Most young opera singers dream of taking the stage of New York's Metropolitan Opera and performing history's most famous operatic roles around the world. It's safe to say that wowing Howard Stern at Radio City Music Hall was not originally part of Sean Panikkar's opera-star dream, but when an opportunity to win a million bucks and reach a national TV audience presents itself, career paths can take unexpected turns.
Sri Lankan tenor Sean Panikkar joined the Forte Opera Trio last week on America's Got Talent as a last minute replacement when one of their members dropped out unexpectedly. Local opera-goers will recognize Panikkar from the Fort Worth Opera Festival's 2013 production of La bohème, where the rising star commanded the stage as a strong, romantic Rodolfo. In 2014, Panikkar is slated to return to the FWO Festival, taking on the lead role in Bizet's The Pearl Fishers.
Last week on America's Got Talent, Howard Stern singled out Panikkar, noting that "the new guy is the strongest singer." You can watch Panikkar's next AGT performance tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.