Ten Questions with Eric Neuville

Ten Questions With…

Eric Neuville, tenor
Laurie iLittle Women



1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Born and raised in Waupaca, Wisconsin.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Although it’s not too far a departure, I’d love to be a music history professor.  I have always loved and appreciated the music I knew the most about, so naturally, my studies in music history have expanded the boundaries of the music I love.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
A student-composed opera at St. Olaf College called The Binding of Isaac by Matthew Peterson.  The work went on to win the National Opera Association Chamber Opera Competition.  It was a fun introduction to the operatic stage.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Billy Budd by Benjamin Britten.

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

6.  People would be surprised to know that…
I am a published author.  I wrote a book on the English World War I-era song composer Ivor Gurney.  I combed through his many unpublished song manuscripts in the Gloucestershire Archives and went on to edit and record the ones I liked.  It was a fun project.  

7.  My favorite book to read growing up was…
Jurassic Park.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
Kings of Convenience – The Weight of my Words
Fritz Wunderlich – Live on Stage (Deutsche Grammophon)
Gerald Finzi – Till Earth Outwears (John Mark Ainsley, tenor)
Conspirare – The Poet Sings:  Pablo Neruda
The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour

9.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn?  Or if no such costume, what was the best costume?
For me, a costume is only as good as it is comfortable.  So… without question the worst was the hipster ultra-skinny jean-wearing Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos.  The best… was definitely the Zandra Rhodes-designed Magic Flute which was basically a pair of linen pajamas!

10.  Everyone should see Little Women because….
No matter how well you know the story, the musical lens through which Mark Adamo realizes this tale offers a million unique facets.  His writing is brilliant in the truest sense of the word.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  What got you started in music?
A:  My Grandma is prodigiously gifted on the piano, particularly at realizing songs without music.  She has fantastic ears and used to play for us all the times as kids.  My first real venture into singing, however, came thanks to my high school choir teacher, Dan Wolfgram.  He too was prodigiously gifted at getting his young students excited about singing.  I credit my career in music most directly to his initial encouragement and the opportunities he provided me as a young singer. 

Don’t miss the chance to see Eric 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.

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