Ten Questions With…
Alexandra LoBianco, soprano
Leonore in Fidelio
1. Where were you born / raised?
St. Petersburg, Florida. Not to be confused with St. Petersburg, Russia (that’s happened).
2. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
When I was younger, I wanted to go into Equine Science, but I quickly realized I’m just not that smart. So if I had to make a choice outside of the profession, I’d be a therapist of some sort. I’m actually considering going back for my Master’s, because trust me, when you teach voice you are already a therapist. I might as well get the diploma to go with it.
3. My favorite opera is…
This is actually a difficult question. It tends to be the one I’m working on. I have my absolute go-to’s, which are Tosca, Macbeth, and Cavalleria Rusticana. (Yes, I love verismo.)
4. My favorite post-show meal is…
Munchies and sometimes a bourbon neat.
5. People would be surprised to know that…
I’m blind as a bat on stage. I don’t wear contacts. Well, I can make out Maestro’s hands, which keeps me on top of the beat, thank goodness. I was also a competitive horseback rider when I was younger. And last but not least, my favorite form of workout is boxing.
6. What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar / in the car /for karaoke?
Oh, this one is easy. You’ll find me at my favorite little piano bar, Uncle Charlie’s in New York with my dear friend / composer William Wade having me belt “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret, then right into “Quando m’en vo.” Don’t ask, I don’t get it either, but it’s a lot of fun.
7. What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
Netflix has made it very easy to binge-watch TV. When I’m on gigs, my favorite thing to do is find a new or old TV show and, well, indulge.
8. A few of my favorite films are…
I must confess, I love movies but I’m not a huge movie buff. When I go to the movies (or watch Netflix… you see a trend here), I tend to watch things that are truly entertainment. So, with that in mind: The Avengers (and all the others in the series), plus I love Pixar and most all Disney flix. They are such a wonderful escape from reality while being a marvel of artistic abilities that I just don’t comprehend.
As far as films that I feel are of major artistic worth, I love Cinema Paradiso, The Artist, Forrest Gump, and Amelie. Cult classics: Clueless, Young Frankenstein, Willie Wonka (original version), Fight Club, Highland, and Coming to America.
Honestly, the first thing you’d find would be about 5 different versions of Fidelio followed quickly by about 5 more versions of Don Giovanni, as I just finished that and haven’t replaced it with Tosca yet. Once you’re past work, you get into things like “Sandman” by Metallica, “Who I Am” by Alice Peacock, “Trouble” by P!nk and “Ben Aindi Habibi” by Mary Fahl. You’d also find a bunch of musical theater followed by some of the greats: Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Edith Piaf, Tom Lehrer, etc.
It was when I was in the chorus for Opera Carolina and we were in the midst of Nabucco. One of the slave costumes was just pieces of burlap sack that had been dyed shades of blue and stitched together with no lining. Needless to say it was difficult finding your character while itching from the burlap and laying on the floor.
Don’t miss the chance to see Alexandra 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.