When young men raise their voice in song, they're often either part of a religious choir or trying to mimic their favorite rock 'n' roll idols.
But Haverhill's Dan Smith, 18, is attempting to capture the harmonies of Mozart's final and arguably most difficult opera.
On March 11, Smith will take to the stage at the Greater Lawrence Technical School for the Treble Chorus of New England's production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute.'' His role of the comedic character Papageno would provide hearty laughs for those in attendance. It also marks a bittersweet curtain call for himself and his family.
The youngest of six siblings, all of whom participated in the Treble Chorus in some capacity, Smith's final performance will mark the end of an era for his family.
"There's a generation ending there," he said. "It's a little sad, but everything must come to an end."
For the last 11 years, Smith has participated in the Treble Chorus' Hands on Opera program as a bass baritone singer. He said he's noticed his voice changing over recent years and wants to celebrate the chorus on a "low" note.
"I'm probably the highest of my brothers," he said of his voice.
For "The Magic Flute,'' Smith will take on the comedic role of Papageno, a wandering bird master who lusts after the goddess of the night.
Smith said such slapstick roles match his personality perfectly. He dislikes having to dramatically emote on cue, a key trait for a princely protagonist character. Instead, the character Papageno calls for an affable fool and a skilled vocalist. Smith said these silly characters also help him overcome his slight fear of performing to crowds by letting himself go.
"I usually get the goofy character," he said. "This is my favorite role. The way Mozart wrote this is just wonderful. There's so many different melodies and styles inside of it."
Smith isn't a stranger to the stage.
Besides his annual operas with the Treble Chorus, he has taken part in several plays hosted by the Bradford Christian Academy in Haverhill including "Godspell" last spring, where he played the role of Jesus Christ, and their upcoming production of "West Side Story.''
Ready to move on to other challenges in life after his years with the Treble Chorus, Smith said he'll miss the "family" he's come to know over the last decade.
"The whole, entire chorus is a family," he said.
Besides the friends and support the chorus provided him, the experience has also given him a future career one wouldn't expect to come from a theatrical company. In fact, it doesn't relate to any skills of the stage at all.
Smith said that over the years, he's developed a love of business and sales through the Treble Chorus' annual fruit sale fundraisers. Selling grapefruits and oranges by the box, he said he enjoyed trying to maximize his profit and contribution to the shows — so much, in fact, that he plans to attend Northern Essex Community College in the fall to study business.
Smith also plays basketball with Bradford Christian Academy when not on stage.
IF YOU GO
What: The Treble Chorus of New England presents Mozart's "The Magic Flute''
Where: Greater Lawrence Technical School, 57 River Road, Andover
When: March 11 at 7 p.m.
Information or tickets: Call 978-794-4600, e-mail email@example.com or go to www.treblechorusne.org and click on "Tickets". Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Greater Lawrence Technical School students will receive complimentary tickets.