Month: April 2017

Ten Questions with Amanda Woodbury

Ten Questions with
Amanda Woodbury, soprano
Pamina in The Magic Flute


1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Phoenix, but I grew up in Dallas.  I lived in England for 3 years when I was a kid. 

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Crime fighting! 


3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
The Magic Flute!  I sang First Lady. 

4.  My favorite opera is…
La Traviata.

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
Pre-show is smoothies and post-show is pizza. 

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I lived in England as a child. 

7. The musical instrument that I wish I could play is …
The cello!

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Heroes.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
My four siblings, because spending time with my family is my favorite thing to do. 

10.  Everyone should see The Magic Flute because….
It has everything!  Romance, magic, action, mystery and comedy. 

Don’t miss the chance to see Amanda in The Magic Flute, Mozart’s sublime opera that is part fairy-tale, part adventure story, and all enchantment.  Performances are April 21 and 23 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Andrew Bidlack

 
Ten Questions with 
Andrew Bidlack, tenor
Tamino in The Magic Flute



1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA, but we moved around a lot and I was raised in Denver, CO; Laramie, WY; and Wichita, KS; before finishing high school in Chambersburg, PA.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I think I would have stayed in music and focused on another instrument, although I’ve often romanticized the idea of being a free-lance visual artist.  Unfortunately I’m color blind, so that might have hurt my prospects, although maybe I could have passed off my green sunsets as something deliberate. 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
I was Tom Snout in Britten’s A Midsummer Nights Dream

4.  My favorite opera is…
This changes all the time depending on what I last listened to.  I always come back to Tosca, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Falstaff. 

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
Pre-show: Pasta (I’m half Italian, after all).
Post-show: Meat.

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I started playing piano when I was 5 and my mom was my first teacher.  I started college as a guitar major and started singing in rock bands with my friends in high school. 

7.  My favorite musical instrument to play is …
Piano when I’m feeling focused, guitar when I want to jam. 

8.  I like to binge-watch…
I recently discovered this show Mad Men.  Have you heard of it?  It’s really good!  (I’m a little late to the party…)

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Louis CK, Jon Stewart, Patton Oswalt, and David Cross.  Maybe not so much a dinner party, but that seems like a fun group to hang out with and I think we could all use some laughter right now. 

10.  Everyone should see The Magic Flute because….
There’s a reason it’s one of the most-performed operas!  It’s got some of Mozart’s best music and since it’s a fantasy, every production is fresh and unique and can appeal to a wide audience. 

Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q:  Would you like the Baltimore Orioles to win the World Series this year?
A:  Sounds good, thanks! 

Don’t miss the chance to see Andrew in The Magic Flute, Mozart’s sublime opera that is part fairy-tale, part adventure story, and all enchantment.  Performances are April 21 and 23 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Alan Dunbar

Ten Questions with 
Alan Dunbar, baritone
Papageno in The Magic Flute



1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Born in the mountains of Jefferson, North Carolina; grew up by the ocean in Beaufort, South Carolina

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
A woodworker of some kind, most likely a luthier. 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
Candide as Pangloss/Voltaire in a student production at St. Olaf College. 

4.  My favorite opera is…
I can’t pick just one – Wozzeck, Eugene Onegin, Dead Man Walking, A View from the Bridge, Bluebeard’s Castle, and Le Nozze di Figaro. 

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
Pre-show:  Anything that doesn’t make me feel too full – fruit, sushi, or other light-fare.
Post-show:  Anything substantial and delicious. (Plus a good beer!)

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I’m also trained as a violin maker. 

7.  My favorite musical instrument to play is …
Violin, mainly chamber music (I don’t play much anymore, but I wish I did).  

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Shows that don’t go on for endless seasons like The Night Manager or The Honorable Woman; and, contrary to the first part of the answer, Game of Thrones, which does seem to go on forever. 

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Antonio Stradivari, Terunobu Fujimori (Japanese architect), Georgia O’Keefe, and Nick Offerman. 

10.  Everyone should see The Magic Flute because….
The music really is magical.  It’s one of the few pieces that makes me wish I was a tenor or a soprano just so I could sing Dies Bildnis and Ach, ich fühl’s. 

Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q:  Why can’t you ever come up with good answers to this last question?
A:  I have no idea. 

Don’t miss the chance to see Alan in The Magic Flute, Mozart’s sublime opera that is part fairy-tale, part adventure story, and all enchantment.  Performances are April 21 and 23 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Caitlin Cisler

Ten Questions with 
Caitlin Cisler, soprano
The Queen of the Night
in The Magic Flute


1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born and raised in Appleton, WI.

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

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
The Magic Flute. I sang the role of Pamina.  This will be my sixth production of The Magic Flute, but my first time as the Queen of the Night. 

4.  My favorite opera is…
Der Rosenkavalier. The music is so lush. 

5.  My favorite post-show meal is…
 FOOD! Anything will do. 

6.  People would be surprised to know that
Even though I live in Montana, I saw my first wild black bear in New Jersey, dumpster diving. 

7.  My favorite musical instrument to play is …
The piano. 

8.  I like to binge-watch…
TV from when I was a kid, like Friends, X-files, Frasier, Seinfeld, etc. 

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
I would invite my four grandparents to dinner, at age 30.  I would love to hear their opinions and outlooks from that period of their lives.  I would also love to see if they would have been friends before my parents met. 

10.  Everyone should see The Magic Flute because….
I love The Magic Flute because it’s never the same show twice.  The story line opens the show up to so many possible interpretations.  This means that if you’ve seen The Magic Flute, you should come to Madison Opera’s production because it will not be the same show you saw before.  If this is your first time seeing The Magic Flute, you should come for the music.  It has such beautiful music in every moment. 

Don’t miss the chance to see Caitlin in The Magic Flute, Mozart’s sublime opera that is part fairy-tale, part adventure story, and all enchantment.  Performances are April 21 and 23 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Ten Questions with Nathan Stark

Ten Questions with 
Nathan Stark, bass
Sarastro in The Magic Flute

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born on Travis Air Force Base Hospital in Fairfield, CA, but I was raised in Hughson, CA – a small farming community in the California central valley. 

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I’d go into education. Being a teacher is a noble profession. 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
My first opera role was Mr. Cox in the one-act comedy Cox and Box by Arthur Sullivan.  There’s a hilarious tenor aria in the show titled, “Hush-a-bye, bacon.” 

4.  My favorite opera is…
I don’t have a single favorite, but at the top of my list are Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Carlo, and L’Italiana in Algeri.

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
Before a show I usually eat something pretty light and healthy – like a salad, fruits, steamed veggies, or non-cream-based soups.  After a show, I’m looking for the nearest Taco Bell. 

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I have webbed toes. 

7.  The musical instrument that I wish I could play is … 
 The cello.  I love the timbre of that instrument. 

8.  I like to binge-watch…
House of Cards and Game of Thrones. 

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Jesus Christ, George Frideric Handel, Dolly Parton, and Ellen DeGeneres. 

10.  Everyone should see The Magic Flute because….
Aside from having a stellar cast and crew, it’s a great “firsttime opera” for those who have never seen one before (so bring a friend)!  It’s also great for those opera buffs who are seeing it again for the 80th time.  Musically and dramatically, it’s a fun journey for everybody! 

Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q:  Aside from Madison Opera, what do you like about Madison?
A:  The beer cheese soup and fried cheese curds. 


Don’t miss the chance to see Nathan in The Magic Flute, Mozart’s sublime opera that is part fairy-tale, part adventure story, and all enchantment.  Performances are April 21 and 23 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.