a baseball player when I grow up!’ ”
He loves it so much that he decided to forego the high school musical in his senior year to play on the team. “I figured I’d be singing for the rest of my life but this would be my last chance to play ball. The funny thing is that the odds for being successful in either field are probably about the same!”
Baseball and opera are family activities in Kohl’s household. His wife, soprano and Boston Red Sox fan Sarah Asmar, is a Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera this season and has sung the National Anthem at Fenway Park. And Kohl’s parents, who live in Parrish, will be there to support him Wednesday as will his brother and sister-in-law who are traveling from Orlando for the game.
The game is set for 1:05 p.m., Wednesday, March 3. Ed Smith Stadium is at 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue, Sarasota.