Joshua Kohl always wanted to become a baseball player. He became an opera singer instead. On March 1 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 the newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. This is the second time Kohl has sung at the stadium — he also performed for the opening game last season.
Mr. Kohl, a tenor, is currently singing the principal role of Don Ottavio in Sarasota Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. A Mozart fan and a huge Chicago White Sox fan, he played ball throughout his youth and was a varsity player in high school.
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 (she also is in Don Giovanni) and has sung the National Anthem at Fenway Park. There will surely be plenty of friends and family there to cheer Kohl on as his parents are locals — they live in Parrish.
The game is set for 1:05 p.m., Tuesday, March 1. Ed Smith Stadium is at 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue, Sarasota.