Ten Questions with Caitlin Cisler

Ten Questions with…

Caitlin Cisler, soprano
in A Masked Ball

1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:
No two days on the job are the same. Every day presents a new aria to learn, a new scene to stage, new people to meet, a new city to visit. It’s a very dynamic profession; so full of life and creativity, and certainly never boring!
2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:
Realizing that I will never be done learning. Some days, I wish I could just snap my fingers and be a perfect singer, but I do enjoy the challenge. I always look forward to those days when all the hard work has paid off and I do feel like the perfect singer… for at least a little while, until something new to learn comes along.
3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:
Tosca at the Vienna State Opera. I was with my mother and stepfather. First of all, it was a stunning performance, but mostly it was my stepfather’s reaction to the opera. He’s not really an opera sort of guy, but during intermission he turned to me and said, his voice full of excitement and wonder: “What do you think is going to happen?!” I was just as enthralled as he was, but his reaction really showed me what this art form can do when it is done with passion. It made me want to become an opera singer. 
4. A few of my favorite films are:
The Princess Bride, Zoolander, Amadeus – I love films that make me laugh. 
5. Three things I can’t live without are:
My morning coffee, a good book, and every once in a while, a lazy morning.
6. My number one hobby is:
7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be?
Beverly Sills.
8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Probably scientific research. I studied biology in college and I really enjoy figuring out how to answer some of life’s mysteries. Until recently, I’ve worked in research labs to help fund my singing habit. 
9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type / gender?
Salome, hands down. That is my favorite opera score, and her music is just phenomenal. The way that Strauss uses tonality to expose her instability is genius, and it is so beautiful! A girl can dream… 
10. Describe your favorite moment on stage.
This is a tough one, but most recently: Fresco Opera Theatre’s production of “The Good, The Bad, The Divas” ends with an old fashioned shoot-out. My character, Bonny Jo Loco, is the first to be shot and then the action shifts immediately into slow-motion. On opening night, I was totally unprepared for the audience’s reaction. They started laughing. Dying in slow motion is such hard muscle work that I never considered it was funny looking. I almost started laughing right along with the audience that opening night, but thankfully I was able to maintain a look of agony throughout all 2 or 3 minutes of my “instant” death. Each subsequent performance got the same reaction – but this time I was ready for it. 

See Caitlin in Madison Opera’s production of Verdi’s A Masked Ball (Un Ballo in Maschera) October 26 and 28 at Overture Hall. Tickets start at just $18!

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