Month: January 2013

Ten Questions with Josh Sanders

Ten Questions with…








Josh Sanders, tenor
Ensemble
in Acis and Galatea









1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:

Being able to serve my art and share it with an audience. I don’t feel like I sing for myself, but rather, I sing to the world. There’s no better feeling than stepping off of the stage after sharing your heart and soul with an audience. Through music, you can speak to anyone- regardless of what language they speak, or where they come from. 

 

2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:
Not judging yourself too harshly. How you sound in your head isn’t how you sound in the space you’re singing. It’s hard to let go and just sing without criticizing yourself.

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: 
Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Lyric Opera of Chicago my freshman year of High School. It was the first live opera that I had ever seen. Also, the set made absolutely no sense…chairs floating in the middle of the stage, and some strange cloud motif that popped up in every scene. 

4. A few of my favorite films are:
Anything that has to do with Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, or Disney has my heart.

5. Three things I can’t live without are: 
Singing, naps, and air conditioning

6. My number one hobby is: 
Singing. What a shock! 

7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be? 

Leontyne Price or Eileen Farrell.

8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? 
I would probably be a lawyer. I’m stubborn and argue a lot. 

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender?  
I would most definitely want to sing Aida.


10. Describe your favorite moment on stage. 
My favorite moment on stage was my debut with Madison Opera in La Traviata my senior year of high school. It was my first time in the chorus, and I sang the little role of the gardener. It was amazing and inspiring to work with a professional company for the first time, and sing on the stage in Overture Hall. And I’ll never forget the wig I wore: it looked exactly like my own hair…


See Josh in Madison Opera’s production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea January 10-13 in The Playhouse at Overture Center. Tickets start at just $20, but they’re going fast!

Ten Questions with Angela Mortellaro

Ten Questions with…







Angela Mortellaro, soprano
Galatea
in Acis and Galatea










1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: 
My favorite thing about being a singer is the singing! Is that too obvious? I truly mean it, though. I love everything about singing: the music, singing music I’ve sung forever, singing new music I’ve just learned, the physical sensation of singing, the individuality and beauty of each singing voice, the challenges of mastering technique, the personal reward of executing something musical with my voice. It is so beautiful and so hard. I love it! 


2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: 
The greatest challenge of being a singer is that it is a lifestyle, not just a career. 

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: 
The recent premier of Kevin Puts’ opera Silent Night with Minnesota Opera was so exciting, musically, dramatically, and the production was fantastic. It was a heart-wrenching story told so powerfully.

4. A few of my favorite films are:
The Birdcage and The Lord of the Rings, and I really love documentaries.

5. Three things I can’t live without are:
My husband, Jeff.
My imagination.
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk.

6. My number one hobby is: 
Buying myself flowers.

7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be? 

There are so many singers that I adore of all voice types, but Maria Callas is a special inspiration to me.

8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? 
It is difficult to imagine not being a singer. If I wasn’t a singer, or couldn’t be a singer, I would probably be in the non-profit world. It would be very rewarding to work for arts organizations, or charity organizations. 

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender? 
I would love to be a villain! Sopranos have some really awesome music, but there are other characters that would be really fun to play. Musically speaking, Charlotte in Werther is a beautiful role. The music is so beautiful it is almost unbearable.   

10. Describe your favorite moment on stage. 
During a recent production in the Mad Scene of Lucia di Lammermoor, Lucia kills herself with a sword drawn across her neck. To make this extra bloody and gruesome, we used a “blood pack” coordinated with the sword for a very dramatic end to the scene. During the performance, the blood pack didn’t work out the way it was planned. When I squeezed it to release the blood, a large clump of fake blood flew through the air and landed on a chorister. It did not end up on my neck where it was intended. This could not be seen from the audience, but it was hilarious to all of us on stage.


See Angela in Madison Opera’s production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea January 10-13 in The Playhouse at Overture Center. Tickets start at just $20, but they’re going fast!

Ten Questions with Jeffrey Beruan

Ten Questions with…






Jeffrey Beruan,
bass-baritone

Polyphemus
in Acis and Galatea




1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: 

Sharing my talent with others and making music.

2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: 
Trying to make singing look easy.

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: 
Nic Muni’s production of Faust with Portland Opera.

4. A few of my favorite films are:
The Godfather trilogy, Back to the Future trilogy, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Braveheart.

5. Three things I can’t live without are:
My wife, great food, and music.

6. My number one hobby is:
Right now, it is jogging daily!

7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be? 
Cesare Siepi.
 
8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? 
Accounting.

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender? 
Rodolfo in La bohème.

10. Describe your favorite moment on stage. 
My favorite moment on stage was when I was the King in Aida with Portland Opera, when I had to step onto a moving turntable during the Triumphal March and somehow managed not to fall over despite the long, heavy robe of my costume. Also, during that same scene, getting to have Greer Grimsley and Lisa Daltirus singing away with me! 

See Jeffrey in Madison Opera’s production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea January 10-13 in The Playhouse at Overture Center. Tickets start at just $20, but they’re going fast!

Ten Questions with Jennifer DeMain

Ten Questions with…





Jennifer DeMain,
mezzo-soprano

Ensemble
in Acis and Galatea










1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: 

The challenge that each piece brings stylistically and the opportunity to deliver text that may have been written hundreds of years ago, but still hold meaning today. 

2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:
Auditioning.

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:
When I saw the band Coldplay at Alpine Valley, Chris Martin was standing 3 feet away from me playing my favorite song in the world!

4. A few of my favorite films are:
Catch Me if You Can, Titanic, The Other Guys, Giant, When Harry Met Sally.

5. Three things I can’t live without are:
My bike, my iPhone, and chocolate.

6. My number one hobby is:
Weightlifting.

7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be?
I would perform with Maria Callas or Ethel Merman.

8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I’d be a personal trainer.

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender?
MadamaButterfly, Leporello, or Escamillo.

10. Describe your favorite moment on stage.
I was in a play where we had to recite lines from Shakespeare backwards, when the lights went out and I realized I’d said everything in the correct backwards order, that was my favorite moment.


Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
How many operas have you seen?

And though I can’t quantify it, to put it in perspective, I once saw 21 performances of the same production.


See Jennifer in Madison Opera’s production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea January 10-13 in The Playhouse at Overture Center. Tickets start at just $20, but they’re going fast!

Ten Questions with J. Adam Shelton

Ten Questions with…







J. Adam Shelton, tenor
Damon
in Acis and Galatea













1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: 

I love learning something new! There’s so much awesome music out there to be learning, researching, and singing that the geek inside of me is deeply satisfied!!

2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: 
Cold and flu season.

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: 
I saw Linda Eder perform in April. She sang some of her Broadway stuff, some jazz, some country, even Adele! I had a blast listening to the concert (and being on the list to meet her afterwards!). It’s always refreshing and exciting to hear live singing.

4. A few of my favorite films are:
I’m looking at all of my DVDs right now and thinking, “Do they have room for 100?” Christopher Guest never seems to disappoint me, Kevin Smith films too, but if I could only live with three: (1) Young Frankenstein, (2) Clue, and (3) one of the Sister Actmovies (I’m a sucker for nuns who sing Motown…)

5. Three things I can’t live without are:
(1) My iPhone – calendar, music, phone, email all-in-one without it I’d be lost; (2) a caramel macchiato from Starbucks; and (3) my immersion blender (you must own one to understand its numerous uses)!

6. My number one hobby is:
I try to craft, which sometimes is a mangled mess, but I do knit pretty well!

7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be? 
I imagine Beverly Sills and I would have gotten along great, not to mention how phenomenally talented she was!!
 
8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? 
I actually started undergrad as a deaf education major. I practiced interpreting the radio, songs, and tv in my spare time and decided to switch over to my other passion, music, and lucked myself into a good undergrad music program!

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender? 
I think Tosca could be fun. Plus you get to jump over the edge at the end, who wouldn’t love that??

10. Describe your favorite moment on stage. 
My favorite moment is when the music stops, and there’s that split second of silence. That silence that allows you to feel the electricity of the performance and the audience erupts. Aside from all the other amazing moments that can happen on stage, that moment always thrills me.
Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Where’s the coolest place being a singer has taken you?

I have been to Italy and Russia, and they were awesome experiences. Except I was mugged in Russia, that wasn’t cool, but everything else in Russia was great!!


See Adam in Madison Opera’s production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea January 10-13 in The Playhouse at Overture Center. Tickets start at just $20, but they’re going fast!