Orioles National Anthem singer: 'You have to respect that 'O"

Rolando Sanz did a highly important job at Thursday's Orioles playoff opener.

That job just didn't involve staying for the whole game.

Sanz, an operatic tenor born and raised in Rockville, belted out a raucously well-received national anthem at 5:30 p.m. Later, he dashed to Mount Vernon, where the curtain raised at 8 p.m. for his performance of "Amleto" with the Baltimore Concert Opera.

"I've got enough cushion to catch a couple innings," Sanz said before ducking into a back room at Camden Yards to warm up with scales.

He's a veteran of the ballpark stage by now, having sung the national anthem at the past three Orioles home openers. Sanz debuted at New York's Carnegie Hall before he got the ballpark gig.

"But just by sheer numbers, Carnegie Hall seats what, 3,000?" he said. "And we're talking how many tens of thousands here? So it's a whole different ball of wax." He said he's felt like an ant, staring up at the stands.

Sanz, 35, delivers an unshowy rendition.

"It's funny," he said. "Walking through the stands after Opening Day, the comment I've gotten the most is thanks for singing it straight up."

And how does Sanz accommodate the fans' bellicose "O"?

"Technically, what I do is wait a second and then pick up speed to make up for lost time," he said.

"The 'O' has its place, no doubt. You have to respect that 'O.'"

Childs Walker

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