Clayton Mathews performing
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Harlem opera: Singing star's journey from baseball to baritone

24 June 2013 Last updated at 00:40 BST

Clayton Mathews dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. He got close to the major leagues. But when an accident shattered that hope, he found unexpected success as an opera singer.

Now a rising star in the opera world, Mathews reflects on his journey from his youth in St Louis to baseball to bass-baritone.

He recently performed a leading role in a revival of Blue Monday - a rarely produced one-act opera by George Gershwin. Set in a 1920s Harlem jazz club, the opera tells the story of a lover's spat that turns to murder.

This new production, presented by the innovative On Site Opera company and the Harlem Opera Theater, was performed at the legendary Cotton Club in Harlem where old-time jazzmen teamed up with an African-American cast of singers and dancers.

Produced for the BBC by Anna Bressanin and Damian Fowler