Ten Questions with Nathan Stark

Ten Questions with…

Nathan Stark, bass
Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni

1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:
I love the challenge of combining music, drama and text into one creative and artistic outlet. I also love the opportunity to collaborate with other singers, conductors and stage directors. You learn so much from working with talented colleagues.
2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:
Keeping the voice healthy & functioning well during heavy months of traveling… especially during the colder seasons. Also, being away from loved ones can be really emotionally challenging.
3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: 
It has to be the first professional opera I ever saw – La Traviata at LA Opera. I was spellbound afterward. I knew I wanted to have a career in opera after that experience.

4. A few of my favorite films are:
I’m a HUGE fan of the movie The Princess Bride. I also love The Lord of the Rings movies, Glory, Finding Nemo, Forrest Gump and The Devil Wears Prada.
5. Three things I can’t live without are: 
Facebook, my cellphone, and fried chicken (sad, huh?).
6. My number one hobby is: 
Cooking! I love to cook. Not saying I’m a great cook, just saying that I love to cook. I can just as easily burn down my kitchen as I can whip up a gourmet dish. 
7. If you could perform with any singer, retired or deceased, who would it be? 
For opera, it would be Marilyn Horne. She’s been my friend & mentor for several years and I just adore her. Outside of that, I would love to perform with (don’t laugh) Dolly Parton. She’s always been one of my favorite performers, knows how to connect with her fans & audiences, and keeps reinventing herself after all these years… and not just with plastic surgery!

8. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? 
A school teacher. Young minds are a beautiful thing and I’ve always thought being a teacher was such a noble profession. Teachers are heroes. 

9. What role do you wish you could sing that you could never sing because it’s the wrong voice type/gender?  
Carmen, because the characters I always tend to play are never, ever sexy… so that would be an interesting challenge.
10. Describe your favorite moment on stage. 
Singing the National Anthem and God Bless America for the President of the United States, two former First Ladies, members of the US Senate and US Congress during the nationally televised opening ceremony of the Ronald Reagan Library Air Force One exhibit in 2005. That was pretty awesome. 
Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask (and the answer). 
If you had a motto, what would it be?
It’s not a matter of if… it’s when!

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

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