Ten Questions with James Held

Ten Questions with 
James Held, baritone
2nd Priest /Armored Man in The Magic Flute


1.  Where were you born / raised? 
Waukesha, Wisconsin.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
I would love to be a pilot, but I think ultimately I’d stick to some sort of musical profession. 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten.

4.  My favorite opera is…
Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
A burger at Madison’s own Dotty’s Dumpling Dowry, or a sandwich from Jimmy John’s. 

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I’m allergic to dairy, which is tantamount to sacrilege in some Wisconsin circles.

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

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Currently The West Wing30 Rock is my go-to. 

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Mozart, Nostradamus, Freddie Mercury, and I suppose I should invite my wife. 

10.  Everyone should see The Magic Flute because….
The music is incredibly rewarding for audience and performer alike. 

Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q:  How long have you been married? 
A:  Only 8 months! 

Don’t miss the chance to see James 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.

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