Opera-singing couple found love in Utah

Published: Saturday, July 28 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

Earl and Alexis Hazell are both professional opera singers who met while working at the Utah Festival Opera in Logan.

Courtesy of Earl Hazell

PHOENIX, Ariz. — In the summer of 2007, two up-and-coming opera singers, one a bass, the other a mezzo-soprano, decided at the last minute to participate in the Utah Festival Opera in Logan, Utah.

The bass, Earl Hazell, was in the middle of an easy gig and felt the desire to challenge his career. Alexis Davis, the mezzo-soprano, was in school and decided to take the advice of a friend who pulled some strings to get her involved in the Logan opera extravaganza.

Neither had any idea they would be meeting their future spouse.

Earl noticed Alexis the first day, he said. The group of about 300 performers all met in the main auditorium and everyone gave a brief introduction. Alexis happened to be sitting in the row behind Earl. When she stood up to introduce herself she was giggling and laughing with the women next to her. As she began to explain her background, Earl said he noticed three things right away: She was fun. She was smart. And she was kind of cute.

Alexis said she first noticed Earl when he was practicing for his understudy role in one of the performances. She said he “put it on” and she was very impressed.

Then, one night, Alexis came home from rehearsal exhausted and fell asleep on the couch. She woke up to hear some of her friends outside talking, and she recognized one of the voices was Earl’s. She said she all of a sudden had a strong urge to get up and “get a drink of water.” She ended up staying to watch a movie — not because she wanted to watch the movie, she said, but because she wanted to spend some time with this intriguing new man.

“After that I followed her around like a puppy,” Earl said. “And since I wouldn’t leave her side, she had to date me.”

Earl and Alexis then began dating, but as the summer was winding to a close, Alexis started wondering if this was just a temporary fling or the real deal. She asked Earl if he could give her some kind of token, a physical reminder of their commitment to each other.

“He kept being wishy-washy,” Alexis said, “somehow making me not feel bad, but putting me off.”

Then during the intermission of one of her shows, Earl called Alexis out of the dressing room. When he pulled out a box for her she said she immediately started crying. He gave her a sapphire promise ring that she gratefully accepted before she ran back to the dressing room to redo her makeup and get back out to her performance.

The couple continued long distance for the next two years.

“We ran up the phone bills,” Alexis said. “It was terrible.”

Earl toured a lot, but moved his home base to Phoenix, Ariz., where Alexis is currently working on her Ph.D. in music at Arizona State University. Later, Earl got Alexis on his same touring company and they were able to travel together.

Then, Earl proposed at the Olive Garden.

“It’s my fault,” Alexis admitted, in reference to Earl’s choice of a proposal spot. “I had a coupon.”

Alexis said she could tell Earl was “cooking up something” but didn’t know what it was, so when he suggested they go out to eat she insisted on the economical choice.

“I called all her friends and told them what was happening,” Earl said. “The only person who didn’t know was her.”

But she said yes, and on July 3, 2009 their wedding was something, Earl said, their friends still talk about to this day.

“It was more like a musical production with a wedding in the middle,” said Alexis, whose full name is now Alexis Davis Hazell.

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