Ten Questions With…
Alisa Jordheim, soprano
Marzelline in Fidelio
1. Where were you born / raised?
2. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Medicine / healthcare – a nurse or nurse practitioner (see my answer to #5).
3. My favorite opera is…
Nixon in China by John Adams.
4. My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
Pre-show: A light combination of protein and carbohydrates, candied ginger, and always an apple!
Post-show: Ice cream and/or french fries!
5. People would be surprised to know that…
I danced ballet and en pointe for seven years. I also became a State-Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA or CNA) in 2008. I worked as an STNA with a healthcare company giving in-home care for nearly two years while I was in school at the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music. I couldn’t keep up both my work as an STNA and my work as a traveling singer, so I chose to focus on singing. However, I miss my work as an STNA very much and still have my scrubs!
6. What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar / in the car /for karaoke?
I have no shame. Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
7. What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
I am a big fan of the Food Network, HGTV, and TLC.
8. A few of my favorite films are…
Some Like it Hot, The Seven Year Itch, Casablanca, Catch Me If You Can, 500 Days of Summer, The Shawshank Redemption, any of the Muppet movies (but especially The Great Muppet Caper), and so many more. My favorite TV show was / is Breaking Bad.
9. If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would we see on your recently-played list?
Fidelio (!), Maroon 5, Imogen Heap, Edvard Grieg (Norwegian Dances for Piano – Eva Knardahl), Beyonce.
10. What is the best costume you’ve ever worn?
One of my favorite costume wardrobes was for Albert Herring with Florentine Opera, and I was Miss Wordsworth. The style was 1950s retro, and I had pink cat-eye glasses with rhinestones and a blonde wig curled in a flip. It was like the whole cast stepped right out of Mad Men!
11. Bonus question:
Q: Do you sing in genres/ styles other than opera?
A: I enjoy singing all different genres and styles of music – opera, oratorio, art song, musical theater, cabaret, jazz, chamber music, electronic music, etc. I am also passionate about singing diction and Scandinavian vocal music (my heritage is Norwegian and Danish, and that is the inspiration for my interest in Scandinavian music). My cognate field for my DMA degree from CCM is Scandinavian song and diction, and I recently completed studies in Scandinavia on the subject, thanks to grants from the Fulbright Foundation and the American Scandinavian Foundation.
Don’t miss the chance to see Alisa in Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera! Performances are November 21 and 23 at Overture Hall. Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.