At one point, while Valjean was speeding through one of his many emotional high points that totally fell flat, I had this thought:
“It can’t be easy, singing this role that so many people know and that so many people have sung before him.”
Then I realized that we do that, too, we opera singers. And violinists and pianists and anyone whose job it is to re-create something, rather than create. It is up to us to find a way to make it new, thrilling, even for the third or fiftieth or thousandth time. Not an easy task, but it can be done.