Denver's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Denver, Colorado | 9NEWS.com

From Colorado farmhand to NYC opera star

FORT COLLINS - Charles Taylor's life story would be good material for a grand opera. Six years ago he was working as a farmhand in Weld County.

Today he's a rising star with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City."I still fight the feeling of being a fraud, a ruse," says Taylor.

Taylor's background is more blue collar than blue blood. He always liked music, but had no background in opera. "I wanted to be a rock star," Taylor says. "But Meatloaf already conquered the chubby, long-haired guy thing back in the seventies."

In his teens and twenties Taylor was strung out on drugs and binging on booze. "I should be dead," he says. "Or at the very least in a jail or a box somewhere begging change. And here I am living this dream."

Taylor eventually sobered up and turned his life around. He moved to Colorado because he had a friend who lived here. On a whim he auditioned for Opera Fort Collins. Even though he could barely read music at the time, he impressed the director. "It brought tears to my eyes," says former Opera Fort Collins director Elizabeth Elliott. "It's not often that somebody comes in and sings something that makes your spine tingle. And it wasn't just his voice. Chuck has soul."

Taylor's soul and his voice have carried him now to the stage of the Met, where he had a leading role this season in Lucia di Lammermoor. Taylor can barely believe he's actually singing at the Met. "The first time I saw it I started crying," he says.

The Today Show will have more about Taylor's amazing life Wednesday morning, January 25.

Learn more about Taylor at his website: www.charlesedwintaylor.com.