- Where were you born and raised?
I grew up in the village of Denmark, Wisconsin, outside of Green Bay.
- Where did you go to school?
I got my undergraduate degree from UW-Madison (Go Badgers!), and I recently received my graduate degree from Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!).
- Who is your favorite opera singer?
Joyce DiDonato, hands down. I just love everything about her: her technique, her mentality about singing, her dedication to mentoring the next generation, and her HAIR! #goals
- My favorite opera is…
Probably Lucia di Lammermoor. First and foremost, my first-ever operatic role was in this opera (I played Alisa). I fell in love with Donizetti’s glorious music then, and I’m still enchanted by it now. Plus, who doesn’t love a good mad scene?
- What is your dream role?
I have to choose ONE?! Well, if I must…I really enjoy performing pants roles, and one that I’d love to play one day would be Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. My non-pants-role dream role is definitely Rosina in The Barber of Seville.
- What are you most excited about for this upcoming Madison Opera season?
I’m very excited that Madison Opera is performing their first Czech opera with Rusalka! I recently performed in a different Czech opera (The Cunning Little Vixen), so I know how much fun the Czech language is to sing. Also, Dvořák is one of my favorite composers, and this is my first opportunity to perform in one of his operas! Although most people recognize Rusalka’s plot as being similar to The Little Mermaid, I think audiences will be fascinated by the dark twists that the opera version presents.
- What is your favorite memory of performing on stage?
I once performed the role of Cherubino in a staging of The Marriage of Figaro whose concept was Mad Men. At the end of ‘Non più andrai,’ in which Figaro tells Cherubino all about his future as a soldier, I got to brandish an electric guitar as a faux machine gun to close out Act I. (Tell me that doesn’t sound like fun!)
- When did you know you wanted to pursue opera as a career?
I’m not sure I had a specific *moment.* The first time I heard a live opera, I was fascinated by the art form and the technique the singers used to project without needing microphones. I began singing for the joy of it, and with the guidance of my teachers and mentors I found my way to this exciting career path.
- I like to binge-watch…
- People would be surprised to know…
…that I’m always looking to expand my skill sets! Right now I’m learning about computer programming and woodworking.
- Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q. Would you like a lifetime supply of Laceys Cookies from Trader Joe’s?
A. Yes, please!
Find out more about Kirsten and our other 2018/19 Studio Artists, and don’t miss hearing him perform this season!