Month: April 2013

Blog It! Tweet It! Night

A Night at the Opera
Guest Bloggers and Tweeters joined us for the final dress rehearsal of Don Giovanni. They went backstage and watched the performance, and live Tweeted for three straight hours about the experience. You can find their thoughts here.

The Blog It! Tweet It! Night guests get ready to set off for an evening of opera.

Jeff Turk (@frescoopera):
“Don Giovanni – A High Performance Vehicle”
is an excellent recount for opera newbies who might still be a little nervous of diving in. He also offers some funny and simple insights on why he enjoyed it. Read more here. 


Kimberly Aime (@bdgergrl):
“Badger Girl Goes to the Opera”
is a must-read three-part series. Part 1 covers her preparations for attendance, Part 2 takes you backstage with her on the Don Giovanni tour, and Part 3 gets you a seat in the a
udience as she recaps the performance.

Geoffrey Cubbage (@geoffreycubbage):
“Misanthropology at Madison Opera” is perfect reading for those who enjoy a bit of snark with their opera. He enjoyed the performance, and his blow-by-blow recount of the evening will have you in stitches—no hoity-toity literature here!

Chris Lay (@mrchrislay):
You can still check out Tweets from the final dress, but here are hilarious, almost minute-by-minute annotated and aggregated Tweets from an opera newbie.

Mikko Utevsky: Guest blogging for The Well-Tempered Ear, found the final dress performance “irresistibly seductive”, “sexy, dark, gorgeous, musically compelling, and brilliantly sung”.

Mary Ellen Spoerke:
“Don Giovanni – Seduction, Deception, No Redemption” is a short and sweet overview of the opera, and some of the finer points of staging one (such as the importance of vodka backstage).

Ten Questions with Caitlin Lynch

Ten Questions with…






  Caitlin Lynch, soprano
   Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni





1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:
The first rehearsal with orchestra. All of the singers and orchestra members and conductor coming together for the first time.So much energy— so much fun!
2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: 
Living out of a suitcase. The constant unpacking and repacking is exhausting!

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:
Tori Amos at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.
I think it was 1996. Incredible.
4. A few of my favorite films are: 
Simon Birch, Dead Man Walking, What About Bob.
5. Three things I can’t live without are:
My husband, my baby, and my family.
6. My number one hobby is:
Well, I really love scrabble and I’m getting into baking. I also love bargain shopping. 
7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be?
I have to go with Corelli.

8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I think I would like to sell wedding dresses. Or maybe get into real estate. I’ve also seriously considered going into the family funeral business over the years. My family does such incredible work– supporting families in their time of grief.

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender?
Hmmm, Canio in Pagliacci.
10. Describe your favorite moment on stage. 
Two favorites: Don Giovanni at Michigan Opera. My husband, Jonathan Lasch was Leporello and I was Donna Anna. It was one of the best performances– such positive energy on stage and in the audience. And he proposed later that night. 🙂 Unforgettable. 

Also, singing the soprano solos in Messiah at Hill Auditorium in 2010 with my high school choir director, and first musical inspiration, Dr. Jerry Blackstone. The Messiah is one of my favorite pieces ever and I felt that I had come full circle in the most awe-inspiring way. Dream come true.


See Caitlin in Madison Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni April 26 & 28 in Overture Hall. Tickets start at just $18
why wait.

Ten Questions with Elizabeth Caballero

Ten Questions with…








  Elizabeth Caballero, soprano
   Donna Anna in Don Giovanni






1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:
Traveling. I love going to new places and meeting new people. Then I love getting to make beautiful music with all these new people in these great new places.
 
2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:
Traveling. I hate airports. Too many people and lots of lines. I hate long lines. Another thing I hate about traveling is how much I miss my own bed and pots and pans. I’m a big home body.

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:

When I first started studying voice I went to a recital by soprano Aprille Millo. I was blown away by her commitment to the drama and her amazing voice. One of the final pieces she sang was L’atra notte from Boito’s Mefistofole. She just knelt in front of the piano and cradled a make believe baby. At the end of the aria my skin was all goose bumped and I said to myself this is what I want to be. To this day I still remember that amazing performance.  

4. A few of my favorite films are: 
Moonstruck – obvious reasons; Steel Magnolias – someone needs to make it into an opera; Forest Gump – makes me happy; The Shiningcreepy Jack Nicholson.


5. Three things I can’t live without are:
My TV. I’m a TV addict. 
My phone, don’t you dare try to take it away from me. 
Can’t really think of a 3rd. I’m quite simple really.I love my electronic gadgets, and my phone has everything in it. It’s my camera, computer, and iPod all in one, so I guess my phone can count as a lot of things. 

6. My number one hobby is:
Music! I feel so blessed that my hobby is my job. 

7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be?
I have always admired Mirella Freni. I wish I could go back in time and be her Contessa to her Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Then in the mean time, take notes for whenever I get to sing Susanna again.

8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’d love to be involved with animals, either medically as a vet or else rescuing abandoned and abused animals.

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender? 
I’d love to sing the role of Scarpia in Tosca. He is just so deliciously evil.

10. Describe your favorite moment on stage. 
My favorite moments on stage are when I’m with a colleague or several colleagues and we connect so well that we forget we are singing/performing and when the applause come, it kinda shocks me. It’s electrifying when that happens. It’s a feeling like, oh wait, you were listening. Oh yeah! I’m singing. I love that! 


See Elizabeth in Madison Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni April 26 & 28 in Overture Hall. Tickets start at just $18
why wait.

Ten Questions with Matt Boehler

Ten Questions with…







Matt Boehler, bass
Leporello in Don Giovanni




1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:

Getting to make something new every time we step out there.
 
2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:
Dealing with a cape. Especially when there is a sword involved. One could devote a whole semester of study to this in conservatory.

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:Seeing Annie on Broadway when I was very young. We visited my Nana in Jersey, and she took me to see it. Apparently I stood up and started flapping my arms, imitating the conductor. Nana tried to get me to sit, and a woman behind her said, “Looks like you’ve got a musician on your hands.”

4. A few of my favorite films are:
Airplane!, Clue, North by Northwest, Critters 2 (it’s much more fun than the first installment).

5. Three things I can’t live without are: 
Oxygen, water, food in that order.

6. My number one hobby is: 
Reading.

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

8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? 
Trust me: if I knew, I’d have done it already.

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender?
Tossup. I’d either sing Violetta and turn out a totally fierce Sempre libera, or sing a totally disgusting Herod in Salome and chew all the available scenery.

10. Describe your favorite moment on stage.
That moment after the curtain drops, and you’re all backstage right before the bows, kind of stunned that everyone made it through all that.


See Matt in Madison Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni April 26 & 28 in Overture Hall. Tickets start at just $18
why wait?

Ten Questions with Kelly Markgraf

Ten Questions with…









  Kelly Markgraf, baritone
   Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni








1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: 
The flexibility of our daily lives. Being your own boss and crafting your own schedule is not something a lot of people get to do.

2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: 
Maintaining discipline in the face of that flexibility. I had a teacher once who pointed out that you have to train like an Olympic athlete.

3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: 
In recent memory, the best live performance I’ve heard was tenor Jonas Kaufmann singing Cavaradossi at the Met. I found myself unwittingly muttering expletives of disbelief at the sheer beauty and technical agility of his singing. Definitely something I will remember for a long time to come! 
4. A few of my favorite films are: 

The Lion in Winter (Hepburn and O’Toole), The Philadelphia Story(Hepburn, Grant, and Stewart), and Summer Stock (Gene Kelley and Judy Garland).

5. Three things I can’t live without are: 
Tea, my wife, and my daughter.

6. My number one hobby is: 
Tea. The delicacy, the art of creation… it’s a phenomenally fascinating craft.

7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be? 
Renato Bruson, if I’m in an opera mood, or James Taylor, for all the other days.

8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
 
Probably law, or owning my own tea company

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

Carmen. For. Sure. I would be fierce! 

10. Describe your favorite moment on stage. 
My favorite moment is possibly one from summer stock theater in Cape Cod. We were performing Titanic, the Musical (good show!) and a storm took out ALL the electrical in the theater other than the red glow of the exit signs. After debating what to do, or if we could even proceed, most of the audience fetched flashlights from their cars. Some shone them into the pit onto the players’ stands, others shone them onto the stage; another brought their car to the side of the theater and shone their headlights in the side door and onto the stage. We finished the performance! What a memory that is! 


See Kelly in Madison Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni April 26 & 28 in Overture Hall. Tickets start at just $18
why wait.