Month: January 2016

Ten Questions with Nathaniel Hill

Ten Questions With…

Nathaniel Hill, baritone
Mr. DashwoodLittle Women

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Defiance, Ohio.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
It’s difficult to say.  Maybe an actor, or maybe a director.  Maybe a vagrant.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
The Carmen chorus with Toledo Opera when I was about fifteen.  I was instantly hooked.

4.  My favorite opera is…
It’s constantly changing.  Right now maybe Dead Man Walking or Sweeney Todd.

5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
Pizza or pasta or something carb-dense.  But definitely a beer after the show.

6.  People would be surprised to know that…
Either that I have seven older sisters or that I am an avid NBA fan.

7.  My favorite book to read growing up was…
I loved Tolkien when I was young.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
Recently I’ve been listening to Kishi Bashi, The Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, Falstaff, and Sir Thomas Allen.

9.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn?
The worst costume was definitely from this summer when I wore a fat suit as Gregorio in Roméo et Juliette.

10.  Everyone should see Little Women because….
It’s an incredible adaptation of a book that everyone has read, and it’s certainly one of the most-performed new works of the last twenty years.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  How is your first winter in Madison going?
A:  Cold… very cold….

Don’t miss the chance to see Nathaniel in Little Women, as this beloved American classic comes to vivid musical life!  Performances are February 5 and 7 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Rick Henslin

Ten Questions With…


Rick Henslin
, baritone

Gideon March iLittle Women

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I currently work for GE Healthcare.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
Rigoletto chorus with Madison Opera.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Carmen.

5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
A nice lightly-breaded perch or walleye.

6.  People would be surprised to know that…
I didn’t step on the stage for 18 years while my kids were young.  I returned to the stage in 1996.

7.  My favorite book to read growing up was…
Anything by Stephen King.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
John Hiatt, Paul Thorne, Bruno Mars, Frank Sinatra, Banda.

9.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn?
The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.

10.  Everyone should see Little Women because….
It is a wonderful introduction to contemporary opera if you have only heard traditional pieces.


Don’t miss the chance to see Rick in Little Women, as this beloved American classic comes to vivid musical life!  Performances are February 5 and 7 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Kelsey Park

Ten Questions With…

Kelsey Park, mezzo-soprano
Quartet, Little Women

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Pullman, Washington and raised in Hickman, Nebraska.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Medical field, lawyer, or interior designer.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
Die Fledermaus!

4.  My favorite opera is…
Gounod’s Faust (first professional opera I ever saw).

5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
Pre:  Gatorade / water, bananas, and a good sandwich.
Post:  Any pub-style food!

6.  People would be surprised to know that…
I was in Future Farmers of America in high school and am a huge Huskers fan!

7.  My favorite book to read growing up was…
Any mystery novel.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
Diana Krall, Sara Groves, Andrew Peterson, Bach Cello Suites, various arias.

9.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn?  Or if no such costume, what was the best costume?
At Moody (undegrad), I was in Così fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro.  The costumes for both of those productions were handmade by a student’s mother.  They were amazing.

10.  Everyone should see Little Women because….
It‘s a modern classic!


Don’t miss the chance to see Kelsey in Little Women, as this beloved American classic comes to vivid musical life!  Performances are February 5 and 7 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Alexander Elliott

Ten Questions With…

Alexander Elliott, baritone
John Brooke iLittle Women

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Lexington, Kentucky and grew up in Florence, South Carolina.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I was going to be a nurse or a firefighter before I got into music school.  I think I’d also like something where I got to work with my hands.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
I was in the chorus of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah at Florida State University.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Usually whatever I am currently staging.  Onegin, Bohème, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are always near the top, though.

5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
Pre-show I like something light.  A sandwich is great.  Post-show, give me burgers, beer, or whatever I can get my hands on!  I also like to snack a lot during performances.

6.  People would be surprised to know that…
I am actually pretty shy.  I get uncomfortable if I have to perform as myself.  I think the reason I love opera so much is because I get to wear a costume! 

7.  My favorite book to read growing up was…
The Harry Potter series.  The first book came out when I was 12 or so, and I got totally hooked.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, The Beatles, Nick Offerman’s audiobooks, and tons of holiday music. [Ed. note: He answered this question in December.]

9.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn?
I played a mouse for an outreach show.  I had to put on and take off this really heavy and sort of scary makeup (along with a healthy layer of skin) twice a day.  My costume was a brown thrift store suit.  It was pretty terrible.

10.  Everyone should see Little Women because….
It’s an excellent example of how powerful a familiar but fine work of literature can be when set to music.  I think people seeing it for the first time will be floored by how endearing and stirring the interactions of these characters become.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Would you like to talk about the new Star Wars film?
A:  YES!  I loved it.  As of Christmas, I have seen it twice.  I felt like I was 10 years old again.  So fun. 

Don’t miss the chance to see Alexander in Little Women, as this beloved American classic comes to vivid musical life!  Performances are February 5 and 7 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Nine Questions with Kyle Knox

Nine Questions With…

Kyle Knox
Conductor, Little Women

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Born in Somerville, New Jersey and raised in a nearby town called Raritan.

2.  If you weren’t a conductor, what profession would you be in?
If I weren’t a musician, I would have gone into movies or writing.

3.  The first opera I ever played in was…
When I was in Youth Orchestra, we performed Act I of Die WalküreI’ve come to love that music, but as a 17 year-old the experience was lost on me.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Britten’s Billy Budd.

5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
Sushi.

6.  People would be surprised to know that…
I was last chair clarinet in my middle school band in 6th grade. 

7.  My favorite book to read growing up was…
Frank Herbert’s Dune.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
Little Women – Houston Grand Opera / Summers.

9.  Everyone should see Little Women because….
In addition to Mark Adamo’s fantastic score, which I love, the story is full of interesting and highly-related characters, especially Jo.  In her view, she and her sisters are “perfect as they are,” so her story is about understanding and accepting the inevitability of change.  I find Jo’s struggle for permanence highly relatable. 

Don’t miss the chance to hear Kyle conduct Little Women, as this beloved American classic comes to vivid musical life!  Performances are February 5 and 7 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.