Month: March 2016

Ten Questions with Kristine McIntyre

Ten Questions With…

Kristine McIntyre
Stage Director, The Tales of Hoffmann

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Born in Philadelphia, grew up from age 8 in San Diego, California.

2.  If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in?
I was pre-med in college – so I’d probably be a neurosurgeon, as that was my interest.  If I left opera now, I’d go into film.  I really want to go to film school.

3.  The first opera I ever directed was…
Ha!  The first opera I ever directed was A Village Romeo and Juliet by Delius – I was in grad school and wound up taking over a production for which I was originally the assistant director.  Otherwise, the first opera I ever directed was The Barber of Seville.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Whatever I am directing that is going well.

5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
Scotch and french fries.

6.  People would be surprised to know that…
My stage debut as a 3rd grader was as the head flying monkey in a school production of The Wizard of Oz.  I got to pull the stuffing out of the Scarecrow. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, and The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood.  Also anything by George Eliot.  And the entire Calvin and Hobbes collection.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
Queen.  The Who.  The Rolling Stones.  U2.  Florence and the Machine.

9.  What is the worst costume you‘ve had to deal with in staging a show?
I’ve worked on two different productions of Salome at the Met and San Francisco Opera – don‘t even talk to me about wardrobe malfunctions.

10.  Everyone should see The Tales of Hoffmann because….
It’s about love and life and art and it’s in French, which means that instead of it being really depressing and there being lots of dead bodies onstage, we drink champagne and leave the theatre glad to be alive.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Where do you get your ideas from and what influences your work?
A:  I am hugely influenced by art and TV and film – art (in all forms) that was being made when a piece was written or when it’s set or now, because that influences how we look at different periods.  Recent great historical series and films like Downton Abbey, or HBO’s Rome, or whatever has a huge visual influence on our audiences and how we tell stories to them. 

Don’t miss the chance to see Kristine’s production of The Tales of Hoffmann, an extraordinary work that is equal parts fantasy, realism, and genuine passion.  Performances are April 15 and 17 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Robert Goderich

Ten Questions With…

Robert Goderich, tenor
SpalanzaniThe Tales of Hoffmann

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Born in Miami, Florida… raised mostly in Deer Lodge, Montana.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Chef, a singing chef.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
The Tender Land by Aaron Copland.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Sweeney Todd, Dead Man Walking.

5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
I try not to eat too soon before a show, but post-show… anything gluten-free.

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I just started taking voice lessons about a year ago.  I also tend to tap dance when I’m nervous. 

7.  One of my favorite books is
To Kill a Mockingbird.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod / music listening device right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
Hoffmann, Chicago the musical, La Cage aux Folles, Spamalot, and Sweeney Todd.

9.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn?  Or if no such costume, what was the best costume?
I once wore a Pan costume with faux fur pants and walked around on golden paint cans.  I know, right?  Best and worst…. 

10.  Everyone should see The Tales of Hoffmann because….
The music is beautiful.  Also a singing and dancing doll…  How can you say no to that?!

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Who would play you in a Lifetime movie of your life?
A:  Me!   

Don’t miss the chance to see Robert in The Tales of Hoffmann, an extraordinary work that is equal parts fantasy, realism, and genuine passion.  Performances are April 15 and 17 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Thomas Forde

Ten Questions With…

Thomas Forde, bass
Luther / CrespelThe Tales of Hoffmann

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born on the northwest side of Chicago in a very residential neighborhood.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I’ve always wanted to be a TV news anchor or to host a morning show on the radio.  I love WGN and the morning talk radio show in Chicago – in fact, I listen to the podcasts every day no matter where I may be in the world.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
The Tales of Hoffmann!  It was my first opera during my freshman year of college.  It solidified for me that being a performer was the path I wanted to choose.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Eugene Onegin.  I sing the role of Prince Gremin, which is one of those roles that appear at the very end of the opera.  He gets to sing a beautiful, lyric aria.  He actually “wins” in the opera, but the meatier character for me is the title character of Onegin.  Sometimes, I’ll just go through Youtube and watch various scenes with different singers and stagings of the pivotal scenes to dream about singing the role.

5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…
I eat pretty normally ever day, but after show, I’d have to go with a burger and fries.  In Madison, I’ll go with cheese curds or poutine and a beer (after the show, of course).

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I’m a pretty good student.  I took most assignments in school pretty seriously.  I will say, though, that there are a couple of subjects I just have an insane amount of trouble comprehending.  I got mostly As and Bs in high school and college, but I had to switch out of Geometry, because I could never get a grasp on the concept of “proofs.”  Go figure. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are
The Hunger Games trilogy, My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler, Moby Dick.

8.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
1) 5 recordings of The Tales of Hoffmann
2) 3 recordings of me talking to myself (to memorize scripts for commercials, tv, etc.)
3) 90s energy pop music (for the gym)
4) The Broadway Channel on Spotify (think Legally Blonde, Newsies)
5) Downtown (Macklemore)

9.  What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn?  Or if no such costume, what was the best costume?
I can’t think of a really horrible costume.  I’ve been pretty lucky with that.  I had a custom-made beautiful Don Carlo costume as one of the deputies at Opernahaus Zurich.  It was tailored exactly to my figure for the premiere, and I think it’s cool that my name will always be inside the costume for the future singers who wear it.

10.  Everyone should see The Tales of Hoffmann because….
It is a look through love gained and lost.  It is a story that many people can connect to while looking back at parts of life gone by.  There are tragic and comedic elements, and the music is just insanely beautiful.  You will probably never hear the same exact version of Hoffmann at two separate locations, as the score has so many incarnations.  You will see a doll come to life and get to witness magic through staging and vocalism.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  How did you know you wanted to be a performer / actor / singer?
A:  My parents took me to a PG-13 movie when I was about 10 years old, and I asked them what would make it different from the PG movies that I was used to seeing.  They said there might be swearing and kissing in the movie and that it was okay, because it was make-believe.  From this point onwards, I wanted to be an actor.   

Don’t miss the chance to see Thomas in The Tales of Hoffmann, an extraordinary work that is equal parts fantasy, realism, and genuine passion.  Performances are April 15 and 17 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.