Ten Questions with Jeni Houser

Ten Questions with…




Jeni Houser, soprano
Johanna in Sweeney Todd

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, and grew up in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I would be a dancer in a dream life.  In my real life, I would be a teacher.

3.  My favorite opera is…
Don Giovanni has been my favorite since I was four or five.  Verdi’s Falstaff is also high on the list, as well as Britten’s Peter Grimes.

4.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
A hearty sandwich or something with a lot of ginger.

5.  People would be surprised to know that…
I have an undergrad degree in English literature and I studied abroad in Amsterdam.

6.  What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar / in the car /for karaoke?
Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

7.  What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
HGTV and the Food Network, especially House Hunter and Chopped.

8.  A few of my favorite films are…
The Philadelphia Story, The Sting, Singing in the Rain.

9.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would we see on your recently-played list?

Bon Iver, Sweeney Todd, the Radio Lab podcast, and Pentatonix.

10.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn?

In the 8th grade, I costumed myself for the role of Betty Body, who was a personal trainer tasked with shaping up Santa Claus so he could fit down chimneys better.  I wore jean shorts, an ill-fitting sea green t-shirt, and big ol’ pink scrunchie in my ponytail.  So simple, so classic, so bad.

11.  Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Can you say all 50 states of the USA in alphabetical order in one breath?
A:  Yes.

Don’t miss the chance to see Jeni in Sweeney Todd, Sondheim’s masterpiece!  Performances are February 6, 7, and 8 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

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