Month: February 2017

Ten Questions with Joshua Stewart

Ten Questions with
Joshua Stewart, tenor
Charlie Parker
in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I guess I would be an OB/GYN for Doctors Without Borders. 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
Albert Herring when I was 16. I sang the role of the Vicar.

4.  My favorite opera is…
… yet to be written. I believe in the future of music and the arts. The best is yet to come …. 

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
Vegan stuffed peppers. 

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I was a professional jazz singer when I was a kid. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are
A Doll’s House by Ibsen and A Cherry Orchard by Chekhov. 

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Nature documentaries. 

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
I would LOVE to have dinner with my parents, my nephew and my deceased brother for a good ol’ fashioned family dinner. 

10.  Everyone should see Charlie Parker’s Yardbird because….
It’s a wonderful tribute to an incredible artist that changed jazz and music forever.

Don’t miss the chance to see Joshua in Charlie Parker’s Yardbirdthe Midwest premiere of this acclaimed new opera about the legendary saxophone player.  Performances are February 10 and 12 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Angela Brown

Ten Questions with
Angela Brown, soprano
Addie Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird


1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I would be a makeup artist or fashion designer.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
Aida!  I was in the Ethiopian slave chorus in 1983 for Indianapolis Opera.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Tosca by Puccini.

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
A cup of lentil soup and a piece of crusty bread.

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I’m a vegetarian. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are
The Color Purple, any coffee table travel book with beautiful pictures, the Bible, The Shack.

8.  I like to binge watch…
Breaking Bad.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Luther VanDross, Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole, and Whitney Houston.

10.  Everyone should see Charlie Parker’s Yardbird because….
It is a total twist from the normal opera.  It is something that everyone will enjoy and understand, especially with the supertitles.  The music is palatable, easy to understand.  You can even leave humming some tunes.  And you learn more about Charlie Parker’s fascinating life.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Tell us about you accessory line, “It’s a DIVA Thang!”
A:  It’s for the elegant, avant-guard woman who is never duplicated, but definitely appreciated.
(Ed. noteFind out more at its-a-diva-thang.myshopify.com)

Don’t miss the chance to see Angela in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, the Midwest premiere of this acclaimed new opera about the legendary saxophone player.  Performances are February 10 and 12 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Ron Daniels

Ten Questions with
Ron Daniels
Stage Director of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird










1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born and raised in a little town across the bay from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The apartment we lived in was literally across the road from the beach and in the distance we could always see the Sugar Loaf standing guard over the entrance to the Bay and the magnificent statue of Christ.  As a boy I always longed to be across the Bay, in Rio…  and maybe that accounts for my loving the life of a director.

2.  If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in?
Next time around, I’m going to be a dancer with the Nederlands Dans Theatre.

3.  The first opera I ever directed was…
Il Re Pastore, which isn’t really an opera.  I thought, “Opera is impossible.  It’s far too difficult.  Music and drama don’t match.”  Fortunately I then went to work on Madama Butterfly and it all made wonderful sense!  Every musical event was tied to the narrative.  What a relief.

4.  My favorite opera is…
…the next one I’m working on.  Right now, it’s Lucia di Lammermoor, which happens next summer in Santa Fe.

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
I’ll have black beans and rice anytime, preferably sprinkled with toasted manioc meal.  It’s my “there, there” food.  You know, when you’re feeling low or insecure and someone puts their comforting arm around you and says, “there, there!”

6.  People would be surprised to know that
…that, with my pukka Royal Shakespeare company British accent, English wasn’t my first language.  We spoke Portuguese at home, of course.  It’s a good conversation piece, though:  I always start with “Three guesses where I’m from…”  Not surprisingly, so far no one has got it right. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Detective / crime series on TV.  I saw all of The Night Of in two sittings.  Couldn’t get enough of it.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
I’m not all that into dinner parties.  I prefer to dine one on one.  But then I’m quite happy eating alone, or with my kids and grandkids when I’m in the UK.

10.  Everyone should see Charlie Parker’s Yardbird because….
The music is wonderful.  The singers are fantastic.  And because Charlie Parker was not only a musical genius, a jazz icon, but also because it gives us an insight into a truly fascinating and complex human being.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  What makes you tick?
A:  I wish I knew.

Don’t miss the chance to see Ron’s production of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, the Midwest premiere of this acclaimed new opera about the legendary saxophone player.  Performances are February 10 and 12 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.