Month: April 2015

Ten Questons with Will Liverman

Ten Questions With…

Will Liverman, baritone
Figaro in The Barber of Seville

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I would still be in music, maybe as a teacher or a jazz/gospel pianist.  Perhaps both!

3.  My favorite opera is…
That’s a tough one, but I have to go with Turandot.

4.  My favorite pre-show meal is…
A good hearty breakfast the day of a show.

5.  People would be surprised to know that…
I’ve studied piano for over 20 years.

6.  What is your favorite song to belt out in a bar / the shower / at karaoke?
Sinatra’s “My Way.”

7.  What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
I have to say I was addicted to Project Runway for a time.

8.  A few of my favorite films are…
Hook, The Patriot, and the Insidious movies.  I love scary movies!

9.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would we see on your recently-played list?   
Fischer-Dieskau, Eminem, Kirk Franklin, Katy Perry, Ray Charles.

10.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn? 
I was in drag for my first show at Julliard, wearing a white dress and heels with a good wig.  Some would say that I resembled Viola Davis as a woman.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  What should I eat for dinner?
A:  Wendy’s!!

Don’t miss the chance to see Will in The Barber of Seville, a classic operatic comedy!  Performances are April 24 and 26 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Emily Fons

Ten Questions With…

Emily Fons, mezzo
Rosina in The Barber of Seville

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Milwaukee and raised in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I would work with animals in some way, maybe with wildlife rehabilitation or in an animal shelter.

3.  My favorite opera is…
Hansel and Gretel.

4.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
Pre – something filling like a veggie burrito or a big salad with beans and quinoa and avocado.
Post – something terrible like French fries and ice cream.  🙂

5.  People would be surprised to know that…
I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 14 years.

6.  What is your favorite song to belt out at karaoke?
Probably some Céline Dion or something.  🙂

7.  What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
Probably my Instagram account.  I love taking selfies with my dog.

8.  A few of my favorite films are…
Death at a Funeral, Noises Off, Clueless, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Office Space, Star Wars 4-6, Home Alone, Jurassic Park, Babe the Gallant Pig.  I don’t aspire to any great artistic knowledge of film, as you can see.

9.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would we see on your recently-played list?   
The only things I really listen to on my ipod are things that I’m working on, so you’d find a lot of opera.

10.  What is the best costume you’ve ever worn? 
In Laurent Pelly’s production of La Traviata at Santa Fe Opera.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Could you please tell us about your dog?
A:  I could talk about her until your ears fall off.  I rescued her when I was an apprentice in Santa Fe, have had her for 5 1/2 years, and she is my best friend.

Don’t miss the chance to see Emily in The Barber of Seville, a classic operatic comedy!  Performances are April 24 and 26 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with John Irvin

Ten Questions With…

John Irvin, tenor
Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Atlanta, Georgia.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Music production / song-writing.

3.  My favorite opera is…
Massenet’s Werther.

4.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
A Wendy’s double cheeseburger.

5.  People would be surprised to know that…
I make hip hop beats as a hobby on an MC-808, one of my most prized possessions.

6.  What is your favorite song to belt out in a bar / the shower / at karaoke?
“Oh! Darlin'” by The Beatles.

7.  What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
The Walking Dead.

8.  A few of my favorite films are…
Heat, Jackie Brown, Blade Runner.

9.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would we see on your recently-played list?   
Meek Mill, Neil Young, The Notorious B.I.G., Horace Silver, and Bill Evans.

10.  What is the best or worst costume you’ve ever worn? 
Best AND worst costume was a mummy costume I wore in first grade for Halloween.  I was wrapped completely from head to toe in gauze… It looked great, but I couldn’t move an inch!

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Excuse me, sir, would you like a bag of money?
A:  Why yes, I would love a bag of money.  Thank you!

Don’t miss the chance to see John in The Barber of Seville, a classic operatic comedy!  Performances are April 24 and 26 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Alan Dunbar

Ten Questions With…

Alan Dunbar, baritone
Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Jefferson, North Carolina (it was the closest hospital to the tiny town of Mouth of Wilson, Virginia – yes, that is an actual place – where my parents lived at the time).  Moved to Beaufort, South Carolina at six months and grew up there until heading to Germany as an exchange student at age 17.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I would be a full-time violin and guitar maker.  (I claim to do that in my spare time, but I really don’t have any spare time).

3.  My favorite opera is…
Do I have to pick just one?  Can I say it’s a tie between Eugene Onegin, Bluebeard’s Castle, and the three Da Ponte Mozart operas?  Oh, and Wozzeck, definitely Wozzeck.  Wow, that’s a weird list.  What does that say about me?

4.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
Pre – anything that tastes good and is filling without being heavy.
Post – a really good beer and some guacamole and chips.

5.  People would be surprised to know that…
I am a high school drop-out.  Really and truly – never got a diploma or a GED or anything.  And now I have an advanced degree!  Ha!  (But seriously, kids, stay in school.)

6.  What is your favorite song to belt out in a  bar or at karaoke?
Anything Sinatra, especially “One For My Baby” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.”

7.  What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
Hmmm….  Does Game of Thrones count?

8.  A few of my favorite films are…
Tampopo, The Lives of Others, Singin’ in the Rain, Big Wednesday, The Red Violin, Kung Fu Hustle, Young Frankenstein, and of course, The Princess Bride.

9.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would we see on your recently-played list?   
Too many songs to choose from.  But right now the top five artists would be Björk, Snarky Puppy, Frigg, Bryn Terfel, and Led Zeppelin.

10.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn? 
I don’t think I’ve had any really horrible costumes, but the last time I sang Bartolo in Barbiere, I had my hair matted down with wax, and then had make-up applied on top of it.  I had to wash my hair with peanut butter multiple times after each performance to get all of that wax out.  It was awful.

11.  Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Will you come sing Bluebeard or Wozzeck for us?
A:  YES!

Don’t miss the chance to see Alan in The Barber of Seville, a classic operatic comedy!  Performances are April 24 and 26 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Trevor Martin

Ten Questions With…

Trevor Martin, baritone
Fiorello in The Barber of Seville

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born and raised just south of Atlanta, Georgia.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
If I weren’t able to do anything in the field of music, I think I would like to be a history professor.  I’ve always loved it, and some of my history teachers in school were some of the most influential teachers I ever had.

3.  My favorite opera is…
Otello.  Although if you ask me tomorrow, it could just as easily be something completely different.

4.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
I usually don’t eat a whole lot before shows, which always leaves me ravenous afterwards.  Being from the South, I hadn’t ever experienced cheese curds before coming to Madison (don’t shun me – I didn’t know!), so I am sure that will be a big part of my post-show feast here.

5.  People would be surprised to know that…
As much as I travel by plane, I am still terrified to fly!

6.  What is your favorite song to belt out in a bar / the shower / at karaoke?
My go-to karaoke song has always been “My Way” by Mr. Sinatra.  Always tugging on the heartstrings of the audience with that one.

7.  What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
I always feel so disconnected with current pop culture references around my friends, but recently I have become obsessed with podcasts, especially Serial, The Moth, and This American Life.  Really, anything that tells a compelling story, and I am sold!

8.  A few of my favorite films are…
In no particular order:  Shawshank Redemption, all of the Lord of the Rings (extended versions, of course), Clue, Moonrise Kingdom, and Rudy.

9.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would we see on your recently-played list?   
Nickel Creek, Piero Cappuccilli’s “Best Of” album, Childish Gambino, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, and The Nth Power.

10.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn? 
I never went trick-or-treating as a child, so I remember getting really excited to go to a costume party in college in Georgia dressed as the only thing I knew I could pull off… a redneck.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure people knew that I had actually put on a costume.

11.  Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Which is superior, Star Wars or Star Trek?
A:  I’m so glad you asked.  Star Wars obviously has the better story and characters (Jar Jar Binks notwithstanding), although Star Trek has superior acting and sheer volume of content.  I have many more opinions about this if anyone would care to ask.

Don’t miss the chance to see Trevor in The Barber of Seville, a classic operatic comedy!  Performances are April 24 and 26 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.