Chelsea Morris Shephard, soprano
Beth, Little Women
1. Where were you born / raised?
I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and grew up in Paw Paw, Michigan.
2. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I would have to be in music somehow!
3. The first opera I was ever in was…
Mozart’s Idomeneo in undergrad. The first day of chorus rehearsal was my 19th birthday, and I remember being overwhelmed by the beauty and volume when they sang “Happy Birthday” to me.
4. My favorite opera is…
It’s a three-way tie: The Marriage of Figaro, Der Rosenkavalier, and Eugene Onegin.
5. My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
I like to eat something simple before the show (i.e. chicken with pasta), have an intermission banana, and then drink a nice, cold New Glarus afterward.
6. People would be surprised to know that…
My dad owned an independent record store for 20+ years, which also sold Fender guitars.
7. My favorite book to read growing up was…
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.
8. If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
I don’t have an ipod, so you’d have to check my history on youtube.
9. What is the best costume you’ve ever worn?
My best costume was the gorgeous handmade gown that I wore for Haymarket Opera’s Gli Equivoci nel Sembiante, designed by Meriem Bahri. It felt like I stepped out of a Baroque painting! On the other end of the spectrum, I did a production of The Magic Flute in which we choristers were all dressed in hazmat suits.
10. Everyone should see Little Women because….
The story is timeless and the music is modern but also beautiful and lyrical. You will love it!
Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q: How do you feel about the future of opera?
A: Incredibly hopeful! There are so many people pouring their hearts into this stunning art form. People are innovating and finding ways to create more for less, operas are still being written, and audiences are still being blown away by their experiences in the opera house.
Don’t miss the chance to see Chelsea 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.