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It’s Not Over ‘Til The Athlete Sings! Former Ravens Player Now A Rising Tenor

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Ta'u Pupu'a , opera
Schuh Mike 370x278 (2) Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Remember when you heard that Ravens kicker Justin Tucker loves opera and that he’s a pretty decent opera singer? Well, apparently, this connection between opera and the Ravens started well before Tucker got on the scene.

Mike Schuh explains.

Oh, the story you will see inside The Lyric has love, lies, a king and a terrific story about the king.

Meet Ta’u Pupu’a.

“My first opera was in this opera house,” said Pupu’a.

“When I was with uhh the Ravens,” he said.

Hold it. What? What was that? Come again?

“When I was with the Ravens,” he said.

The Ravens! That’s what he said.

Drafted by the Browns and on to the Baltimore Ravens, he never made it into a game at Memorial Stadium.

He got hurt during a Ravens preseason practice.

“I broke the arch of my foot on the right foot,” he said.

Boom, career over before it had begun.

“Oh, I was depressed. I was depressed. I couldn’t watch football for three years,” Pupu’a said.

But, gifted with a great voice, he remembered seeing his first and only opera here in Baltimore and struck out for New York and got an audition at Juilliard.

“There were 110 of us auditioning, and I got in on a full scholarship,” Pupu’a said.

Now, only three years out of school, he’s known as an up-and-coming tenor, next performing in Hong Kong.

His next act in Baltimore: an invitation to the current Raven with opera talent.

“Justin Tucker, again what a great story. Wouldn’t it be great if Justin and I come together, join forces and give back to the community of Baltimore?” Pupu’a said.

Yes it would. Two gladiators, one night. Sort of a pigskin payday.

We’ve reached out to Tucker to see what he thinks about a dual performance. He has not responded yet.

That opera at The Lyric, “Nabucco,” only has two performances. They are on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

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