Month: September 2017

Ten Questions with Studio Artist Anna Polum

Anna Polum – Soprano

1. Where were you born/ where were you raised?
I was born in Everett, Washington and raised on Kodiak Island, Alaska since I was 9 months old.

2. If you weren’t a vocalist, what profession would you be in?
Speech pathologist.

3. The first opera I was ever in was…
Carmen.

4. My favorite opera is…
Peter Grimes.

5. My favorite pre/post show meal is…
Pre-show is always something light, like a salad with lots of fruits and vegetables. Post-show is when I pig out, usually with a burger.

6. People would be surprised to know…
That despite being from Alaska I did not grow up without electricity, ride polar bears to school, or live in an igloo.

7. I like to binge-watch…
The Office, New Girl, Law and Order.

8. What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
My Grandma Thompson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Alma Mahler, and Oscar Wilde.

9. What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn? 
That was when I had to play a nun, but it had a steampunk theme. I was covered from head to toe in tons of black fabric (so it was hot under the stage lights) with one strip of white around my face. All of my make-up would rub off on to it. It was gross.

10. Why should people go to the opera?
Because it’s fun!  It’s not as far out of reach as people generally think. There’s an opera out there for every person and their interests.

11. Bonus: What’s one question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer)?
Q: Do you like summer?
A: No, I’m from Alaska! I love winter!

Ten Questions with Studio Artist Benjamin Liupaugo

Benjamin Liupaogo – Tenor


1. Where were you born/ where were you raised?
I was born in Castro Valley, California. I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

2. If you weren’t a vocalist, what profession would you be in?
I would be in the medical field. I like to help people.

3. The first opera I was ever in was…
Orpheus in the Underworld.

4. My favorite opera is…
Aida.

5. My favorite pre/post show meal is…
Pre-show would be crackers and many different types of cheese and meats. Post-show would be cheesecake.

6. People would be surprised to know…
That I am a big teddy bear!

7. I like to binge-watch…
Shameless, Bones, Charmed, Numbers, Harry Potter 1 – 7.

8. What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Sondheim, Franz Liszt

9. What is the worst costume you’ve ever worn? 
In a production of Candide, I had on genie pants and a top. They were like pajamas but way too big for my body. I looked like the marshmallow man from Ghostbusters.

10. Why should people go to the opera?
To experience a beautiful art form and to be amazed at what is required of an opera caliber singer. First and foremost go for the singing. It takes a lot of work to make singing sound easy in an operatic production.

11. Bonus: What’s one question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer)?
Q: Why did you choose music as your field/career?
A: I chose classical music and voice as my career because I love and have a passion for this art form.  My purpose for this career path was for myself.  I made a choice that I would pursue this career for the sake of the art and the music it had to offer to others as well as myself. I like to help people, and this is one way that I can help others. Music has always given me life and I could not see myself in any field other than music.

Ten Questions with Studio Artist Megan Ott

Megan Ott – Mezzo-Soprano

1. Where were you born/ where were you raised?
Erie, Pennsylvania.

2. If you weren’t a vocalist, what profession would you be in?
Voiceover actor. I am currently perfecting my “operatic chipmunk voice.”

3. The first opera I was ever in was…
Amahl and the Night Visitors. I was the Page!

4. My favorite opera is…
La Cenerentola

5. My favorite post-show meal is…
Post-show, I love eating Italian food and having a nice glass of wine.

6. People would be surprised to know…
I can solve a Rubik’s cube in 47 seconds.

7. I like to binge-watch…
The Office. Lately I’ve also been watching Ozark.

8. What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Abe Lincoln, Ellen DeGeneres, Gael García Bernal, and Salvador Dalí.

9. What is the best costume you’ve ever worn? 
It was in a production of The Magic Flute, when I sang the Third Lady. The costume was steampunk meets super woman, all tied together with glowing lightning bolts.

10. Why should people go to the opera?
Because it is a chance for them to step out of reality and into something magical for a few hours. It is a chance to find peace and can be extremely healing, especially with all of the negativity in our world right now.

11. Bonus: What’s one question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer)?
Q: Where do you want to travel to next?
A: Iceland is somewhere I’ve been itching to explore.

Don’t miss the chance to see Megan all year long, on our mainstage and in our community.  Visit madisonopera.org for more information.