Adriana Zabala Finds Poignancy in the Music of Fellow Travelers

In this video, Zabala reflects on how the score and libretto of Fellow Travelers highlight the complex relationships of the characters.

In the Park with Jeni Houser

Learn a little more about Jeni Houser, one of the featured artists at Opera in the Park 2019

In the Park with Michelle Johnson

What is soprano Michelle Johnson’s favorite summertime activity?

In the Park with Ben Edquist

Ben Edquist Baritone Where were you born and raised? Lake Jackson, Texas, south of Houston. What is in your ideal picnic basket? Tacos and root beer. What has been your most memorable moment performing outside? I did a series of recitals for Houston Grand Opera on pontoon boats in Buffalo Bayou.  Luckily there is a wealth of nautical-themed music. What […]

In the Park with David Blalock

David Blalock Tenor Where were you born and raised? I was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and raised in Burlington, North Carolina. What is in your ideal picnic basket? Cheese, cured meats, cheese, wine, and cheese. What has been your most memorable moment performing outside? Having performed outdoors many times during the summer months, most of my memories involve […]

Meet the Artists – Emily Birsan

Emily Birsan Rusalka Where were you born and raised? I was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, and raised in Iowa, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I can’t imagine not being involved in the arts in some way. The first opera I was ever in was… The Magic Flute. My favorite opera [...]

Meet the Artists – Emily Secor

Emily Secor First Wood Sprite Where were you born and raised? I was born in Madison and raised in Westfield, Wisconsin. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I love studying language (I have a minor in linguistics), so if I could work as a field linguist, especially with people whose language isn't well-documented, that would [...]

Meet the Artists – Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson 3rd Wood Sprite Where were you born and raised? I was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and spent most of my childhood in Denmark, Wisconsin. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? When I’m not performing, I also work as a computer programmer!  Programming is like a complex logic puzzle, and (like opera) it [...]

Meet the Artists – Benjamin Liupaogo

Benjamin Liupaogo The Hunter Where were you born and raised? Born in Castro Valley and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? A shrink. The first opera I was ever in was… Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach. My favorite opera is... Tosca by Puccini. My favorite food to [...]

Meet the Artists – Karin Wolverton

Karin Wolverton Foreign Princess Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Roseville, Minnesota, and still call the Twin Cites home. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I was pre-med in undergrad and even went as far as getting my EMT license, so I can definitely see myself in the medical [...]

Meet the Artists – Saira Frank

Saira Frank 2nd Wood Sprite Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin, so not too far away! If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Well, one of my actual jobs is managing an opera outreach company, Opera for the Young, and I find that I really enjoy that side [...]

Meet the Artists – Lindsay Ammann

Lindsay Ammann Ježibaba Where were you born and raised? I was born in Tucson, Arizona. I was raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but spent every summer in Phoenix, Arizona. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I've always wanted to be an archaeologist....  My husband and I agree that if we ever retire, we're going [...]

Meet the Artists – William Meinert

William Meinert Vodnik Where were you born and raised? I was born in Fairfax, Virginia, and grew up nearby in Herndon. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Craft cocktail bartender. The first opera I was ever in was… The Magic Flute, as Sarastro. My favorite opera is... Billy Budd. My favorite food to eat is… [...]

Meet the Artists – Keturah Stickann

Keturah Stickann Stage Director Where were you born and raised? I was born Urbana, Illinois and raised in Columbia, Missouri. If you weren’t a director, what profession would you be in? I honestly can't imagine doing anything else. The first opera I was ever in was… In Chicago I was in Philip Glass' Akhnaten. I was still dancing, so I [...]

Meet the Artists – John Lindsey

John Lindsey The Prince Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I would love to be an author. The first opera I was ever in was… The Tenderland by Aaron Copland. My favorite opera is... Silent Night by Kevin Puts and [...]

Madison Opera to receive $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Press Release 2/27/2019 For immediate release, attn: Community, education, and arts editors Contact: Jonathan Schroerlucke, Marketing Manager Madison, Wis. – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of [...]

Meet the Artists – Emily Secor

Emily Secor Mrs. Nordstrom Where were you born and raised? I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and raised in Westfield, Wisconsin. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Growing up I really wanted to be a paleontologist. I was super into dinosaurs in 4th grade. If I wasn’t singing, though, I would probably be doing a […]

Meet the Artists – Katherine Pracht

Katherine Pracht Countess Charlotte Malcolm Where were you born and raised? I was born on a military base in Bellevue, Nebraska, and raised from the age of one in Davenport, Iowa. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I had originally thought I’d be an English teacher, but…meh. Professional political-TV watcher? Professional sleep-study participant? Ooh, wait, […]

Meet the Artists – Quinn Bernegger

Quinn Bernegger Henrik Egerman Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Cooperstown, New York, just five minutes up the road from Glimmerglass Opera. But I only saw a handful of opera productions growing up! If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Grassroots political activism. I nearly applied for a job with […]

Meet the Artists – Doug Scholz-Carlson

Doug Scholz-Carlson Stage Director Where were you born and raised? I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I grew up in Northfield, Minnesota and stayed there long enough to sing in the St. Olaf Choir. If you weren’t a director, what profession would you be in? Brewmaster. I’d love to start my own brewery. The first opera I was ever […]

Meet the Artists – Sarah Day

Sarah Day Madame Armfeldt Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised right here in Madison, Wisconsin. If you weren’t an actor, what profession would you be in? When I was young, my dream was to be a part of the diplomatic corps. It seemed to be so very romantic and adventurous to live in different places […]

Meet the Artists – Charles Eaton

Charles Eaton Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm Where were you born and raised? I was born in raised in Storrs, Connecticut. The University of Connecticut is in that town, and my grandparents, parents, siblings, and I all went to college there. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? A dream job was always to be a veterinarian, but […]

Meet the Artists – Benjamin Liupaogo

Benjamin Liupaogo Mr. Erlanson Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I would probably be in the medical field. The first opera I was ever in was… Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. My favorite opera is… Puccini’s La Bohème. […]

Meet the Artists – Cassandra Vasta

Cassandra Vasta Mrs. Anderssen Where were you born and raised? Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? If I hadn’t started music in undergrad, I would have begun studying towards being an architect. I always liked math, sketching, and planning. The first opera I was ever in was… The Pirates […]

Meet the Artists – Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson Mrs. Segstrom Where were you born and raised? I was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I spent most of my childhood in Denmark, Wisconsin. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? When I’m not performing, I also work as a computer programmer! Programming is like a complex logic puzzle, and (like opera) it […]

Meet the Artists – Jeni Houser

Jeni Houser Anne Egerman Where were you born and raised? I was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, and raised mostly in Stoughton, Wisconsin. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I’d like to try a little of everything: teacher, writer, community organizer, personal trainer, public speaker, strategy consultant, life coach, editor, sous chef. Character flaw or […]

Meet the Artists – Maddie Uphoff

Maddie Uphoff Fredrika Armfeldt Where were you born and raised? I was born in Brooklyn, New York and I was raised here in Madison! If you don’t choose to be a singer/actor, what profession would you chose? I would choose to be an activist! The first musical I was ever in was… The Sound of Music– I played Marta. 🙂 […]

Meet the Artists – Daniel Belcher

Daniel Belcher Fredrik Egerman Where were you born and raised? I was born in St. Joseph, Missouri and raised there as well. I live in Liberty, Missouri, which is all of 45 minutes away. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I would have been an accountant. When I was in the Juilliard Opera Center, my […]

Meet the Artists – Emily Pulley

Emily Pulley Desirée Armfeldt Where were you born and raised? Born in Jackson, Mississippi, but we moved to College Station, Texas when I was 2 months old and still have our family home there. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? There was a time when I seriously considered becoming a CIA analyst. But now I […]

Meet the Artists – Emily Glick

Emily Glick Petra Where were you born and raised? I was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. If you weren’t an actor, what profession would you be in? I would have to be involved in literature or language somehow. The first opera I was ever in was… My background is primarily in musical theatre.  The […]

Meet the Artists – Benjamin Barlow

Benjamin Barlow Frid Where were you born and raised? Born in Minneapolis, MN. Raised in Soldiers Grove, WI – America’s first solar village! What is your profession outside of the theater? I’m a Business Analyst in IT. The first opera I was ever in was… Madison Opera’s La Bohème in 2015, as a supernumerary. My favorite opera is… The Tales […]

Meet the Artists – Stephen Hobe

Stephen Hobe Mr. Lindquist Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised a Chicagoan. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? When I am not singing opera, I am exercising my paleontology and museum muscles. I’m about to start an online certificate in Museum Studies. The first opera I was ever in was… […]

Meet the Artists – Michael Mayes

Michael Mayes Alfio, Cavalleria Rusticana / Tonio, Pagliacci Baritone Where were you born and raised? Born in Houston, raised in Cut and Shoot, Texas. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Organic agriculture. The first opera I was ever in was… The Flying Dutchman at Fort Worth Opera. My favorite opera… …hasn’t been written yet. My favorite […]

Meet the Artists – Scott Piper

Scott Piper Turridu, Cavalleria Rusticana / Canio, Pagliacci Tenor Where were you born and raised? I was born in Tucson, Arizona and raised in Kirksville, Missouri and Alajuela, Costa Rica. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Medical doctor or psychologist The first opera I was ever in was… Gianni Schicchi.  As a professional singer, it was […]

Meet the Artists – Benjamin Taylor

Benjamin Taylor Silvio, Pagliacci Baritone Where were you born and raised? I’m from Waldorf, Maryland, but I’m a military kid, so we lived everywhere! If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I think if I wasn’t a singer, I would have my own café or bar. I’m a coffee fanatic, and I love mixing and making […]

Meet the Artists – Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson Lola, Cavalleria Rusticana Mezzo-soprano Where were you born and raised? I was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin and spent most of my childhood in Denmark, Wisconsin. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? When I’m not performing, I work as a computer programmer! Programming is like a complex logic puzzle, and like opera requires […]

Meet the Artists – Talise Trevigne

Talise Trevigne Nedda, Pagliacci Soprano Where were you born and raised? The San Francisco Bay Area. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I would have been a lawyer, focusing on litigation. The first opera I was ever in was… Tosca, as the shepherd at age 13. My favorite opera is… Mascagni’s Iris. My favorite food […]

Meet the Artists – Kristine McIntyre

Kristine McIntyre Stage Director, Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci Where were you born and raised? I was born in Philadelphia. We moved to San Diego when I was 8. If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in? Film director. Or a neurosurgeon (I was pre-med in college). The first opera I was ever directed was… …a remount […]

Meet the Artists – Joseph Mechavich

Joseph Mechavich Conductor, Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci Where were you born and raised? Long Lake, Minnesota. If you weren’t a conductor, what profession would you be in? Air traffic controller. The first opera I was ever worked on was… Offenbach’s La Périchole. My favorite opera is… Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. My favorite food to cook or eat is… Steak. People […]

Meet the Artists – Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson Santuzza, Cavalleria Rusticana Soprano Where were you born and raised? I was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Pearland, Texas. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I would love to be part of the stage crew. I would also love to be an innkeeper. The first opera I was ever in was… […]

Meet the Artists – Danielle Wright

Danielle Wright Mamma Lucia, Cavalleria Rusticana Mezzo-soprano Where were you born and raised? Born in Houston, Texas, raised all over the South. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I’d run an opera company!  (And I do) 😉 The first opera I was ever in was… Samson and Delilah as a kiddo. My favorite opera is… […]

Meet the Artists – Robert Goderich

Robert Goderich Beppe, Pagliacci Tenor Where were you born and raised? I was born in Miami, but mostly grew up in a small town in southwest Montana named Deer Lodge. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Well, my current day job is with BMO Harris Bank.  If you had asked me when I was growing […]

Meet the Studio Artists – Benjamin Liupaogo

Benjamin Liupaogo Tenor Where were you born and raised? Born in Castro Valley, California and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Where did you go to school? I am currently pursuing a DMA in voice performance at the UW-Madison. Who is your favorite opera singer? Leontyne Price. My favorite opera is… Tosca by Puccini. What is your dream role? […]

Meet the Studio Artists – Emily Secor

Emily Secor Soprano Where were you born and raised? I was born in Madison and raised in Westfield, Wisconsin. Where did you go to school? I went to Westfield Area High School, completed my Bachelor of Arts at Luther College, and graduated this past May from the University of Northern Iowa with my Master of Music. Who is your favorite […]

Meet the Studio Artists – Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson Mezzo-Soprano 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. […]

Meet the Studio Artists – Stephen Hobe

Stephen Hobe Baritone Where were you born and raised? I was born on the far South Side of Chicago and raised in a suburb in Southwestern Chicagoland, not too far from Midway Airport. Where did you go to school? I went to college at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin as a double major in Biology (concentration in Paleontology) and Musical […]

In the Park with Levi Hernandez

Levi Hernandez Baritone Where were you born and raised? El Paso, Texas. What is in your ideal picnic basket? It’s a toss-up between an array of cheeses, fruits, and Italian meat accompanied by a few bottles great French wine OR a basket filled with Whataburger. My most memorable moment performing outside was… …in a production of Carmen with Boston Lyric […]

In the Park with John Lindsey

John Lindsey Tenor Where were you born and raised? Fort Collins, Colorado. What is in your ideal picnic basket? I’m newly vegan, so it’s very different than my hot dogs and burgers from a few years ago! Now it would probably be refried bean tacos with cabbage slaw, chips and guacamole, and a cherry pie for dessert. My most memorable […]

In the Park with Elizabeth Caballero

Elizabeth Caballero Soprano Where were you born and raised? I was born in Havana, Cuba. I came to the USA when I was a child in the 1980 Mariel boat lift. I was raised in Miami, Florida (the other Cuba). What is in your ideal picnic basket? Prosecco and red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. My most memorable moment […]

In the Park with Gary Thor Wedow

Gary Thor Wedow Conductor Where were you born and raised? Laporte, Indiana – just down the road. What is in your ideal picnic basket? There is cold fried chicken, some sort of potato or maybe a pea salad, assorted pickles, and pie for dessert – strawberry rhubarb is a favorite. My most memorable moment performing outside was… Hard to say, […]

In the Park with Brenda Rae

Brenda Rae Soprano Where were you born and raised? Appleton, Wisconsin. What is in your ideal picnic basket? A fresh crusty baguette, an assortment of cheeses, raspberries still warm from ripening in the sun, some sort of fresh salad, and dry sparkling wine or champagne! A bonus would be some really good pie. My most memorable moment performing outside was… […]

10 Questions with Elizabeth Caballero

Elizabeth Caballero  Florencia Grimaldi in Florencia en el Amazonas  1.  Where were you born and raised? I was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the USA in the 1980 Mariel Boatlift as a child with my family. I grew up in Miami, Florida. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Probably something involved with animals.  3.  The first […]

10 Questions with Mackenzie Whitney

Mackenzie Whitney  Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas  1.  Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Janesville, Iowa, a little over a 3 hour drive from here.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Possibly something in real estate, or something involving the environment. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… In […]

10 Questions with Kristine McIntyre

Kristine McIntyre Stage Director of Florencia en el Amazonas  1.  Where were you born and raised? Philadelphia, then San Diego. 2.  If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in? A film director or a doctor (I was pre-med in college. I was supposed to be a neurosurgeon).  3.  The first opera I ever directed was… The Barber of Seville – remounting […]

10 Questions with Adriana Zabala

Adriana Zabala Paula in Florencia en el Amazonas  1.  Where were you born and raised? Hatched in a place long ago and far away, but raised in Miami, Caracas, and Houston.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Art Historian, architect, or explorer.  3.  The first opera I was ever in was… Gianni Schicchi! 4.  My favorite opera is… The […]

10 Questions with Nmon Ford

Nmon Ford Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas  1.  Where were you born and raised? Born and raised in Southern California.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Dance music producer. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne. 4.  My favorite opera is… Tough question! As of this afternoon, Verdi’s Don Carlo.  5.  My favorite […]

10 Questions with Ashraf Sewailam

Ashraf Sewailam  Capitán in Florencia en el Amazonas  1.  Where were you born and raised? Cairo, Egypt – born and raised until I was 25 and came to the US to study singing.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Truck driver, playing opera full-blast.  3.  The first opera I was ever in was… Le nozze di Figaro in […]

10 Questions with Rachel Sterrenberg

Rachel SterrenbergRosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas  1.  Where were you born and raised? I was born in South Bend, Indiana, but I was raised in a small town an hour east of Atlanta, Georgia called MADISON!  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I think I would make a really good professional organizer! I take great care […]

10 Questions with Levi Hernandez

Levi HernandezAlvaro in Florencia en el Amazonas  1.  Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Hard question!  Some kind of surgical tech.  Both of my siblings are in the medical field (my sister is a doctor and my brother is a nurse), so maybe […]

10 Questions with Amanda Woodbury

Amanda WoodburyKonstanze,The Abduction from the Seraglio 1.  Where were you born and raised? Born in Phoenix, AZ and raised in Dallas, TX. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Espionage! 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… Thaïs – in the chorus. 4.  My favorite opera is… La Traviata. 5.  My favorite food to eat is… Tex-Mex. 6.  People […]

10 Questions with David Walton

David WaltonBelmonte, The Abduction from the Seraglio 1.  Where were you born and raised? Nashville, Tennessee. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Teacher. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… Aida. 4.  My favorite opera is… Aida. 5.  My favorite food to eat is… Spicy noodle/rice dishes 6.  People would be surprised to know… I used to be 240 […]

10 Questions with Matt Boehler

Matt BoehlerOsmin, The Abduction from the Seraglio 1.  Where were you born and raised? Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? Recording engineer. Or a fishmonger. I’m not sure, this is a hard question. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… The Marriage of Figaro. I was Antonio, the gardener. 4.  My favorite opera is… Today? […]

10 Questions with Alison Moritz

Alison MoritzStage Director, The Abduction from the Seraglio 1.  Where were you born and raised? St. Louis, MO. 2.  If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in? I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of being a story editor or script consultant for television. I think it would challenge my imagination and empathy in a lot of the […]

Ten Questions with Eric Neuville

Eric NeuvillePedrillo, The Abduction from the Seraglio 1.  Where were you born and raised? Waupaca, WI 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I would LOVE to have my own bakery!  I’ve been hobby baking for more than a decade now, and my wife tells me my chocolate chip cookies are a force to be reckoned with […]

Ten Questions with Ashly Neumann

Ashly NeumannBlonde, The Abduction from the Seraglio 1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised?I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Well, Metro-Detroit but everyone from Detroit just says Detroit. Specifically, I was born in Rochester, Michigan (where Madonna grew up) and raised down the road in Royal Oak, Michigan. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you […]

Ten Questions with Aleks Romano

Aleks Romano, Mezzo-Soprano Carmen – Carmen 1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised?Born in New Haven, CT, and raised in Hamden, CT. Now live in Greenville, NC.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?My childhood dream was to be the first woman archaeologist on Mars … Opera is close. If I weren’t a singer, realistically, I’d be […]

Ten Questions with Sean Panikkar

Sean Panikkar, tenorDon José in Carmen1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, but I currently reside right outside of Ann Arbor in Saline, Michigan. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I was a double major in civil engineering and music as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. My goal […]

10 Questions with Cecilia Violetta López

Cecilia Violetta López, SopranoMicaela – Carmen 1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised?  I was born and raised in Rupert, Idaho. My parents are both Mexican. I am a first generation Mexican-American. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? As of recently, I told myself it would be really cool to be a news correspondent for […]

10 Questions with Corey Crider

Corey Crider, Baritone Escamillo – Carmen 1.  Where were you born?  LOUISVILLE, KY Where were you raised? MARION, KY 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I’d probably pursue acting – I think I’m more naturally prone to acting anyway. I’d love to write and perform sketch comedy and branch into podcasting as well. 3.  The first opera I […]

10 Questions with Benjamin Liupaogo

Benjamin Liupaogo, Tenor Remendado – Carmen 1. Where were you born? Where were you raised? I was born in Castro Valley, California and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I would probably go into nursing or a medical field. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… Orpheus in the […]

10 Questions with Anna Polum

Anna Polum, Soprano Frasquita – Carmen 1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised? I was born in Everett, Washington and raised on Kodiak Island, Alaska. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I would be a speech pathologist. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… Carmen! 4.  My favorite opera is… La Boheme 5.  My favorite food […]

Ten Questions with Megan Le Romero

Megan Le Romero, Mezzo-Soprano Mercédès – Carmen 1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised? I was born and raised in Erie, PA. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? A voiceover actor. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… Amahl and the Night Visitors 4.  My favorite opera is… La Cenerentola 5.  My favorite food to cook […]

Ten Questions with Thomas Forde

Thomas Forde, BassZuniga – Carmen 1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised? I was born and raised in Chicago, IL on the Northwest side of Chicago. My grandparents emigrated to this area from Ireland and a majority of my big Irish family still lives in the same neighborhood.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? […]

Ten Questions with Erik Earl Larson

Erik Earl Larson, Baritone Dancaïre – Carmen 1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised? I was born in Madison, WI and raised in Evansville, WI. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? I probably would have gone to school for engineering – like my dad. But the older I get, the more I’m interested in law […]

Ten Questions with Charles Eaton

Charles Eaton, Baritone Moralès – Carmen 1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised? I was born and raised in Storrs, CT.  It’s the town that has the University of Connecticut, where my grandparents, parents, and all of my siblings (including myself!) went to college. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in? A dream job was always […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

In the Park with Joseph Mechavich

In the Park with… Joseph MechavichConductor, Opera in the Park1.  Where were you born / raised? Long Lake, Minnesota (western suburb of Minneapolis).  I currently live in Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?A delicious rosé from Provence.3.  My most memorable moment performing outside was…… conducting the Star Wars Suite with the Florida […]

In the Park with with Cecilia Violetta López

In the Park with… Cecilia Violetta LópezSoprano, Opera in the Park1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Rupert, Idaho to Mexican parents. I’m a first generation Mexican-American.2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?Mom used to make us tacos de frijoles (kept warm by wrapping them in aluminum foil and leaving them on the dashboard) for […]

In the Park with Will Liverman

In the Park with… Will LivermanBaritone, Opera in the Park1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia.2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?Biscuits and jelly, fried chicken, sweet potatoes, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, catfish, cheese curds from The Old Fashioned, and a grilled cheese with extra bacon.3.  My most memorable moment […]

In the Park with Adriana Zabala

In the Park with…Adriana ZabalaMezzo-Soprano, Opera in the Park1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Georgia and raised in Miami, Caracas, and Houston.2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?Champagne, cheese, strawberries, and books. Of course, my honey is sharing it with me!3.  My most memorable moment performing outside was…It’s not a performance per se, but it […]

In the Park with David Walton

In the Park with… David WaltonTenor, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? Nashville, Tennessee 2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?Cured meats, dried fruit, grain mustard, crostinis, and light, hoppy beer. 3.  My most memorable moment performing outside was……a talent show at camp covering Green Day songs. 4.  My favorite outdoor performance I’ve attended was……Mendelssohn’s violin concerto with Joshua […]

Ten Questions with Amanda Woodbury

Ten Questions with Amanda Woodbury, sopranoPamina 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 […]

Ten Questions with Andrew Bidlack

 Ten Questions with Andrew Bidlack, tenorTamino 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 […]

Ten Questions with Alan Dunbar

Ten Questions with Alan Dunbar, baritonePapageno 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 […]

Ten Questions with Caitlin Cisler

Ten Questions with Caitlin Cisler, sopranoThe 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 […]

Ten Questions with Nathan Stark

Ten Questions with Nathan Stark, bassSarastro 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 […]

Ten Questions with Gary Thor Wedow

Ten Questions with Gary Thor WedowConductor, The Magic Flute 1.  Where were you born / raised? LaPorte, Indiana (unlike some, I feel the spelling of my hometown has no space).2.  If you weren’t a conductor, what profession would you be in?Maybe a vet if I were smart enough.  I love animals and would love helping them.3.  The first opera I ever […]

Ten Questions with James Held

Ten Questions with James Held, baritone2nd 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.  […]

Ten Questions with Robert Goderich

Ten Questions with Robert Goderich, tenor1st Priest /Armored Man in The Magic Flute 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in beautiful Miami, Florida, but I was mostly raised in rural Southwestern Montana in a small town called Deer Lodge. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I love being in the kitchen, so I think a […]

Ten Questions with Scott Brunscheen

Ten Questions with Scott Brunscheen, tenorMonostatos in The Magic Flute 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Des Moines and raised in West Des Moines and the southwestern suburbs of Chicago.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would most likely be an architect. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Le Nozze di Figaro in […]

Ten Questions with Matthew Scollin

Ten Questions with Matthew Scollin, bass-baritoneThe Speaker in The Magic Flute 1.  Where were you born / raised? Proud Michigander! Born in Royal Oak, MI; raised in Walled Lake, MI.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Linguist/Language Teacher.3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catán.4.  My favorite opera is…Le Nozze […]

Ten Questions with Anna Parks

 Ten Questions with Anna Parks, mezzo-soprano3rd Lady in The Magic Flute 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Eau Claire, WI, but was raised in River Falls, WI.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I minored in business administration so I would love to still be involved with an arts organization in some way. If […]

Ten Questions with Kelsey Park

Ten Questions with Kelsey Park, mezzo-soprano2nd Lady in The Magic Flute  1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Washington State, but grew up in Nebraska.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I probably would have followed my mom’s career in architecture/interior design. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was …Die Fledermaus4.  My […]

Ten Questions with Amanda Kingston

 Ten Questions with Amanda Kingston, soprano1st Lady in The Magic Flute 1. Where were you born / raised? I was born in Madison, Wisconsin and grew up in Madison and Middleton. I graduated from Middleton High School. 2. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would probably be a pharmacist. I always enjoyed math and science while I […]

Ten Questions with Dan Rigazzi

Ten Questions with Dan RigazziDirector, The Magic Flute 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Sacramento, California, but grew up a Navy and Marine Corps brat. I lived in a lot of different places like California, Japan, and Washington D.C. 2.  If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in?I would be a chef.3.  The first opera […]

Ten Questions with Joshua Stewart

Ten Questions with Joshua Stewart, tenorCharlie 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. […]

Ten Questions with Angela Brown

Ten Questions withAngela Brown, sopranoAddie 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 […]

Ten Questions with Ron Daniels

Ten Questions withRon DanielsStage 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 […]

Ten Questions with Rachel Sterrenberg

Ten Questions withRachel Sterrenberg, sopranoChan Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in South Bend, Indiana.  My family moved down south when I was 7 years old, so most of my growing-up years were spent in the suburban area of Atlanta, Georgia.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I […]

Ten Questions with Will Liverman

Ten Questions withWill Liverman, baritoneDizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Norfolk, Virginia; raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Video game designer.3.  The first opera I was ever in was…The Magic Flute. 4.  My favorite opera is…Turandot. 5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal […]

Ten Questions with Krysty Swann

Ten Questions withKrysty Swann, mezzo-sopranoRebecca Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; raised in Detroit, Michigan.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would be an anthropologist and film critic.3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Rigoletto. 4.  My favorite opera is…Verdi’s Don Carlo. 5.  My favorite […]

Ten Questions with Angela Mortellaro

Ten Questions withAngela Mortellaro, sopranoDoris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird 1.  Where were you born / raised? I’m from Wisconsin! I was born in Waukesha and went to high school in Brookfield. I’ve lived in Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and now I live in Chicago. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I must be in the arts in some capacity. It […]

Ten Questions with Julie Miller

Ten Questions with Julie Miller, mezzo soprano Baroness Nica in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird 1.  Where were you born / raised? Sacramento, CA.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Zoologist.  3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.4.  My favorite opera is…It is a toss-up between Madame Butterfly and Der Rosenkavelier. Madame Butterfly […]

Ten Questions with Emily Birsan

Ten Questions withEmily Birsan, sopranoJuliet in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, and I moved around Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Iowa, before I settled in Neenah, Wisconsin for most of my schooling.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’d be in the arts in some […]

Ten Questions with John Irvin

Ten Questions withJohn Irvin, tenorRomeo in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? Atlanta, Georgia.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would be an ear / nose / throat doctor.3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Candide. 4.  My favorite opera is…Salome. 5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…Pre-show:  Museli for […]

Ten Questions with Sidney Outlaw

Ten Questions withSidney Outlaw, baritoneMercutio in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Brevard, North Carolina.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’ve never thought about not making it as a singer.  It’s what I was born to do.  I will always be singing in some capacity.  But […]

Ten Questions with Stephanie Lauricella

Ten Questions withStephanie Lauricella, mezzoStephano in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Port Jefferson, New York and raised in Wading River, New York.  I’m a Long Island girl. 🙂2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a veterinarian until I […]

Ten Questions with Philip Skinner

Ten Questions withPhilip Skinner, bass-baritoneLord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Jackson, Tennessee.  Growing up, lived in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida (mostly Florida), as well as Tennessee.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I hate to say this, but possibly banking.  Yikes.3.  The first opera I was […]

Ten Questions with Liam Moran

Ten Questions withLiam Moran, bassFriar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, but am now a proud Dairy Stater.  I live with my family in La Crosse.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’d want to be a pro soccer player, but that probably […]

Ten Questions with Chris Carr

Ten Questions withChris Carr, tenorTybalt in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Tom’s River, New Jersey and raised (mostly) in Quasqueton, Iowa.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Every singer I know has asked themselves this question, and so far I don’t have the clearest answer.  Coffee is a big passion […]

Ten Questions with Allisanne Apple

Ten Questions withAllisanne Apple, mezzoGertrude in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Horticulture.3.  The first opera I was ever in was…The Marriage of Figaro. 4.  My favorite opera is…Carmen. 5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…A cookie and coffee.  And […]

Ten Questions with Nathaniel Hill

Ten Questions withNathaniel Hill, baritoneGregorio in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Defiance, Ohio, and yes, you might recognize it from Scandal.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Always a difficult question, but I did contemplate law school, so perhaps a lawyer.3.  The first opera I was […]

Ten Questions with Doug Scholz-Carlson

Ten Questions withDoug Scholz-CarlsonStage Director of Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and lived just a few blocks from the Wolverines’ stadium.  I grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, home to St. Olaf College, where I went to school.2.  If you weren’t a director, what profession would you be in?If I […]

Ten Questions with Benjamin Sieverding

Ten Questions withBenjamin Sieverding, bassDuke of Verona in Romeo and Juliet 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’d love to be a casting agent of some sort.3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Amahl and the Night Visitors. 4.  […]

Ten Questions with James Held

Ten Questions With… James Held, baritoneMadison Opera Studio Artist 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would love to be a pilot.  But unfortunately I don’t have perfect vision!3.  The first opera I was ever in was……Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten.  However, I didn’t […]

Ten Questions with Anna Parks

Ten Questions With… Anna Parks, mezzo-sopranoMadison Opera Studio Artist 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, but grew up in River Falls, Wisconsin.  My family currently resides in De Pere, which is part of the Green Bay Area, so I guess you could say I’ve been a huge cheese head since birth.2.  If you […]

Ten Questions with Anna Polum

Ten Questions With… Anna Polum, sopranoMadison Opera Studio Artist 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Everett, Washington, but grew up (since I was 1) on Kodiak Island, Alaska.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would be a speech therapist.3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Carmen. 4.  My favorite opera […]

In the Park with Gary Thor Wedow

In the Park with… Gary Thor WedowConductor, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? LaPorte, Indiana.  I’m a native Hoosier, also attended Indiana University (go Big Red!) 2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?Fried chicken, potato salad (I’m a curious connoisseur of potato salads), pickles, pea salad, and some sort of cake (carrot???) for dessert. 3.  My […]

In the Park with Sidney Outlaw

In the Park with… Sidney OutlawBaritone, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? Brevard, in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. 2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?I like food in general and I try to eat clean on a regular basis.  So my ideal basket would be any kind, as long as it had good […]

In the Park with Scott Quinn

In the Park with… Scott QuinnTenor, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? Marshall, Texas. 2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?Ribeye steak, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and sweet tea. 3.  My most memorable moment performing outside was…Singing my first Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston when it was 90 degrees and […]

In the Park with Angela Brown

In the Park with… Angela BrownSoprano, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? Indianapolis, Indiana. 2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?Cheese, grapes, mock chicken salad (I’m a vegetarian), chips, a bottle of moscato, citronella candles, and good bread or crackers. 3.  My most memorable moment performing outside was…In Garfield Park, outside Indianapolis, I was singing a […]

In the Park with Emily Birsan

In the Park with… Emily BirsanSoprano, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Appleton, Wisconsin – the Fox Valley.  I was raised in Appleton, Green Bay, Dubuque, and North Carolina.  I went to middle school and high school in Neenah, Wisconsin, so by majority rules…  I was raised in the Midwest.  🙂 2.  What […]

Ten Questions with Morgan Smith

Ten Questions With… Morgan Smith, baritoneThe Villains, The Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was raised in White Plains, New York.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’d probably be a singer/songwriter, or a marine biologist. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Die Zauberflöte. 4.  My favorite opera is…Oh… tough […]

Ten Questions with Siân Davies

Ten Questions With… Siân Davies, sopranoAntonia / Giulietta / StellaThe Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Dewsbury (Yorkshire), England and raised in Rochester, Michigan.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?This is really hard to say… I enjoy bringing pieces together to make them into a finished product, so maybe something […]

Ten Questions with Harold Meers

Ten Questions With… Harold Meers, tenorHoffmann, The Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Huntington, New York (Long Island), but moved when I was very young to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Go, Steelers!).  I was raised in Pittsburgh but spent my junior high and high school years in Visalia, California.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession […]

Ten Questions with Tyler Alessi

Ten Questions With… Tyler Alessi, baritoneSchlemil, The Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Irvine, California2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?This is a little embarrassing, but if I were not a singer, I think I would I want to be a video game journalist.  If not that, […]

Ten Questions with Adriana Zabala

Ten Questions With… Adriana Zabala, mezzoNicklausse / The Muse in The Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Georgia and raised in Miami, Caracas, and Houston.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Art history, film directing, art direction, diplomacy (Foreign Service). 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Gianni […]

Ten Questions with Jared Rogers

Ten Questions With… Jared Rogers, tenorThe Servants, The Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? Carthage, Illinois, but my dad was in the Service, so, everywhere.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Race car driver, Formula One. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…The Pirates of Penzance. 4.  My favorite opera is…Eugene Onegin. […]

Ten Questions with Kristine McIntyre

Ten Questions With… Kristine McIntyreStage Director, The Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Philadelphia, grew up from age 8 in San Diego, California.2.  If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in?I was pre-med in college – so I’d probably be a neurosurgeon, as that was my interest.  If I left opera […]

Ten Questions with Robert Goderich

Ten Questions With… Robert Goderich, tenorSpalanzani, The Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Miami, Florida… raised mostly in Deer Lodge, Montana.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Chef, a singing chef. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…The Tender Land by Aaron Copland. 4.  My favorite opera is…Sweeney Todd, Dead […]

Ten Questions with Thomas Forde

Ten Questions With… Thomas Forde, bassLuther / Crespel, The Tales of Hoffmann 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born on the northwest side of Chicago in a very residential neighborhood.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’ve always wanted to be a TV news anchor or to host a morning show on the radio.  I […]

Ten Questions with Heather Johnson

Ten Questions With… Heather Johnson, mezzoJo in Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.  Go Bears!2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Gosh, this is difficult, because I have several different interests, but probably at the top of the list would be a […]

Ten Questions with Laura Muller

Ten Questions With… Laura Muller, mezzo-sopranoQuartet, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? Cuba City, Wisconsin.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?If being a singer in a rock band still counts, then I’d do that.  If I can’t sing at all, then I’d be an astronaut (seriously). 3.  The first opera I was ever in […]

Ten Questions with Eric Neuville

Ten Questions With… Eric Neuville, tenorLaurie in Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born and raised in Waupaca, Wisconsin.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Although it’s not too far a departure, I’d love to be a music history professor.  I have always loved and appreciated the music I knew the most about, so naturally, […]

Ten Questions with Brenda Harris

Ten Questions With… Brenda Harris, sopranoAunt Cecilia in Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Highland, Illinois, about 20 miles from where I was raised, which is a town called New Douglas, Illinois, which boasts a population of 400.  Yes, 400.  Now, my husband claims that’s a lie as he’s never seen anything close to 400 […]

Ten Questions with Craig Verm

Ten Questions With… Craig Verm, baritoneFriedrich Bhaer, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born / raised in Houston, but I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for 11 years.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Mountain / adventure / hunting / biking / skiing / rock-climbing guide. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…The Consul […]

Ten Questions with Nathaniel Hill

Ten Questions With… Nathaniel Hill, baritoneMr. Dashwood, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? Defiance, Ohio.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?It’s difficult to say.  Maybe an actor, or maybe a director.  Maybe a vagrant. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…The Carmen chorus with Toledo Opera when I was about fifteen.  I […]

Ten Questions with Rick Henslin

Ten Questions With… Rick Henslin, baritoneGideon March in Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I currently work for GE Healthcare.3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Rigoletto chorus with Madison Opera. 4.  My favorite opera is…Carmen. 5.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…A nice lightly-breaded […]

Ten Questions with Kelsey Park

Ten Questions With… Kelsey Park, mezzo-sopranoQuartet, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Pullman, Washington and raised in Hickman, Nebraska.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Medical field, lawyer, or interior designer. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Die Fledermaus! 4.  My favorite opera is…Gounod’s Faust (first professional opera I […]

Ten Questions with Alexander Elliott

Ten Questions With… Alexander Elliott, baritoneJohn Brooke in Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Lexington, Kentucky and grew up in Florence, South Carolina.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I was going to be a nurse or a firefighter before I got into music school.  I think I’d also like something […]

Nine Questions with Kyle Knox

Nine Questions With… Kyle KnoxConductor, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Somerville, New Jersey and raised in a nearby town called Raritan.2.  If you weren’t a conductor, what profession would you be in?If I weren’t a musician, I would have gone into movies or writing. 3.  The first opera I ever played in was…When I was in […]

Ten Questions with Courtney Miller

Ten Questions With… Courtney Miller, mezzo-sopranoMeg, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  We moved to Madison / Middleton when I was three and I grew up in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?HGTV has convinced me I would be really good […]

Ten Questions with Jeni Houser

Ten Questions With… Jeni Houser, sopranoAmy in Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Richland Center, Wisconsin.  Raised in Stoughton, Wisconsin.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I WISH I could be a dancer, but realistically, probably a teacher. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Dido and Aeneas, playing Belinda. 4.  My favorite […]

Ten Questions with Cassandra Koob

Ten Questions With… Cassandra Koob, sopranoQuartet, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? Minnesota born and raised!  Specifically born in Edina and raising in Bloomington.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?My senior year of high school, I had two paths… Music at University of Minnesota or architecture at College of St. Benedict.  So I almost […]

Ten Questions with Elizabeth Hagedorn

Ten Questions With… Elizabeth Hagedorn, sopranoAlma March, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? I am a Milwaukee native, my dad was a mailman.  I went to UW-Stevens Point and got a degree in Music Education, and accidentally ended up singing opera in Germany for 25 years.  It’s wonderful to be back in Wisconsin, sharing what I’ve learned with the […]

Ten Questions with Chelsea Morris Shephard

Ten Questions With… Chelsea Morris Shephard, sopranoBeth, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and grew up in Paw Paw, Michigan.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would have to be in music somehow! 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Mozart’s Idomeneo in undergrad.  The first day […]

Ten Questions with Candace Evans

Ten Questions With… Candace EvansStage Director, Little Women 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Madison.  I’ve directed Carmen and Eugene Onegin for Madison Opera and it’s always a joy to “come home.”  Wonderful people, beautiful city, and Friday Night Fish Fry!2.  If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in?I’d love to […]

Ten Questions with Eleni Calenos

Ten Questions With… Eleni Calenos, sopranoMimì in La Bohème 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would be either an instrumentalist or a music teacher.  I can’t imagine myself away from music. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Hansel and Gretel […]

Ten Questions with Mackenzie Whitney

Ten Questions With… Mackenzie Whitney, tenorRodolfo in La Bohème 1.  Where were you born / raised?I was born and raised in Janesville, Iowa.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Well, my dad runs a small construction company, so maybe I would do that.  I enjoyed working in restaurants when I was in college, so maybe I […]

Ten Questions with Alan Dunbar

Ten Questions With… Alan Dunbar, baritoneSchaunard, La Bohème 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Jefferson, NC, raised in Beaufort, SC.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Woodworking / instrument-making. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was…Candide (if you consider that an opera, which I do.  If not, then singing Alcindoro in La […]

Ten Questions with Emily Birsan

Ten Questions With… Emily Birsan, sopranoMusetta in La Bohème 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, and moved around quite a big as a child to North Carolina, South Carolina, Iowa, and a few cities in Wisconsin.  I ended up in Neenah, Wisconsin, for middle school and high school, so I feel most connected to Fox […]

Ten Questions with Dan Kempson

Ten Questions With… Dan Kempson, baritoneMarcello in La Bohème 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Washington, D.C., and lived in Arlington, VA until I was 8, when my family moved to Wilton, CT.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I have a dozen other lives I want to live.  I want to be […]

Ten Questions with Liam Moran

Ten Questions With… Liam Moran, bassColline in La Bohème 1.  Where were you born / raised?I was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, but am now a proud Dairy Stater, living with my wife and two kids in La Crosse.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Professional soccer player, if I were good enough, which I’m […]

Ten Questions with Evan Ross

Ten Questions With… Evan Ross, bassBenoit / Alcindoro in La Bohème 1.  Where were you born / raised?I was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.  My wife and I moved back to Michigan after grad school in Boston and have been living here ever since.  2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I […]

Ten Questions with David Lefkowich

Ten Questions With… David LefkowichStage Director of La Bohème 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Albany, New York; raised in Delmar, New York.2.  If you weren’t a director, what profession would you be in?Chorus singer at the San Francisco Opera. 3.  The first opera I was ever in was… In 2004, I was the assistant director for La Fanciulla del […]

Ten Questions with Nathaniel Hill

Ten Questions With… Nathaniel Hill, baritoneMadison Opera Studio Artist 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Defiance, Ohio.  It’s a small rural town in Northwest Ohio and I lived there until I went to college.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?That’s tough.  Maybe the film industry.  Maybe a lawyer.  Or maybe an […]

Ten Questions with William Ottow

Ten Questions With… William Ottow, tenorMadison Opera Studio Artist 1.  Where were you born / raised? La Crosse, Wisconsin.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I don’t really know, being a politician has always interested me, but I’d probably be a pretty bad one.  I’d be a political science or economics major if I didn’t sing, but […]

Ten Questions with Marie McManama

Ten Questions With… Marie McManama, sopranoMadison Opera Studio Artist 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?There is nothing I would rather do and I consider myself fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love!3.  The first opera I was […]

In the Park with Kyle Ketelsen

In the Park with… Kyle Ketelsen Bass-Baritone, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Clinton, IA.  In many ways it’s your standard, working-class, mid-America town.  On a lovely stretch of the Mississippi, and a strong music tradition in the schools.  Quite similar to my current town, Sun Prairie, WI. 2.  What is […]

In the Park with Eleni Calenos

In the Park with… Eleni Calenos Soprano, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. 2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?One that includes Spanish tapas and wine. 3.  My most memorable moment performing outside was…Singing a Mozart opera in Barbados where the stage was set by the Caribbean and […]

In the Park with Harold Meers

In the Park with… Harold Meers Tenor, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born on Long Island, New York, but was raised in Pittsburgh, PA and Visalia, CA. 2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?Salami, soppressata, prosciutto, cheeses, and crackers.  And perhaps a vodka and soda… 3.  My most memorable moment performing outside was…Watching […]

In the Park with Anna Laurenzo

In the Park with… Anna Laurenzo Mezzo, Opera in the Park 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Des Moines, IA and grew up 15 minutes away in the suburb of Urbandale, IA. 2.  What is in your ideal picnic basket?If someone packed me up a picnic with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir, a variety of Wisconsin […]

Ten Questons with Will Liverman

Ten Questions With… Will Liverman, baritoneFigaro in The Barber of Seville 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would still be in music, maybe as a teacher or a jazz/gospel pianist.  Perhaps both! 3.  My favorite opera […]

Ten Questions with Emily Fons

Ten Questions With… Emily Fons, mezzoRosina in The Barber of Seville 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Milwaukee and raised in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would work with animals in some way, maybe with wildlife rehabilitation or in an animal shelter. 3.  […]

Ten Questions with John Irvin

Ten Questions With… John Irvin, tenorCount Almaviva in The Barber of Seville 1.  Where were you born / raised? Atlanta, Georgia. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Music production / song-writing. 3.  My favorite opera is…Massenet’s Werther. 4.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…A Wendy’s double cheeseburger. 5.  People would be surprised to know that…I […]

Ten Questions with Alan Dunbar

Ten Questions With… Alan Dunbar, baritoneDr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Jefferson, North Carolina (it was the closest hospital to the tiny town of Mouth of Wilson, Virginia – yes, that is an actual place – where my parents lived at the time).  Moved to Beaufort, South Carolina at […]

Ten Questions with Trevor Martin

Ten Questions With… Trevor Martin, baritoneFiorello in The Barber of Seville 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised just south of Atlanta, Georgia. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?If I weren’t able to do anything in the field of music, I think I would like to be a history professor.  […]

Ten Questions with Chelsea Morris

Ten Questions With… Chelsea Morris, sopranoBerta in The Barber of Seville 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and raised in Paw Paw, Michigan, but went through the Mattawan School System. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I think I’d still be in the arts somehow, but it might be […]

Ten Questions with Doug Scholz-Carlson

Ten Questions With… Doug Scholz-CarlsonStage Director of The Barber of Seville 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but spent most of my growing up in Northfield, Minnesota.  I now live in Minneapolis with my family (wife and three daughters). 2.  If you weren’t a director, what profession would you be in?I would open a brewpub. […]

Ten Questions with Corey Crider

Ten Questions With… Corey Crider, baritoneSweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Louisville, Kentucky and raised in Marion, Kentucky, where I again live with my family of six. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’d play bass in a band, or try my hand at straight acting… or pursue […]

Three Questions with Four Choristers, Part IV

Three Questions With…  Christopher Apfelbach, bass Gail Becker, mezzoGlen Siferd, bassFred Younger, tenorMadison Opera Chorus, Sweeney Todd   1.  What is your day job? Christopher: I’m currently a second-year graduate student in speech-language pathology.  Following graduation in May, I’d like to work in a voice clinic, providing diagnoses of vocal function and therapy services to those having trouble speaking or singing. […]

Ten Questions with Meredith Arwady

Ten Questions With… Meredith Arwady, contraltoMrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Saginaw, Michigan.  Raised in North Muskegon, Michigan, and then in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?English professor or personal shopper. 3.  My favorite opera is…I usually feel very close to whichever operas I am […]

Nine Questions with Norma Saldivar

Nine Questions With… Norma SaldivarStage Director of Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? Born and raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois. 2.  If you weren’t a director, what profession would you be in?I would have been a lawyer.  I went to college as a pre-law/poli-sci major. 3.  My favorite opera is…Too hard to answer.  I love too many to name […]

Ten Questions with Jared Rogers

Ten Questions With… Jared Rogers, tenorBeadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Carthage, Illinois, but my dad was in the service, so I grew up all over – California, Oklahoma, Germany, Washington, etc… 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Race car driver.  Formula 1, of course. 3.  […]

Ten Questions with Robert Goderich

Ten Questions With… Robert Goderich, tenorPirelli in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Miami.  I was mostly raised in Montana… so that’s where I say I’m from. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Chef!  I love being in the kitchen! 3.  My favorite opera is…La Traviata. 4.  My favorite […]

Ten Questions with Emily Pulley

Ten Questions With… Emily Pulley, sopranoBeggar Woman in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Jackson, Mississippi, where my dad was helping to install the first computer for the University of Mississippi medical school, but we moved to College Station, Texas, where my dad helped install the first computer at Texas A&M, when I was […]

Ten Questions with Jeni Houser

Ten Questions with… Jeni Houser, sopranoJohanna in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, and grew up in Stoughton, Wisconsin. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would be a dancer in a dream life.  In my real life, I would be a teacher. 3.  My favorite […]

Three Questions With Four Choristers, Part III

Three Questions With…Kristen Bond, soprano Michael Etzwiler, baritoneBeth Morgan, mezzoScott Seyforth, tenorMadison Opera Chorus, Sweeney Todd 1.  What is your day job?Kristen: Working as a singing teacher and a research assistant at UW-Madison. Michael: I’m a dancer by trade.  I also teach Zumba. Beth: Quality Assurance at Epic (I test software). Scott: Helping run the residence halls at UW-Madison, working with the […]

Ten Questions with Thomas Forde

Ten Questions With… Thomas Forde, bassJudge Turpin in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born on the northwest side of Chicago in a very residential neighborhood. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’ve always wanted to be a TV news anchor or to host a morning show on the radio.  I […]

Three Questions with Four Choristers, Part II

Three Questions With…Dale Kaufman, mezzoKenny Lyons, tenorAlannah Spencer, soprano Tom Stone, baritoneMadison Opera Chorus, Sweeney Todd 1.  What is your day job?Dale: I am a middle school social worker in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. Kenny: Junior voice student at UW-Madison. Alannah: Student at UW-Madison studying voice and anthropology. Tom: Information Technology Consultant.2.  What are you most excited about for Madison […]

Ten Questions with Joshua Sanders

Ten Questions With… Joshua Sanders, tenorTobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born here in Madison and raised in Plain, Wisconsin. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I love to debate, so probably a lawyer.  Or, if I were to go with 5-year-old-Josh’s career plan, I would rule the […]

Three Questions with Four Choristers

Three Questions With…Megan Gloss, soprano Rick Henslin, baritoneMatthew Lea, tenorLaura Muller, mezzoMadison Opera Chorus, Sweeney Todd 1.  What is your day job?Megan: Feature writer and reporter at TH Media, in Dubuque, Iowa, as well as editor for a women’s magazine, Her.  Additionally, I am a regular contributor to Classical Singer Magazine, as well as VoiceCouncil Magazine in London.  Somehow I also […]

Ten Questions with Daniel Shirley

Ten Questions With… Daniel Shirley, tenorAnthony Hope in Sweeney Todd 1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would probably work in historical preservation of old buildings.  I am fascinated by the ways that places, structures, and artifacts shed light on the […]

Ten Questions with Alexandra LoBianco

Ten Questions With… Alexandra LoBianco, sopranoLeonore in Fidelio 1.  Where were you born / raised? St. Petersburg, Florida.  Not to be confused with St. Petersburg, Russia (that’s happened). 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?When I was younger, I wanted to go into Equine Science, but I quickly realized I’m just not that smart.  So if […]

Ten Questions with Clay Hilley

Ten Questions With… Clay Hilley, tenorFlorestan in Fidelio  1.  Where were you born / raised? Born in Athens, Georgia, and raised in a small town near there – Statham, Georgia. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Law. 3.  My favorite opera is…Falstaff. 4.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…Steak and potatoes – but that’s not unique to […]

Ten Questions with Kelly Markgraf

Ten Questions With… Kelly Markgraf, baritoneDon Pizarro in Fidelio  1.  Where were you born / raised? Cedarburg, Wisconsin. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Antique restoration and/or historical architecture preservation. 3.  My favorite opera is…After studying it recently for an upcoming recording project, Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights is near or at the top of my list.  […]

Ten Questions with Tara Faircloth

Ten Questions With… Tara FairclothStage Director of Fidelio  1.  Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in a small town in Georgia called Fort Valley.  No fort, no valley. 2.  If you weren’t a stage director, what profession would you be in?My degrees are all in singing, but I discovered directing just before I completed my master’s degree.  […]

Ten Questions with Matt Boehler

Ten Questions With… Matt Boehler, bassRocco in Fidelio 1.  Where were you born / raised? Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Publishing, maybe? 3.  My favorite opera is…Right now, at this moment:  Peter Grimes.  But that will change in five minutes. 4.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…Pre-show:  Something non-offensive and noodly.Post-show:  ALL THE FOOD. […]

Ten Questions with Liam Moran

Ten Questions With… Liam Moran, bassDon Fernando in Fidelio  1.  Where were you born / raised? Brookline, Massachusetts 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I’d love to teach history. 3.  My favorite opera is…Hard to say!  Often the one I’m currently working on.  If I had to pick, today I’d say… Eugene Onegin. 4.  My favorite […]

Ten Questions with Alisa Jordheim

Ten Questions With… Alisa Jordheim, sopranoMarzelline in Fidelio  1.  Where were you born / raised? Appleton, Wisconsin 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?Medicine / healthcare – a nurse or nurse practitioner (see my answer to #5). 3.  My favorite opera is…Nixon in China by John Adams. 4.  My favorite pre/post-show meal is…Pre-show:  A light combination […]

Ten Questions with David Blalock

Ten Questions With… David Blalock, tenorJaquino in Fidelio 1.  Where were you born / raised? Chapel Hill, North Carolina / Burlington, North Carolina 2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?I would absolutely love to be a sports writer.  I am an avid sports fan, and writing about sports for a living would be a dream job. […]

Six Questions with Robert Orth

Six Questions with… Robert Orth, baritoneVoltaire / Pangloss, Candide 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Getting to live inside the greatest pieces of music ever written, and then getting to share them with enthusiastic audiences. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Exercising the self-discipline involved to learn the score, and always living with the […]

Five Questions with Jeni Houser

Five Questions with… Jeni Houser, sopranoCunegonde, Candide 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Creating something new and spontaneous every time I perform.  With live orchestra and colleagues, each and every performance is fresh, even though the music and story may have been around for quite a long time.  I love the feeling of improvising a bit even […]

Six Questions with Daniel Shirley

Six questions with… Daniel Shirley, tenorCandide in Candide  1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  That my colleagues and I are part of a 400+ year-old tradition of singing.  Even though opera is and always will be relevant, the craft defies the modern world, which is so obsessed with instant gratification.  We purvey a tradition that is bigger […]

Six Questions with Alan Dunbar

Six questions with…   Alan Dunbar, baritoneMaximillian in Candide 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Taking on new and interesting characters every time I get on stage. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Getting enough sleep.  And trying to explain what I do to people unfamiliar with careers in the arts. 3. A live […]

Six Questions with Anna Laurenzo

Six Questions with… Anna Laurenzo, mezzo-sopranoPaquette in Candide 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Getting to become someone else on stage.  It’s such a learning experience to try out different character mannerisms and habits that I would never do in real life.  And how could I fail to mention the crazy fun costumes! 2. The greatest challenge […]

Ten Questions with Jamie-Rose Guarrine

Ten Questions with… Jamie-Rose Guarrine, soprano 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:Traveling to new places all over the world and working with great colleagues and companies.  2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:It’s funny, but the same thing:  traveling and being apart from my family is by far the most difficult part of the job, […]

Ten Questions with Kelly Markgraf

Ten Questions with… Kelly Markgraf, baritone1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: That the challenges and learning never ends. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:That the challenges and learning never ends.  And the travel. 🙂 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:James Taylor concert just a few weeks ago […]

Ten Questions with Sean Panikkar

Ten Questions with… Sean Panikkar, tenor 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: All of the travel.  I love seeing new places and experiencing new things while being paid to do so. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:   All of the travel.  Being on the road away from your home and family can be very […]

Ten Questions with Wallis Giunta

Ten Questions with… Wallis Giunta, mezzo-soprano 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:Exploring the depths of my imagination as I create and invade all of the characters I get to play.  Whether it’s an opera role or just an art song, I get to escape and be a totally different person.  2. The greatest challenge in being a […]

Ten Questions with Daniela Mack

Ten Questions with… Daniela Mack, mezzo-sopranoSister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Having the chance to embody a character who is different from myself.  I love the process of discovering my character’s voice, and then learning how to communicate that through my own singing.2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Staying […]

Ten Questions with Michael Mayes

Ten Questions with… Michael Mayes, baritoneJoseph DeRocher in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: The look on someone’s face when you’ve reached down into them and plucked a seldom strummed heart-string.  That look can make the mountain of work I’ve had to climb to get to that point seem almost insignificant in comparison.2. The greatest challenge […]

Ten Questions with Susanne Mentzer

Ten Questions with… Susanne Mentzer, mezzo-sopranoMrs. Patrick DeRocher in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Singing great music that someone deliberately put to the page and sharing it.2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Staying healthy and in top form. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:Hard […]

Ten Questions with Karen Slack

Ten Questions with… Karen Slack, sopranoSister Rose in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Traveling the world and sharing my gift.2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Being away from family, friends, and my fury children. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: When I was a kid […]

Ten Questions with Jeffrey Beruan

Ten Questions with… Jeffrey Beruan, bassWarden George Benton in Dead Man Walking1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  Sharing my talent with others and making music. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Trying to make singing look easy. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: Lucia di Lammermoor with my wife […]

Ten Questions with Clay Hilley

Ten Questions with… Clay Hilley, tenor Father Grenville in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: All the wonderful people I get to meet, and the places I get to travel.2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Dealing with rejection. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:Mormon Tabernacle […]

Ten Questions with Saira Frank

Ten Questions with… Saira Frank, sopranoKitty Hart in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Finishing an aria or song and seeing someone in the audience who connected with my performance.  I love to sing, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of performing, but the best performances are when I can feel an energy […]

Ten Questions with Alan Dunbar

Ten Questions with… Alan Dunbar, baritoneOwen Hart in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Feeling a solid connection and line of communication with the audience.2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Consistently making that connection in each performance. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:The 2008 performance of […]

Ten Questions with J. Adam Shelton

Ten Questions with… J. Adam Shelton, tenorHoward Boucher in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: I love learning something new!  There’s so much great music out there to sing that challenges every part of our brains.  Plus, I really dig all the languages and different interpretations for pieces! It truly is a versatile career!  […]

Ten Questions with Jamie Van Eyck

Ten Questions with… Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-sopranoJade Boucher in Dead Man Walking 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Having the opportunity to tell a story and communicate with an audience.2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Managing the demanding schedule. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:The Austin City Limits […]

Ten Questions with Caitlin Cisler

Ten Questions with… Caitlin Cisler, sopranoMarie in The Daughter of the Regiment 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: I get to do what I love every day. And on really special days, I get to share what I love with lots of other people! 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Subjection to constant self-criticism. […]

Ten Questions with Javier Abreu

Ten Questions with… Javier Abreu, tenorTonio in The Daughter of the Regiment 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Seeing so many new cities, and meeting so many wonderful people in my travels.  2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Being on the road for so many weeks at a time.  3. A live music performance […]

Ten Questions with Nathan Stark

Ten Questions with… Nathan Stark, bassSulpice in The Daughter of the Regiment 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Having the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and work with incredible talents everywhere I go.  2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Trying to stay healthy during the frigid cold/flu season, busy travel months, bouncing […]

Ten Questions with Allisanne Apple

Ten Questions with… Allisanne Apple, sopranoThe Marquise of Berkenfeld in The Daughter of the Regiment 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Singing and performing go hand-in-hand. What I like best is when people are moved by a performance, either to laughter or to tears. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Staying healthy! 3. A […]

Ten Questions with Douglas Swenson

Ten Questions with… Douglas Swenson, tenorHortensius in The Daughter of the Regiment   1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: The challenge. There is a lot going on: memorizing songs and lines, developing character, performing with an orchestra. It is exciting because it is very challenging.  2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Relaxing into the […]

Ten Questions with Nmon Ford

Ten Questions with… Nmon Ford, baritoneScarpia in Tosca 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: The sitzprobe (literally “seated rehearsal”): the first full orchestral run-through of the opera. After days or weeks of rehearsal with only piano, I enjoy the excitement of hearing the instrumentalists tearing into any score that I enjoy greatly, like Tosca or Salome. Alternate […]

Ten Questions with Melody Moore

Ten Questions with… Melody Moore, sopranoTosca in Tosca 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: – being able to express what I cannot express in daily life and daily conversation. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  – keeping stability in health and keeping a quiet mind. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I […]

Ten Questions with Scott Piper

Ten Questions with… Scott Piper, tenorCavaradossi in Tosca 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Having the ability to travel and perform with fantastic colleagues. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Staying healthy in the midst of the constant travel. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:Ray Charles performing […]

Ten Questions with Ryan Kuster

Ten Questions with… Ryan Kuster, bass-baritoneAngelotti in Tosca 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: the collaboration between everyone that is involved during the rehearsal process. I love exploring the character through the exchange of musical and dramatic ideas. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  managing my time in between gigs. 3. A live music […]

Ten Questions with Nikolas Wenzel

Ten Questions with… Nikolas Wenzel, bassSacristan in Tosca 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: The ability to go to work every day and pour your soul into something – to work collaboratively with others and create art is the greatest privilege we have as singers.  I am so grateful to be able to do this for a […]

Ten Questions with Scott Brunscheen

Ten Questions with… Scott Brunscheen, tenorSpoletta in Tosca 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Making art within a genre that has no “delete button”; once you sing and put that sound out into the world, there is no way of taking it back. It’s very exciting. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Convincing friends, […]

Ten Questions with Kenneth Stavert

Ten Questions with… Kenneth Stavert, baritoneSciarrone in Tosca 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Getting to travel all around the world 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Constantly adjusting to new living spaces. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is:Seeing my first opera when I was in high […]

Blog It! Tweet It! Night

A Night at the OperaGuest Bloggers and Tweeters joined us for the final dress rehearsal of Don Giovanni. They went backstage and watched the performance, and live Tweeted for three straight hours about the experience. You can find their thoughts here. The Blog It! Tweet It! Night guests get ready to set off for an evening of opera. Jeff Turk […]

Ten Questions with Caitlin Lynch

Ten Questions with…   Caitlin Lynch, soprano   Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: The first rehearsal with orchestra. All of the singers and orchestra members and conductor coming together for the first time.So much energy— so much fun! 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Living out of a suitcase. […]

Ten Questions with Elizabeth Caballero

Ten Questions with…   Elizabeth Caballero, soprano   Donna Anna in Don Giovanni 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Traveling. I love going to new places and meeting new people. Then I love getting to make beautiful music with all these new people in these great new places.   2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:Traveling. […]

Ten Questions with Matt Boehler

Ten Questions with… Matt Boehler, bassLeporello in Don Giovanni 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Getting to make something new every time we step out there.   2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Dealing with a cape. Especially when there is a sword involved. One could devote a whole semester of study to this […]

Ten Questions with Kelly Markgraf

Ten Questions with…   Kelly Markgraf, baritone   Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  The flexibility of our daily lives. Being your own boss and crafting your own schedule is not something a lot of people get to do. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is:  Maintaining discipline in the face […]

Ten Questions with Wesley Rogers

Ten Questions with… Wesley Rogers, tenorDon Ottavio in Don Giovanni 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Is that the learning never stops. Whether it be working on technique, learning languages, or working on a new role, it is really always a work in progress. It really allows me to enjoy the journey and not the destination.   […]

Ten Questions with Angela Mannino

Ten Questions with… Angela Mannino, sopranoZerlina in Don Giovanni 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Figuring out how to do something vocally (in a lesson, a coaching or while I’m practicing) that I either couldn’t do before or was struggling to do.   2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Not getting a cold! 3. […]

Ten Questions with Nathan Stark

Ten Questions with… Nathan Stark, bassIl Commendatore in Don Giovanni 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: I love the challenge of combining music, drama and text into one creative and artistic outlet. I also love the opportunity to collaborate with other singers, conductors and stage directors. You learn so much from working with talented colleagues.   2. […]

Ten Questions with Josh Sanders

Ten Questions with… Josh Sanders, tenorEnsemble in Acis and Galatea 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Being able to serve my art and share it with an audience. I don’t feel like I sing for myself, but rather, I sing to the world. There’s no better feeling than stepping off of the stage after sharing your heart […]

Ten Questions with Angela Mortellaro

Ten Questions with… Angela Mortellaro, sopranoGalatea in Acis and Galatea 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: My favorite thing about being a singer is the singing! Is that too obvious? I truly mean it, though. I love everything about singing: the music, singing music I’ve sung forever, singing new music I’ve just learned, the physical sensation of singing, […]

Ten Questions with Jeffrey Beruan

Ten Questions with… Jeffrey Beruan,bass-baritonePolyphemus in Acis and Galatea 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  Sharing my talent with others and making music. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Trying to make singing look easy. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: Nic Muni’s production of Faust with Portland Opera. […]

Ten Questions with Jennifer DeMain

Ten Questions with… Jennifer DeMain, mezzo-sopranoEnsemble in Acis and Galatea 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  The challenge that each piece brings stylistically and the opportunity to deliver text that may have been written hundreds of years ago, but still hold meaning today.  2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Auditioning. 3. A live music […]

Ten Questions with J. Adam Shelton

Ten Questions with… J. Adam Shelton, tenorDamon in Acis and Galatea 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  I love learning something new! There’s so much awesome music out there to be learning, researching, and singing that the geek inside of me is deeply satisfied!! 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Cold and flu season. 3. […]

Ten Questions with Jessica Lee Timman

Ten Questions with… Jessica Lee Timman, mezzo-sopranoEnsemble in Acis and Galatea 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  I get to meet the most interesting and wonderful people in my work! Particularly in opera, there are so many people that come together to make a show come alive. I love the collaborative atmosphere of opera. So many people […]

Ten Questions with Daniel Shirley

Ten Questions with… Daniel Shirley, tenorAcis in Acis and Galatea 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  Meeting interesting people from all over the world. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Being away from home, often for weeks or months at a time. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget […]

Ten Questions with Jeni Houser

Ten Questions with… Jeni Houser, sopranoEnsemble in Acis and Galatea 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  The variety of the job. It is exciting to work on different styles of music, learn numerous languages, create different characters, think about how my body works, and study with experts in each of those fields. 2. The greatest challenge in […]

Madison Opera’s 2013/14 Production Dates

The 2012/13 Season is in Full SwingWe just concluded a successful production of Verdi’s A Masked Ball (October 26 & 28, 2012), and the 2012/13 season continues with Handel’s Acis and Galatea (January 10-13, 2013) and Mozart’s Don Giovanni (April 26 & 28, 2013). It’s a Season of Temptation you don’t want to miss! The 2013/14 Season is in the […]

A Masked Ball | In Review

ReviewsMadison Opera’s ‘A Masked Ball’ elegant, understated (Rena Archwamety, 77 Square) Madison Opera Has a Ball Unmasking Verdi (Greg Hettmansberger, Madison Magazine)   Madison Opera’s A Masked Ball is a beautiful display of Verdi’s power and passion (John Barker, The Isthmus) Madison Opera’s successful production…is an auspicious beginning to the tenure of its new General Director Kathryn Smith (Jacob Stockinger, The Well-Tempered […]

Ten Questions with Alexandra LoBianco

Ten Questions with… Alexandra LoBianco, sopranoAmelia in A Masked Ball 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is:  Being the vessel for this incredible sound. It’s a thrill to realize you’re a human amplifier. I also love the journey that opera allows us to take through theater and sound. The vibration of the human voice is completely unique and […]

Ten Questions with William Joyner

Ten Questions with… William Joyner, tenorKing Gustav III in A Masked Ball Website: www.williamjoyner.com 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Discovering, through the marriage of text, music, and colleagues, who my characters are, and then letting the audience in on that discovery.  2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Part of me wants to say, […]

Ten Questions with John Arnold

Ten Questions with… John Arnold, bass-baritoneCount de Horn in A Masked Ball 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: I was and still am really drawn to the complexity of being an operatic singing actor. I am fascinated by the music and the primal aspect of being up there on stage making that kind of sound with my […]

Ten Questions with Caitlin Cisler

Ten Questions with… Caitlin Cisler, sopranoOscar in A Masked Ball Website: www.caitlincisler.com 1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: No two days on the job are the same. Every day presents a new aria to learn, a new scene to stage, new people to meet, a new city to visit. It’s a very dynamic profession; so full of […]

Ten Questions with Hyung Yun

Ten Questions with… Hyung Yun, baritoneAnckarstöm in A Masked Ball Website: www.hyungyun.com   1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: When I was young, I was mesmerized by the beautiful melody and feeling which were created from singing Italian canzones. Growing up in Seoul, Korea, Italian was a very foreign language. Back then, I sang the lyrics and […]

Ten Questions with Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek

Ten Questions with… Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek, baritoneChristiano in A Masked Ball Website: www.christiaansmithkotlarek.com   1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: I get to make people’s days better in such a simple and creative way. 2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Striving for perfection while maintaining spontaneity. 3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I […]

Ten Questions with Thomas Forde

Ten Questions with… Thomas Forde, bass-baritoneCount Ribbing in A Masked Ball Website: www.thomasforde.com   1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: I always knew I wanted to be a performer, so the fact that I can sustain a life by singing is one of the greatest privileges I could imagine in my life.  2. The greatest challenge in […]

Opera in the Park 2012 | A Magical Night

Our 11th annual Opera in the Park this past Saturday was, as one attendee described it, “brilliant!”. The crowd filled Garner Park to hear the talented voices of our stars soaring through the air.The event was a big hit with attendees and critics alike! Madison Opera’s “Opera in the Park” again hits all the right notes“Over two hours, [the audience] […]

Opera in the Park 2012 | Essentials

Opera in the Park is set to go this Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Garner Park. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your evening: HOW TO GET THERE & WHERE TO PARK Garner Park is located at 333 S. Rosa Rd. Parking is available across Mineral Point Rd. in University Research Park, and off of Rosa Rd. […]

Remembering Roland Johnson, 1920-2012

Maestro Roland Johnson with Ann Stanke (Madison Opera General Director 1984-2005). We are very sorry to report that Roland Johnson, the co-founder and former music director of Madison Opera, has passed away at the age of 91. Johnson and his wife Arline started what became the Madison Opera with an Opera Workshop performance that included the second act of Die […]

Cinderella: An Evening of Enchantment…

Madison Opera’s production of Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola) closed the mainstage season of the 2011/12 Season of Dreamers. It was a stylish production directed by Garnett Bruce, in which the classic fairy tale was transported to 1930s Hollywood. Maestro John DeMain led a sparkling musical performance that had everyone on their feet. Madison Opera has been lauded in the past […]

a la Rossini

Gioachino Rossini (1792 – 1868) Gioachino Rossini (or, Il Gastronomo Musicale)To opera lovers, Gioachino Rossini is remembered as the father of bel canto whose wit and personality equaled his effervescent writing style, catapulting him to stardom across Europe. To many, he’s the guy who gave us the theme song of The Lone Ranger: and the background music for the famous […]

Opera is for the 100%

“So what is comes down to is this: when I attend an opera, I see people like me.  People who like a good story, are moved by passion and feeling, and are wowed by talent, beautiful music, and a feast for the eyes. Opera is very welcoming if you take in everything it offers. Yes, opera is for everyone.” That […]

Eugene Onegin: About last night…

As you may (or may not) know, the MadOpera staff has undergone a changing of the guard. In addition to General Director Kathryn Smith, MadOpera also has new faces in marketing, patron services, and artistic and office management. This past weekend marked the first production for the new crew, and it was quite a weekend! Eugene Onegin proved to be […]

Eugene Onegin: The Cast Speaks

Eugene Onegin opens tomorrow night! We have an absolutely fabulous cast, and everyone here at MadOpera has had a blast over the past few weeks. During the rehearsal process, this blogger got a few moments of the singers’ time to hear their thoughts on love, understanding their characters, the music of Eugene Onegin, and why the opera is a must-see:

Eugene Onegin: Art Imitates Life Imitates Art, Part II

It is perhaps no surprise that Pushkin’s life so closely resembled the events in Eugene Onegin, right up to and including the fatal duel. The poet wrote himself as the narrative character, and his fingerprints are evident in every verse. For Tchaikovsky, the composer of the opera, it was not art imitating life, but rather the other way around. Tchaikovsky […]

Eugene Onegin: A Taste of Talent

The set has been erected. The costumes are perfectly fit. The Madison Symphony Orchestra has joined the party. The singers are in beautiful form. Eugene Onegin is coming together here at Madison Opera. Tonight is our final dress rehearsal, and here’s a taste of what you’ll hear this weekend: Maria Kanyova and Hyung Yun sing the final duet, followed by […]

Eugene Onegin: A Dangerous Love Letter

The following is written by guest blogger Kylie Toomer. Kylie is the new Artistic and Office Manager for Madison Opera. She received her B.A. from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and her M.M. in Performance from the University of North Texas, where she studied with renowned American Tenor Richard Croft. Many of us may reminisce on our adolescence and fondly […]

Eugene Onegin: Artists Interviews

Eugene Onegin opens next Friday, and our artists spent this past week giving interviews about the breath-taking production. If you missed any of the fun, catch up on it now: Soprano Maria Kanyova on WPR’s “The Midday” with Norman GillilandListen here Soprano Maria Kanyova and baritone Hyung Yun on NBC-15’s “The Morning Show” with Amy Carlson   Tenor Scott Ramsay and […]

Eugene Onegin: Our Artists in the Press

Eugene Onegin opens next Friday, and this week has been a whirlwind of rehearsals, photo shoots and interviews! The end of this week will round-off with live radio and TV interviews. If you want to hear the cast and artistic staff of Eugene Onegin talk about the production, opera, and maybe even the Green Bay Packers, tune in: FRIDAY, OCTOBER […]

Eugene Onegin: Art Imitates Life Imitates Art, Part I

A statue of Pushkin at Tsarkoe Selo, Russia Pushkin in Eugene OneginPushkin spent much of his adult life either in banishment or under house-arrest for his political views, which challenged the validity and competence of Russia’s Tsarist autocracy. Although the poet eventually reined in his polemic in trade for permission to publish (some of) his works, Eugene Onegin was, in […]

Eugene Onegin: The Element of Dance

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is filled with beautiful music, replete with complex musical motifs and well-defined character relationships (more on that later this week). But also of importance are the dances that pepper the opera. At first glance, the dances in Eugene Onegin appear deceptively decorative, a way for the composer to paint the backdrop of farming life in the Russian […]

Eugene Onegin: A labor of love (and a little fear)

Madison Opera opens the 2011-2012 Season of Dreamers with Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, our first Tchaikovsky piece and our first Russian-language opera. The composer is most well-known for Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and, of course, the 1812 Overture which is performed at every public Fourth of July celebration in the United States. If you’re scratching your head as to how an […]

An inspiring “Season of Dreamers”

Single tickets for the 2011-2012 season are now on sale through the Overture Center Box Office (608-258-4141). Purchase your tickets now to this Season of Dreamers! I hope you’re as excited as I am. My name is Ronia, and I’m the new Manager of Marketing & Community Outreach at Madison Opera. There are a number of new faces at the […]

Looking forward to “A Season of Dreamers”

We have great news: our subscription deadline for the 2011-2012 season has been extended to next Friday, August 19th! Get your orders in now to ensure you reserve the best seats before they go on-sale to the public. Plus, if you’re a new subscriber, you save 15%. That’s the good news. On a slightly sadder note, today is my last […]

A night of opera, joy, and celebration in the park

Opera in the Park 2011 was special for a few reasons before it even began. It was the free concert’s 10th annual outing and the final event of our 50th anniversary season, for starters. It was also a time to pay tribute to our beloved former general director and Opera in the Park co-founder Ann Stanke, who passed away in […]

Opera in the Park Essentials

Opera in the Park is set to go this Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Garner Park. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your evening: Garner Park is located at 333 S. Rosa Rd. Parking is available across Mineral Point Rd. in University Research Park, and off of Rosa Rd. in CUNA Mutual. Handicap parking and drop-off is […]

Write on our wall and win big!

Write a “love letter” to Opera in the Park on our Facebook wall, and you could win 2 tickets to Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin! In the opera, Tatiana famously reveals her passionate love for Eugene Onegin in a letter. Now, we want YOU, our fans, to tell us why you love Opera in the Park in a post on our Facebook […]

In the mood for Opera in the Park?

Here are some videos to get you excited for Opera in the Park, coming up this Saturday night! Opera in the Park 2011 Trailer: Wisconsin Public Radio footage from 2010: Kathryn Smith on “Wake Up Wisconsin” (7/11/2011):

Fun for Families at Opera in the Park

Meet Cinderella  Opera in the Park (coming up on July 16th!) makes a great introduction to opera for families with children of all ages. The relaxed outdoor atmosphere combined with a program that offers a dose of recognizable opera hits all help to make this one of Madison Opera’s most accessible and exciting events of the year. The price point […]

Opera in the Park Playlist

Have you visited our Opera in the Park page recently? There’s lots of great info on our Prelude Dinner, guest artists, donating, parking, and more, including the repertoire for this year’s concert. While the program is still subject to change, I thought it would be fun to assemble a YouTube playlist previewing some of the selections that will be featured […]

Met operas on Wisconsin Public Television

Wisconsin Public Television is once again broadcasting Great Performances at the Met. This is a fantastic series, offering a look at some very exciting repertoire performed by the best in the world. Apologies for missing the announcement of Don Pasquale, which aired last night, but you can still catch: 9:30 pm. Sunday, June 19 Great Performances at the Met “Boris […]

Madison Opera After-School at Overture

Madison Opera’s teaching artist Saira Frank with after-school vocal students at the Overture Center as part of the Arts Education Initiative. Last week, Madison Opera proudly participated in the culminating event of the Overture Center Arts Education Initiative, a project that has been two years in the making. A cooperative effort between the Overture Center, five of its resident companies, […]

Remembering Ann Stanke, 1935-2011

Ann Stanke with Maestro Roland Johnson. Ann Stanke, Madison Opera’s general director from 1984 to 2005 and a coach, accompanist, and manager for nearly all of the company’s 50 years, passed away on May 18th at the age of 76, following a 22-month long battle with ALS. It is hard to adequately express her contribution to our company and community, […]

Madison Opera on the radio

Relive the magic of Madison Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro and La Traviata starting this Saturday on Wisconsin Public Radio! Saturday, May 21st at Noon – Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, starring Jason Hardy, Anya Matanovic, Jeff Mattsey, Melody Moore, and Emily Lorini. Recorded live in Overture Hall on November 5, 2010. View complete cast and learn about the opera. […]

Ignorance is Bliss: Florence Foster Jenkins

Want to make a complete 180 after basking in the lush, gorgeous voices of last weekend’s La Traviata? This weekend, the Madison Theatre Guild presents Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins. Jenkins was an American soprano who became famous for her conviction that she was a great singer, despite her obvious lack of talent and basic […]

10 Questions with Kathryn Smith

Our newly appointed general director Kathryn Smith won’t officially start until July 1st, but we thought it’d be fun to get to know her a little bit better in the interim. Here are her answers to ten questions we recently sent her way: Q: Where did you grow up?A: Seattle Q: When did you first attend a live opera, and […]

News and Reviews from La Traviata Weekend

What a weekend! First, we announced our new general director, Kathryn Smith: 77 Square – “Opera Chooses New General Director” The Business Journal – “Madison Opera Hires New General Director” Broadway World – “Madison Opera Names Kathryn Smith As Its General Director” Then, we put on Verdi’s La Traviata: 77 Square – “Madison Opera’s painterly ‘Traviata’ sings an old story” […]

La Traviata: Scenes from production week

La Traviata is just days away, not to mention our Golden Anniversary Gala and Out at the Opera! But that hasn’t slowed us down this week one bit, as rehearsals have been in full swing, as well as a variety of educational programs. Check out these photos from the last few days:

The Art of Opera Glasses

Madison Opera’s Golden Anniversary Gala on April 30th will include a one of a kind silent auction called “The Art of Opera Glasses”. For the auction, local artists and friends of the opera have generously created unique pieces inspired by the operatic art form, all utilizing opera glasses in some way. Here’s a sampling so far, with more to come: […]

Video: A Conversation with the Cast of La Traviata

If you can’t already tell, we have a fantastic group of guest artists in town for La Traviata. Last week, we were lucky enough to hear what some of them have to say about Verdi’s masterpiece: the characters, the music, the production, and why it makes a great opera if you’ve never been before. Here’s the video: *On a technical […]

Italian tenor Giuseppe Varano makes U.S. debut in Madison

Buzz has been building for some time now around the the U.S. debut of Italian tenor Giuseppe Varano. His 2010 performances as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland earned Mr. Varano praise for his “shining” (Osterbottens Tidning) and “breathtaking” (Das Opernglas) voice. A young tenor on the rise with credits throughout Europe, he has also […]

Join the #operaplot 2011 contest, featuring a Madison Opera prize!

It started as a dorky classical music meme on Twitter and is now a beloved annual contest, with rules, prizes, and formidable guest judges. That’s not to say #operaplot has lost its street-cred. Rather, if you don’t have any clue what we’re talking about, it’s high time you learned and, more importantly, participated! Here’s the deal: #operaplot is an annual […]

The return of Donnie Ray Albert

Do you remember Donnie Ray Albert? This globe-trotting, Grammy-winning baritone performed with Madison Opera at Opera in the Park 2005, and he’ll be back in town later this month as Giorgio Germont in La Traviata. He is the real deal, as you can read below, and we are honored to have him in this special 50th anniversary season production. Now […]

Soprano Elizabeth Caballero takes on TV

Elizabeth Caballero inMadison Opera’s Carmen. If you haven’t been able to tell, we’re very excited that Elizabeth Caballero is returning to Madison Opera after appearances at Opera in the Park and most recently as Micaela in Carmen (2009). This time around, the Cuban American soprano will be taking on the thrilling role of Violetta in La Traviata in performances on […]

Verdi’s “theme music” for Italian unification

NPR reports today that Italy is in the midst of celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the country’s unification. Giuseppe Verdi, the composer of La Traviata, somewhat unwittingly created the movement’s “theme music” when his opera Nabucco premiered in 1842. In the third act of Nabucco, the exiled and defeated Jews sing a beautiful chorus, Va, pensiero, longing for their […]

Announcing OUT @ THE OPERA

Madison Opera is excited to announce the launch of Out @ the Opera, a new affinity group for Madison Opera’s LGBT friends and fans! The inaugural Out @ the Opera event will be held on opening night of Verdi’s La Traviata, Friday, April 29th at 8 P.M., and will include attending the performance in Overture Hall and a special after-party […]

Help defend the Wisconsin Arts Board and NEA

While this is hardly a space for political posturing, I believe it is important to alert Madison Opera fans that two significant sources of our funding are under attack in the current round of national and local budget cuts. In congress, the National Endowment for the Arts is facing a proposed $43.1 million decrease for FY11. In Wisconsin, Governor Scott […]

Mid-Season Office Update

Apologies for the prolonged quiet spell here on the blog, it’s been a while! Since The Threepenny Opera, things have been a bit hectic around the office, so here are a few items of note to catch you up: Last Tuesday, we bid adieu to our general director of six seasons, Allan Naplan. It was of course sad, and we […]

The reviews are in: Threepenny’s a hit!

The first weekend of The Threepenny Opera is over and the reviews are in! Here’s what people are saying: “This Threepenny Opera is a provocative but, above all, lively and thoroughly entertaining presentation. It is clearly the most successful and brilliant of the mid-season mini-productions that the Madison Opera has brought us. And it demonstrates the debt we owe to […]

Sneak Peek: Threepenny Opera Edition

The final dress rehearsal for The Threepenny Opera was held last night in The Playhouse. Here’s an exclusive sneak peek of this sold-out production, which opens tonight…. Beggars and the prostitute Jenny Diver (Tracy Michelle Arnold) during the Overture. Mack the Knife’s gang: Walt Dreary (Bart Terrell), Bob the Saw (Paul Kennedy), Ready Money Matt (Alex Cotant), and Crookfinger Jake […]

Mack the Knife storms the press!

The Threepenny Opera has been generating lots of buzz in the local press. Here’s a round-up of previews, with insights from John DeMain, Dorothy Danner, Alicia Berneche, and Mackie himself, Jim DeVita. Wisconsin Gazette, “Look out, old Mackie is back in town” The Well-Tempered Ear, “Threepenny links great depression of today…” The Examiner, “The Threepenny Opera: A fairy tale for […]

Opera Up Close: What You Missed!

If you weren’t at Opera Up Close yesterday, you missed some seriously nformative and entertaining commentary on The Threepenny Opera. Here’s our recap of the event: Sadly, this was our departing general director Allan Naplan’s last Opera Up Close. The audience started by giving him a warm and well-deserved ovation for initiating this signature program in Madison. Allan then proceeded […]

Opening night, just a week away!

Alicia Berneche as Polly, Jim DeVita as Macheath, andTracy Michelle Arnold as Jenny Diver We are one week away from opening night of The Threepenny Opera, and the excitement is setting in. Having sat through rehearsal on Wednesday night, a few things strike me about Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece. It can be aggressive and gritty, but also surprisingly […]

Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson

The New York Times published an interesting piece today: “Rare Reprises for an Unlikely Collaboration,” a look at Kurt Weill’s partnership with the playwright Maxwell Anderson, and Weill’s post-Germany career in New York. Two Weill/Anderson pieces – Knickerbocker Holiday (1938) and Lost in the Stars (1949) – are receiving performances in the coming weeks. Several commentators note the disparate genres […]

Famous Macks

The role of Macheath (aka Mack the Knife) in The Threepenny Opera has been taken up by a slew of famous actors in the 20th and 21st centuries, including these guys: Left to right: Jerry Orbach (1956, Off-Broadway), Tim Curry (1986, London), Sting (1989, Broadway), Jesse L. Martin (2003, Williamstown), Alan Cumming (2006, Broadway) Now, Jim DeVita is not a […]

Ticketing Update: The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera created a sensation after its Berlin premiere, and it’s already doing the same in Madison. Rehearsals start on Monday but tickets are selling fast, and we’ve added an extra performance. Here’s an update on what’s available: FRI, FEB 4 • 8 PM – SOLD OUT SAT, FEB 5 • 8 PM – Limited AvailabilitySUN, FEB 6 • […]

Exploring Mack the Knife: Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin jazz things up

In November, we started a new series of blog posts looking at how Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” became the iconic American classic, “Mack the Knife.” At first glance, the original is a gritty, darkly comic murder ballad about the seditious ways of the notorious Mackie Messer. The comedy lay in the understanding that Mack […]

2010 In Review

Happy New Year! 2010 was a pretty great year for Madison Opera, which is why 77 Square and The Isthmus have singled us out in their year-end reviews. 2011 has a lot to live up to, but first, a look at the exciting year behind us! January 2010 – The Turn of the Screw. Madison Opera’s first fully staged Britten […]

Spotlight on Bertolt Brecht

Brecht is the key figure of our time, and all theatre work today at some point starts from or returns to his statements and achievement. – Peter Brook Bertolt Brecht, along with composer Kurt Weill, created Madison Opera’s next production, The Threepenny Opera. This is our first venture in to Brecht’s works and we’re excited to have our return to […]

Fifty Years of Madison Opera: La Boheme, 1963 (Part 2)

The Wisconsin winter is conducive to reflection, and so it feels right that we continue our series on Madison Opera history today. It perhaps is especially appropriate because it was in December 1962 that plans were busily coming together for Madison Opera’s first fully staged, full length performance of an opera. Last we left off, the Johnsons had arrived in […]

Give the gift of opera

Yes, we say it every year, but hey, it’s true: opera tickets make a great holiday gift! This year especially, we can promise that tickets to the remaining productions of our irresistible 50th Anniversary Season will be a hit with aficionados and newbies alike: The Threepenny Opera, FEB 4 – 13, 2011 | The Playhouse: Kurt Weill’s jazz and operetta […]

Lock your doors, and call the law…

…because Macheath’s back in town These lyrics are from “Mack the Knife”, the famous Kurt Weill song that opens The Threepenny Opera. According to Wikipedia, at least 29 pop versions of “Mack the Knife” have been recorded, and lucky for us, many of them are on YouTube. In the coming months, before Macheath really is in town, I think it’d […]

Tommy Awards Student Critics go to the opera

Madison Opera was thrilled to welcome the Tommy Awards Student Critics to our production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The Student Critics program aims to foster critical thinking and writing skills among area high school students and is a component of the Overture Center’s Tommy Awards. Here are some excerpts from their reviews: Fiorella Fernandez …As the lights dimmed on […]

Allan Naplan appointed by Minnesota Opera; Madison Opera begins national search for new general director

Madison Opera’s Board President announced today that current General Director Allan Naplan has been tapped to be the new President and General Director of Minnesota Opera, the 15th largest opera company in the US. Naplan will continue his duties with Madison Opera through performances of The Threepenny Opera in Feb. 2011, and the company is beginning a nationwide search to […]

Finger puppets to the rescue

Going through Figaro withdrawal? Well, look no further than this finger puppet version of the opera to cheer you right up. Our charming Susanna, Anya Matanovic, hand-made all of the puppets from her hotel room in Madison, and filmed with the help of our Countess, Melody Moore, and Cherubino, Emily Lorini!

And the Winner of the Wedding Cake Contest is…The Rolling Pin Bake Shop!

As many of you saw, Figaro’s Wedding Cake Contest was held in the lobby of the Overture Center this past weekend during Madison Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro. The participants, Madison area’s top bakeries, more than exceeded our expectations! The cakes and cupcake arrangement were all different – some were classic, some were Figaro themed, and all were exquisite. However, […]

Figaro Review Roundup

It doesn’t get better than the season opener. The excitement in the air, the energy on stage. Madison Opera’s cast of The Marriage of Figaro turned in performances that thrilled, and the critics are singing their praises… The Capital Times – “Fine ‘Figaro’ Launches Madison Opera’s 50th Season” The Isthmus – “Madison Opera stages splendid The Marriage of Figaro“ Local […]

Scenes from Opening Night of The Marriage of Figaro

Bakers, bloggers, and government officials came out to celebrate Madison Opera Day, the opening of Madison Opera’s 50th Anniversary Season with Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in Overture Hall. Check out those cakes!

Figaro in the Press, Part 2

The good word keeps spreading! Here’s more press on Madison Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro, opening tonight in Overture Hall: Dane101 –  “Madison Opera at 50: Growth Spurt in Progress” 77 Square – “Meddling in Marriage” The Badger Herald – “Humor ‘marries’ with talent” The Well-Tempered Ear – “Interview with A. Scott Parry: Part 2“

Blogger Night at the Opera REDUX

It’s time for our second annual Blogger Night at the Opera! If you attended Carmen last year, you saw these guys blogging away about their operatic experiences. This year brings in another fantastic crop of local bloggerati, all with a variety of interests and backgrounds, from food and theater writers to a fashionista who’ll be on the prowl for trend-setters […]

Eye on the Cast: The Women of Figaro

The Marriage of Figaro, despite its title, might as well be called “The Marriage of Susanna,” or, “The Countess’s Dilemma,” so compelling and significant to the plot are the female characters in Mozart’s opera. These two stars bring the central women of The Marriage of Figaro to life with style, grace, and spunk to spare. Anya Matanovic, singing her first […]

Figaro in the Press, Part 1

Buzz is building for Madison Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro! Here’s some recent coverage in the press: Allan Naplan on “Wake Up Wisconsin”: Also new this morning, director A. Scott Parry is interviewed by The Well-Tempered Ear, and bass Jason Hardy is interviewed by the international opera blog COMMANDOpera in a multi-part video series.

Aria Focus: Dove Sono

The following is written by guest blogger Adria Rice. Adria is the new operations manager for Madison Opera. She recently graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in vocal performance and English.  In The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s music and Da Ponte’s lyrics create a scenario in which the upper class and the lower class scheme with and against each […]

Madison Opera Celebrates National Opera Week 2010

Madison Opera is proud to join nearly 100 other opera organizations nationwide to celebrate National Opera Week (October 29 – November 7), organized by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, with support of the National Endowment for the Arts. National Opera Week celebrates the vitality of opera in America today and brings the inventiveness and excitement of opera […]

Announcing The Marriage of Figaro Wedding Cake Contest!

To celebrate the marriage of Figaro and Susanna, Madison Opera is excited to host a Wedding Cake Contest among the Madison area’s top bakeries! The wedding cakes and cupcake arrangements will be on display in the Overture Hall lobby and the voting will take place on Opening Night of The Marriage of Figaro, November 5th, prior to the performance and […]

Scenes from a weekend, Oct. 23-24

  “Cakes” in the Rotunda: Attendees at the Overture Center’s Kids in the Rotunda help Madison Opera color in wedding cakes to decorate the Overture Hall lobby for opening night of The Marriage of Figaro   Opera Up Close: A. Scott Parry, Jason Hardy, Anya Matanovic, Jeff Mattsey, and Melody Moore discuss The Marriage of Figaro Cabaret Italiano: Artistic Director […]

Fill your weekend with Madison Opera

Here’s the rundown on what’s happening this weekend with Madison Opera: “Cakes in the Rotunda” – SATURDAY, OCT 23, 2010, 9 AM – 1 PM Join Madison Opera at Kids in the Rotunda as we prepare for the opening of The Marriage of Figaro by coloring in “Cakes” in the Rotunda! At this event, young children are invited to showcase […]

Apprenticeship Program Starts Third Season

The Madison Opera High School Apprenticeship Program kicked off its third season last night with a new round of participants. We could not be more thrilled to have 8 new apprentices joining us for this exciting season! Coming from a wide range of local and regional schools, these impressive juniors and seniors in high school are all interested in learning […]

Eye on the Cast: Jeff Mattsey

Jeff Mattsey makes his Madison Opera debut as the Count in The Marriage of Figaro in just a few short weeks. Renowned worldwide for the signature baritone roles that have defined his career, Jeff made his operatic stage debut at the age of 21 as Marcello in La boheme, opposite Luciano Pavarotti at the Opera Company of Philadelphia (photo, right). […]

Eye on the Cast: Jason Hardy

American bass Jason Hardy is well-known as an exceptional Figaro, so we’re pretty excited that he’ll be joining us here in Madison starting this weekend to rehearse for The Marriage of Figaro. He’s recently performed Mozart’s title role with Opera Birmingham, Opera Omaha, and Cleveland Opera, with the Cleveland Plain Dealer writing that Hardy “turns in a Figaro of charismatic […]

Katharine Goeldner brings her Carmen to Lyric Opera of Chicago

Last year, Madison Opera audiences were mesmerized by Katharine Goeldner’s smoldering portrayal of the title-role in Carmen. Tomorrow night, she brings Bizet’s notorious femme fatale to life again, this time for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Originally slated for one performance as Carmen in Chicago, Goeldner will now portray the title-role gypsy in all six October performances. We know Lyric […]

Show your support for the Overture Center

Despite what you may have read this summer, the fate of the Overture Center remains unclear. While there remains a proposed solution that would see Overture’s lending banks and generous local donors resolve the building’s lingering $28 million debt, it is contingent on the building being purchased by the city for $1 and then being operated as an independent non-profit […]

Ticketing Update for Subscribers

Attention season subscribers: your tickets have been mailed! They should be landing in your mailbox shortly. Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to seeing you in Overture Hall. Should you have any questions, please contact our office at (608) 238-8085 or info@madisonopera.org.

Spotlight on Constanze Weber: Mozart’s Wife

With only six weeks remaining until our production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, we turn the spotlight to someone who often doesn’t receive much attention: Mozart’s wife, Constanze Weber. Their courtship was scandalous and their married life tragic, but there is no denying the impact she had on Mozart’s life. A trained musician herself, Contanze originally met Mozart when […]

Figaro Casting Update

Figaro approaches, and we have some news in the casting department: recently added to the cast are  Emily Lorini as Cherubino, Melissa Parks as Marcellina, and Michael Gallup as Dr. Bartolo. Locally based talents Emily Birsan, James Doing, and Justin Niehoff Smith will round out the ensemble as Barbarina, Don Basilio, and Antonio. Our website now features lots of good […]

Cabaret Italiano: Good food, good music, good times to benefit Madison Opera

We’re kicking off our 50th Anniversary Season on October 24th with Cabaret Italiano, a casual evening of food, music, and wine to benefit Madison Opera. Delicious Italian classics, cabaret and Broadway entertainment with the cast of The Marriage of Figaro, a special performance by Allan Naplan and John DeMain, plus a silent auction full of great gifts for the holidays, […]

UT season opens with premiere of Across A Distance

University Theatre opens its new season with the world premiere of “Across A Distance”, a multimedia bilingual performance piece for soprano and deaf actor (Mitchell Theater, Sept. 17 – 25). The creative team for this exciting new work includes playwright Nick Lantz and performer Robert Schleifer, and a trio well known at Madison Opera: soprano Julia Faulkner (recently heard in […]

Season Preview

Watch our 2010-11 season preview video to get a taste of our upcoming productions, and of course save the dates (or purchase tickets now, why don’t you?). ^A tip: change the video settings to 480p for the best quality.

Fifty Years of Madison Opera: A New Series (Part 1)

Today is Madison Opera founder Maestro Roland Johnson’s 90th birthday, and it is with our sincerest gratitude that we wish him a very happy day! We are using this special occasion to start a season long blog series documenting Madison Opera’s 50 year history, which is inextricably tied to the passion and hard work of Maestro Johnson,  the company’s artistic […]

We have a winner!

Our Facebook Fan Drive closed at Midnight on Friday, bringing in 185 new Facebook fans for Madison Opera over the course of ten days. Without further ado, the winner of two tickets to The Marriage of Figaro is… MADISON ON THE CHEAP Congratulations to Nadine and Izzy the intern for bringing in 30 fans, we hope you enjoy the show! […]

Single tickets on sale Sept. 11th

Single tickets for Madison Opera’s 2010-2011 Season: Celebrating Fifty Years, go on sale tomorrow morning, September 11th at 8 a.m., through the Overture Center Box Office (201 State St.). Those in line at the Box Office tomorrow morning will be able to enjoy free Starbucks coffee and treats! Ticket purchases by phone and online start at 10 a.m. on September […]

Win tickets through our Facebok Fan Drive!

As we gear up for the new season and single ticket sales, we decided to have some fun with a Facebook Fan Drive! We’re asking YOU to recruit your friends to become Madison Opera fans. The person who gets the most new people to “like” our page on Facebook between now and the start of single ticket sales on Sept. […]

Ticketing Update

Madison Opera’s 2010-2011 Season: Celebrating Fifty Years, is almost here, which means it’s time to start thinking about your tickets if you don’t already have them. You wouldn’t want to miss this group of wildly talented and beautiful stars on stage, would you? Here’s the rundown of your options: We are still accepting last-minute subscriptions for the 2010-11 season. They’ve […]

118 [possible] reasons Mozart died

It seems very few famous classical composers made it past the age of 40 during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Mozart’s death at 35 has perhaps received the most attention, and now the New York Times has published a piece drawing attention to the work of one scholar who has organized and analyzed 118 possible reasons for the […]

Four Seasons Theatre presents South Pacific (and blogs about it, too!)

Four Seasons Theatre presents the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific in a staged concert version this weekend in the Wisconsin Union Theater (Aug. 20 & 21 at 7:30 pm, Aug. 22 at 2 pm). Broadway star and Lodi native Tom Wopat will be featured as Emile de Becque, along with Verona native Alli Foss as Nellie Forbush. Added […]

What are you most excited for next season?

  (Set for The Marriage of Figaro, Courtesy David Bachman) Madison Opera fans, what are you most looking forward to in our upcoming season? The beautiful ensembles in Figaro? Jim DeVita in Threepenny? Or maybe the famous brindisi in Traviata? There’s so much to choose from, let us know! Join the conversation on Facebook or leave a comment below.

More Opera on WPT

Wisconsin Public Television is continuing its broadcasts of Great Performances at the Met through the rest of August. Unfortunately, I’m a day late to post the information for Carmen, which aired last night and featured Elina Garanca in the title role, along with Madison Opera favorite Elizabeth Caballero (our Micaela in Carmen last November, and our Violetta in La Traviata […]

Isthmus Vocal Ensemble this Friday

The Isthmus Vocal Ensemble is presenting an “Isthmus Christhmus” this Friday night, August 6th at 7:30 p.m., Luther Memorial Church. Tickets are $15, and $10 for students/seniors. Madison Opera has a few choristers in the IVE, which performs only once a year, so if you’re craving the choral sound this will surely be a rewarding evening of music making. The […]

WPR video of Opera in the Park

Wisconsin Public Radio was at Opera in the Park as a lead media sponsor, and their team created this fantastic video of the evening. Check it out!

What our fans are saying

 Stage view from park path (C) Brian Hinrichs Madison Opera’s Facebook fans have been vocal about their feelings for Opera in the Park. Here’s what they’re saying: “What a wonderful event. It was a celebratory evening.” -Michael “It was SENSATIONAL!!! A literal sea of people for as far as you could see…. some 14,000 of us! Way to go, Madison […]

What the critics are saying

 Tenor Rodrick Dixon and soprano Anya Matanovic (C) Lucas Keapproth Opera in the Park 2010 was a HUGE success! And we do mean huge, as a record setting audience of 14,000 people came out despite soaring temperatures and the threat of storms! I think it’s safe to say they were aptly rewarded for their bravery, especially according to these stellar […]

Everything to know for tonight

It’s here! Tonight at 8 p.m. the curtain goes up on Opera in the Park 2010. Dress rehearsal last night sounded fantastic, the weather is cooperating, and we are good to go. A great evening of opera under the stars awaits! Here are some helpful links to prepare for your Opera in the Park experience: Overview and Cast Directions and […]

Opera in the Press

Opera in the Park previews have all been published, here is a master list of links: Wisconsin State Journal: “Would it be improper to do the wave at Opera in the Park?” 77 Square: “Madison Opera presents Opera in the Park” The Well-Tempered Ear: “Classical Music Preview: Ninth Annual Opera in the Park” Plus, check out The Isthmus in print: […]

OITP Preview: Barbara Shirvis

Last but not least in our “Preview” series is Barbara Shirvis, an “authentic blonde beauty” (Opera News) and powerhouse soprano. Ms. Shirvis will be performing excerpts from The Marriage of Figaro, Rusalka, Phantom of the Opera, and A Little Night Music at Opera in the Park, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her with us in Madison. In […]

Madison Opera on TV

Madison Opera’s General Director Allan Naplan and our Opera in the Park guest artists will be making the rounds on local news channels over the next few days. Here’s where you can find them: Thursday, July 15, 4 p.m. /  News with Carleen Wild on NBC15 Friday, July 16, 6:40 a.m. /  Wake Up Wisconsin on WKOW27 Friday, July 16, […]

Text to donate at Opera in the Park

Madison Opera is excited to announce a mobile giving option to support Opera in the Park 2010. The free event annually attracts over 13,000 people to Garner Park and offers the company a unique opportunity generate new support. Through a partnership with Give by Cell and the Mobile Giving Foundation, those interested in donating to Madison Opera can now text […]

OITP Preview: Anya Matanovic

Soprano Anya Matanovic has been called “radiant”, “sweetly winning”, and “glorious” by critics from Seattle to Cleveland to Jerusalem. And you can hear her at Opera in the Park this Saturday. Born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Issaquah, Washington to a Slovenian father and American mother, Anya now calls New York City her home. From there, she brings her “thrilling” […]

Opera in the Park program now online

I’ve just posted the Opera in the Park program to our website, check it out! Our four exciting guest artists along with the Madison Opera Chorus, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and Maestro John DeMain will definitely be bringing you some exciting repertoire this Saturday night. From Mozart, Donizetti, Dvorak, Puccini, and Verdi to Weill, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sondheim, and more, there’s […]

The MET on Wisconsin Public Television

Opera lovers in Madison, the following is the July schedule for Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on WPT: Sunday, July 11 at 10:30 pm: TURANDOT (Puccini) Sunday, July 18 at 9:30 pm: LES CONTES D’HOFFMAN (Offenbach) Sunday, July 25 at 9:30 pm: DER ROSENKAVALIER (R. Strauss) Great repertoire and casts, I’ll certainly be DVRing these.

“Opera for Everyone” on Portal Wisconsin

If you aren’t already familiar with Portal Wisconsin, I encourage you to take a look at their website. It’s a great resource to keep up on all of the arts and culture happening in Wisconsin. They’ve also just published a guest blog of mine about Opera in the Park, “Opera for Everyone”: The Onion recently published a headline that, predictably, […]

OITP Preview: Stephen Powell

Leading American baritone Stephen Powell is in the midst of a continent-spanning career. The Wall Street Journal has praised his “rich, lyric baritone, commanding presence, and thoughtful musicianship,” and opera companies and top maestros around the world have taken notice. What a thrill to have him perform with Madison Opera at Opera in the Park 2010! Some recent highlights from […]

OITP Preview: Rodrick Dixon

Opera in the Park is just around the corner, so it’s about time we learned a bit more about this year’s fantastic guest artists, starting with tenor Rodrick Dixon. Mr. Dixon is known for having his foot in many genres. Though primarily an operatic tenor (he recently earned raves in the title role of Der Zwerg with Los Angeles Opera, […]

Opportunity for singers and teachers

Madison Opera is excited to work again this summer with the UW  Health -Voice and Swallow Clinic on the 11th Biennial Phonosurgery Symposium. Tucked into this highly specific medical conference is a morning geared towards singers, teachers, and other professional voice users. From the brochure: We invite you to attend a half-day of workshops targeting the multifaceted nature of voice […]

Volunteers needed!

Madison Opera is looking for responsible, energetic volunteers for Opera in the Park 2010. Assist with everything from event set-up and parking to raffle ticket and light stick sales or program distribution, all while enjoying a fantastic night of opera. If you’re interested in helping us out on Saturday, July 17th in Garner Park, e-mail your contact info to volunteer@madisonopera.org, […]

Opera in the Park Raffle – Win cash or an iPad!

Opera in the Park is just one month away! Every year the Opera in the Park Raffle features some pretty exciting prizes, and 2010 is no exception: 1st Prize: $3,000 2nd Prize: $1,500 3rd Prize: Apple iPad (32gb) Cash? Good. iPad? Very good. Tickets will be on sale  (1 for $10 or 3 for $25) at Opera in the Park, […]

Pearls from Placido

As mentioned in the previous post, one of the general sessions at the Opera America Conference was “A Conversation with Placido Domingo.” Maestro Domingo needs no introduction, so without further ado, here are some Twitter-scaled quotes from the session, moderated by Opera America CEO Marc Scorca: On early influences:“My mother [a zarzuela performer] was supposed to sing the day I […]

Report from Opera America: New Realities, New Strategies

Last week, General Director Allan Naplan, Director of Development Beth Tolles, Trustee Martin Barrett, Trustee Sally Miley, and myself (Brian Hinrichs, Manager of Communications and Community Outreach), embarked on an expedition to Los Angeles for the Opera America National Conference, hosted by the Los Angeles Opera in the midst of their first Ring Cycle. This meeting of the operatic minds […]

Tommy Awards a huge success, Madison Opera apprentices shine

On Sunday night the Overture Center for the Arts hosted the first annual Tom Wopat Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater, aka The Tommys! It was a special night, with Overture Hall brimming with energy and excitement. The six winning schools for outstanding musical each performed a medley, as did all winners for outstanding lead performer (pictured above […]

Subscription renewal deadline this Friday

Attention renewing subscribers: the clock is ticking! If you wish to retain your seats from seasons past, please complete your 2010-11 subscription order form by this Friday, June 4th. It’s easy: either subscribe online, mail in the brochure order form, or call (608) 238-8085. You can also swing by our office at 3414 Monroe St. if you’d prefer to place […]

The Tommy Awards

Have you heard about The Tommys? Last year, the Overture Center for the Arts announced an exciting new initiative to honor and advance high school musical theater in Southern Wisconsin: the Tom Wopat Awards for Excellence in Musical Theater. Twenty three regional high schools participated in the program, which concludes this Sunday, June 6th at 7 p.m. with a full […]

Announcing the Opera in the Park 2010 Guest Artists

Madison Opera is thrilled to announce the guest artist line-up for Opera in the Park 2010! Without further ado: Rodrick Dixon, tenor “Rodrick Dixon’s dramatic stage presence and stunning vocal qualities have established him as one of the rising stars in opera, contemporary opera, oratorio, concert/recital, musical theater and television.” Fun Fact: Rodrick also sings in the crossover group known […]

High School Apprentice Masterclass

Last night, Madison Opera’s 2009-2010 High School Apprentices gathered in Morphy Hall at UW-Madison for a masterclass with soprano Julia Faulkner.This year’s apprentices hail from Oregon High School, River Valley High School, Madison East and Madison West High Schools. Throughout our season, they have been attending rehearsals and performances, and meeting with guest artists to learn more about opera, from […]

Recording session humour

A nod to Chrstie Connolley of Operagasm for bringing to my attention this really fantastic footage of Birgit Nilsson during a recording session of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (the final notes of the final opera in his epic Ring Cycle, to be exact). The orchestra and crew decided to play a little joke on Ms. Nilsson… A few of us here in […]

Madison Opera on Wisconsin Public Radio

Get ready to relive the magic: Wisconsin Public Radio will broadcast Madison Opera’s 2009-2010 season performances of Bizet’s Carmen and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman starting this Saturday, May 15th at Noon with Carmen. The Flying Dutchman will air on Saturday, May 22nd at Noon. Listen online or tune into WERN 88.7 locally. Click here for more information and to view […]

Where are they now?

The opera world is small to begin with, but lately it seems like Madison Opera artists are in the news every day. Here’s an update on some recent Madison Opera singers (and conductors, and composers) making headlines: Bradley Garvin (The Flying Dutchman, 2010) will sing the role of the Animal Trainer in Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera, opening this weekend. […]

And the #operaplot thickens…

I have now summarized all of Madison Opera’s 2009-2010 Season operas on Twitter for #operaplot 2010. We’ll have to wait and see what judge Jonas Kaufmann (left) thinks. Here they are for those who don’t tweet: Carmen: “Life’s a breeze / where you’re a tease. Except with Don Jose / who says no way. Monogamy or not? That’s pretty much […]

It’s time for #operaplot 2010!

The Twitter contest known as #operaplot is back! #Operaplot was formed on Twitter last year by Canadian music blogger The Omniscient Mussel. The goal is to summarize an opera in 140 characters or less. Tag your summary on Twitter with #operaplot to be entered into an international competition, judged by none other than tenor superstar Jonas Kaufmann. Prizes this year […]

Our new look

In case you haven’t noticed, Madison Opera is sporting a new look! After almost 25 years, we’ve decided to update our logo for the 50th anniversary season. Additionally, we’ve transformed our website into a much more user-friendly and attractive space. If you haven’t done so already, take a minute to explore. Perhaps the best new feature for our patrons is […]

Reviews are in for The Flying Dutchman

It was a great weekend for Madison Opera. From audience responses to critical reaction to the stream of letters and e-mails we are receiving today, it seems we presented our first Wagner opera at exactly the right time, with a very special cast, chorus, and production crew. Here is some of what’s being said: The Isthmus: “Congratulations are due for […]

Dutchman preview round-up

The Flying Dutchman, Madison Opera’s Wagner debut, opens tonight at 8 p.m. in Overture Hall! Get your tickets here or at the door. Before you go, check out these previews from the Madison press: 77 Square: “Flights of Fancy: Madison Opera brings Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman to Overture” The Isthmus: “Ghost Ship: Madison Opera at last stages Wagner” The Onion […]

Dutchman Sneak Peek

Bradley Garvin as The Dutchman. Julia Faulkner as Mary and Turid Karlsen as Senta. The Madison Opera Chorus. The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner. Opens tomorrow night, April 9, at 8 p.m. in Overture Hall. Get your tickets now. Photos by Jim Gill (final dress rehearsal, 4/7/10).

Go behind-the-scenes with The Flying Dutchman videos

Brad Garvin (The Dutchman), Turid Karlsen (Senta), and director Michael Scarola discuss Madison Opera’s production of The Flying Dutchman: Conductor’s notes with John DeMain, featuring rehearsal footage and commentary on performing Wagner:

Opera Up Close: The Flying Dutchman Preview

On Sunday, a hearty crowd filled the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Lecture Hall for Madison Opera’s Opera Up Close: The Flying Dutchman Preview: General Director Allan Naplan led a multimedia presentation on Richard Wagner’s life and works, followed by a musical exploration and discussion of the The Flying Dutchman with Maestro John DeMain, director Michael Scarola, baritone Bradley Garvin […]

Director’s Corner, Part 1

Hi everyone. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Michael Scarola and I have the honor of directing the first Wagner opera ever to be presented by Madison Opera, Der Fliegende Holländer, or The Flying Dutchman. This is my third time directing for Madison Opera and I have to tell you that it is one of my favorite companies to […]

The Flying Dutchman on State Street

It’s becoming a trend to present pop-up opera, whether in grocery stores, subway stations or street corners. The idea is to spring the beauty of opera on unsuspecting shoppers or passersby. Well, Madison Opera had just such a moment this past Saturday, except it wasn’t at all planned. During a chorus rehearsal at the Overture Center for the Arts, a […]

Announcing our 2010-11 Season: Celebrating 50 Years of Madison Opera

It’s true, Madison Opera is turning 50 next year! To celebrate, we’ve lined up an exciting season of classics and new company repertoire. Without further ado…   THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO by W.A. Mozart Nov. 5 & 7, 2010 | Overture Hall Starring Jason Hardy, Anya Matanovic, Melody Moore and Jeff Mattsey THE THREEPENNY OPERA by Kurt Weill Feb. 4, 5 […]

Dutchman artists in town

Our guest artists for The Flying Dutchman arrived on Sunday. Whether from Norway or New York, they are now in Madison for this special occasion and began rehearsing on Monday. And it sounds like they’ve already clicked. This morning, I had the pleasure of sitting in on an interview with our director Michael Scarola, bass-baritone Bradley Garvin (The Dutchman), and […]

Wolfgang Wagner dies

News this morning is that Wolfgang Wagner, the grandson of Richard Wagner, has died at the age of 90. Wolfgang was the longtime leader of the Bayreuth opera festival (above) in Germany, which is committed exclusively to producing works of his grandfather, the famed opera composer. More information in the Washington Post.

The Top 5 Things you May Not Know About Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman

Before Wagner composed his epic 5 hour operas, he wrote The Flying Dutchman, a compact, 2 and a half hour gem. Wagner’s musical influences for The Flying Dutchman came from the operas of Verdi, Donizetti, and other popular Italian tunesmiths. The Flying Dutchman is a straightforward tale of love, loss, one haunted ship and a bunch of drunken sailors. Pop […]

American skates to Carmen medley

American figure skater Mirai Nagasu skated a beautiful long program last night to a medley from Carmen, which drew both from Bizet’s music directly and Sarasate’s “Carmen Fantasy” for violin. Friends I was watching with were convinced it was the 1812 Overture, but I was able to pull the opera-employee card and kindly correct them. Much has been made of […]

The Flying Dutchman On Ice

It isn’t exactly what it sounds like (though opera on Lake Monona could be interesting): The Flying Dutchman is also a nickname for superstar Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer. You may remember that Sven won the 5,000m race on the first weekend of the present Olympics. You’ll definitely remember that last night, he made a costly mistake–with the help of […]

Maestro in Vancouver

As many of our readers already know, Madison Opera’s artistic director John DeMain is currently in Vancouver. Rumor was that he would be competing in the Men’s Snowboard Cross, but it turns out he is conducting the John Adams opera Nixon in China for Vancouver Opera. While at Houston Grand Opera, DeMain conducted the world premiere of this important work. […]

The Flying Dutchman: Click/Read/Watch/Listen

It’s time to start prepping for The Flying Dutchman, Madison Opera’s first-ever production of an opera by the revolutionary German composer Richard Wagner [pronounced Vahg-ner]. For this edition of Click/Read/Watch/Listen, I’ve decided to ditch the cumbersome PDF and offer all of our Dutchman-related links live on the blog. If you don’t know anything about Wagner or this opera, the following […]

Local fire chief also one time opera singer

Last week, Mount Horeb’s longtime fire chief Charles Himsel passed away at the age of 67. The funeral for the beloved chief was held this morning, according to WKOW. Former Madison Opera General Director Ann Stanke reports the little known fact that Mr. Himsel also performed the role of Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Madison Opera in 1973. “He […]

Overture Center brings money, jobs, downtown

The Overture Center for the Arts–of which Madison Opera is a resident organization–has released a study conducted by AMS Planning and Research that demonstrates the center’s sizable financial impact on downtown Madison and Dane County. Details of the study can be found on the Overture website and in today’s Wisconsin State Journal. A few highlights: Since opening, nearly 1.8 million […]

We’ve turned the screw, now it’s time to fly!

Before we dive into The Flying Dutchman, here’s a look at what the critics are saying about our new production of The Turn of the Screw, which had a four performance run in The Playhouse this past weekend… “Richly theatrical…Gorgeous set and lighting designs make the story come alive while grounding it in fantasy.” –The Capital Times“It was brave and […]

The Turn of the Screw…a sneak peek

The Turn of the Screw is currently sold-out for this weekend, but we do still have seats available for tonight: go ahead and get your tickets now! The opera clocks in at 2 hours, so DVR “The Office” and come out for a night of music drama you won’t soon forget. To quote our director, “Let the haunting begin…” Interested […]

Benjamin Britten: A Musical Life [Part 2]

We left off a month ago (sorry for the delay!) with Benjamin Britten as a young man at the Royal College of Music in London beginning to find his musical voice. In 1933, he composed the choral variations for unaccompanied voices A Boy was Born. When the work was broadcast by the BBC in February 1934, Britten immediately gained recognition […]

The Turn of the Screw in rehearsal

Last night, our fantastic cast was at work rehearsing the final scenes of Act II of The Turn of the Screw in the Rotunda Studio at Overture. “Easy to take, easy to take…take it! take it!”Alistair Sewell as Miles and Gregory Schmidt as Quint. “You’re cruel, horrible, hateful, nasty. Why did you come here?”Jennifer DeMain as Flora and Jamie Van […]

New video: The Turn of the Screw interviews

Director Doug Scholz-Carlson, soprano Caroline Worra, and tenor Gregory Schmidt take a few minutes to talk about Madison Opera’s new production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw:

Opera Up Close: New time & details

For the rest of the 2009-2010 Season, Opera Up Close will begin at 1 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Lecture Hall, instead of the traditional 4 p.m. start time. Additionally, Opera Up Close: The Turn of the Screw Preview will offer a slightly different program than usual. As in the past, General Director Allan Naplan will offer an […]

Madison Opera Book Club, Take 2

Last year, the Madison Opera Book Club was started in conjunction with our spring production of Faust. A fun discussion took place at the Sequoya Library on the classic “deal with the devil” myth as retold in the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant. This year, the Book Club is back to read The Turn of the Screw […]

Best of 2009: Carmen and Faust make Madison lists

Happy 2010! What better news to start the new year than finding Madison Opera on local “Best of” lists for 2009? Lindsay Christians of 77 Square noted Carmen on her “Best of the arts 2009” list: I noticed many groups of opera newbies at Madison Opera’s sold-out “Carmen,” a fantastic production featuring Katharine Goeldner in the lead. As an introduction […]

Word on the street is opera makes a great gift!

Local news outfits 77 Square, Madison Magazine, and The Well-Tempered Ear are all encouraging you to keep Madison Opera in mind this gift-giving season. 77 Square’s holiday gift guide includes a section “For the opera lover,” which recommends tickets to The Turn of the Screw paired with the Henry James novella, or tickets to The Flying Dutchman with the full […]

Casting for Miles and Flora draws on budding local talent

Madison Opera is excited to announce the casting of Alistair Sewell and Jennifer DeMain in the roles of Miles and Flora for Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. To classical music lovers in Madison, these are familiar names: Alistair is the son of Maestro Andrew Sewell, music director of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and Jennifer is the daughter of […]

Holiday tradition gone bad. Really, really bad.

Here is a clip that has been making its way around the internet for a few years now but is always worth revisiting, especially in this season of many “Messiahs”: it’s what Alex Ross calls “the great ‘Messiah’ train wreck”, aka “organist on crack” (click to listen to the .mp3). So spectacularly bad its good. One can’t help but wonder […]

Benjamin Britten: A Musical Life [Part 1]

Opera-goers tend to hold certain associations with the giants of opera composition. Apocryphal or not, they are the quick definitions that come to mind at the mention of a composer’s name. One tends to think of Mozart as a child prodigy, a playful flirt, a tortured genius. Wagner? Gesamtkunstwerk visionary, megalomaniac, anti-Semite. Verdi? Political revolutionary. Rossini? Funny fat man. Bizet? […]

Eye on the Cast: Caroline Worra

Madison Opera’s casting high point promises to be the gifted Caroline Worra as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw…–Opera News, “Hot Tickets” Soprano Caroline Worra has been hailed as “a new soprano powerhouse” by The New Yorker. In Time Out New York, the composer Mark Adamo had this to say: “Caroline’s an immaculate musician and vocally complete, but […]

Click/Read/Watch/Listen: The Turn of the Screw

It’s that time again. Notebook ready? Study up on Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with our guide to the best online resources available: Click/Read/Watch/Listen [pdf]. Explore the life of Benjamin Britten, from his early compositions to apotheosis as England’s great composer of the 20th century. Watch video of his BBC broadcasts with tenor Peter Pears or a cheesy […]

Funny and true: “Why Opera is a Manly Art” and “Bad Reasons to Hate Opera”

Two funny pieces about breaking down opera stereotypes recently came to my attention. The people over at The Guy’s Manual, an online series sponsored by MSN and Grape Nuts cereal, have come up with a list called “Why Opera is a Manly Art.” In Vancouver, a writer inspired by Vancouver Opera gives us “10 (Bad) Reasons to Hate Opera.” “Why […]

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Britten!

English composer, conductor, violist and pianist Benjamin Britten was born on November 22, 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk. We are a day late but his birthday is certainly worth a mention, as our new production of his 1954 opera The Turn of the Scew is fast approaching. In the coming weeks, I’ll be exploring Britten’s life and works on this blog. […]

What’s your favorite opera?

As National Opera Week continues, we’re posing a question to readers of The MadOpera Blog: what’s your favorite opera? The conversation has already started on Facebook and Twitter (thanks to The Atlanta Opera), and now you can let us know in the comments section here. I’d have to say that my favorite is Verdi’s Otello–so many breathtaking moments, which is […]

2009 NEA Opera Honors

Did you know this week is National Opera Week? Madisonians celebrated the power of opera with us at Carmen last weekend, and on Saturday the National Endowment for the Arts and Opera America officially kicked things off with the second annual Opera Honors: In 2008, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) established the NEA Opera Honors to celebrate outstanding […]

Listen to The Turn of the Screw

BBC radio is streaming a performance of The Turn of the Screw online until tomorrow at Noon. It’s a broadcast from last weekend at the London Coliseum, with an estimable cast led by Maestro Charles Mackerras: Prologue/Peter Quint …… Michael Colvin (tenor)Governess …… Rebecca Evans (soprano)Mrs Grose …… Anne Murray (mezzo-soprano)Miss Jessel …… Cheryl Barker (soprano)Miles …… Charlie Manton (treble)Flora […]

360 degrees of Overture Hall

Madison Opera’s Carmen. Overture Hall, November 8, 2009. Panorama by Virtual Properties. Check out more cool 360 views of the Overture Center for the Arts–Madison Opera’s performance home–over at the Overture Blog.

Happy 40th, Sesame Street!

In honor of Sesame Street’s 40th birthday, enjoy these two Carmen-inspired clips from the show, featuring the formidable Sam Ramey and Denyce Graves. A hearty thank you to the Sesame Street gang for keeping opera on your radar over the years!

Review roundup

The reviews are in for Carmen! Madison Opera fans may have been surprised not to find a review in print yesterday in the Wisconsin State Journal, but check for Lindsay Christians’ piece in print today: “Catch this captivating ‘Carmen’ before she’s gone” (it was of course online at 77Square.com starting yesterday morning). Also online now: John Barker in The Isthmus, […]

Blogger Night recap

Thank you to the adventurous group of writers who came out to Carmen last night for our first Blogger Night at the Opera. It was something of a marathon, with those intermission chimes looming like a school bell at the end of an assignment-packed study hall. But they did it, and here’s some of what they had to say (click […]

Opening night of Carmen “a resounding success”

The reviews are starting to come in, and 77 Square proclaims, “For Madison Opera, the production is a resounding success. Together, the music, story and talented cast of Carmen combine to create a world that, when it ends, we’re not yet ready to leave.” That should give you an idea of the excitement on stage. Here are some photos of […]

A Carmen teaser…

Photos by James Gill.

Blog previews

There has been a lot of hype about Carmen in town this week. Tonight’s performance is sold-out, tickets are popping up on Craigslist, and Madison media and bloggers have been generous in their coverage (this particular opera does that to people). Here are some of the previews that have been popping up on local blogs, and remember, these guys will […]

Opera Up Close: Available online and on TV

Carmen open’s tonight so it is more than a little crazy around here, but perhaps you have some time to enjoy Opera Up Close: The Carmen Preview? Watch online at the Madison City Channel website, or tune in to channel 994 tonight at 10 p.m. if you’re not with us at Overture Hall!

Allan Naplan discusses Carmen on WKOW

General Director Allan Naplan was up bright and early this morning to talk to WKOW27 about Carmen.

Critical reaction to Carmen in 1875

Georges Bizet’s Carmen premiered at the Opéra Comique in Paris on March 3, 1875. The Opéra Comique was undergoing great change at the time Carmen came to be. Once known as the hub of witty, comic, or satirical works defined by the inclusion of spoken dialogue, it had grown more conservative and family-friendly: By the 1850s the opéra comique tradition […]

Backstage at the opera

We’re just back in the office from the Student Matinee this afternoon, which was predictably a great time. Gotta love the reactions of students (love scenes = hoots and whistles). Luckily Obama’s visit to Madison didn’t affect traffic patterns and everyone arrived nice and early…we had over 30 schools coming from around Wisconsin! Hitting rewind to yesterday, Production Manager Ken […]

Blogger Night at the Opera: Carmen

When you enter the Overture Hall lobby for opening night of Carmen this Friday, check out the flamenco dancers…and the bloggers. Madison Opera’s first ever Blogger Night at the Opera will see five local writers armed with lap-tops reporting live from the Overture Center. Participating bloggers have been invited to set-up in the lobby and share their thoughts and observations […]

Opera Up Close review & Carmen in the news

Yesterday was our first Opera Up Close of the year. A great crowd came out to MMoCA to hear General Director Allan Naplan talk about the music and history of Carmen. One of my favorite segments was a comparison of “Habanera” interpretations by the great African-American singers Shirley Verrett, Grace Bumbry, Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman, and Denyce Graves. The range […]

Opera Up Close: TIME CHANGE!

Opera Up Close: The Carmen Preview will now take place from 12 – 2 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 1 at MMoCA. The event was originally scheduled for 4 – 6 p.m. but has been changed due to a statewide conflict with the Packers v. Vikings game.Be sure to join us as General Director Allan Naplan leads an exciting and engaging […]

More rehearsal pics

Adam Diegel (Don Jose) and Katharine Goeldner (Carmen)rehearse a heated exchange in Act III More rehearsal pictures are now posted in our photo gallery. Check them out!

A conversation with the Carmen cast

Scenes from Carmen rehearsals

I’ve been taking some photos at this week’s rehearsals for Carmen over at Promenade Hall. These should give you a sense of just how many people are involved in this production (actual total: 238). More to come after Thursday night!

Flamenco Fans at Kids in the Rotunda

On Saturday, Madison Opera partnered with Kids in the Rotunda and the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center on a community art project that had kids making Flamenco Fans to go on display in the Overture Hall lobby during Carmen. We all had a great time, enjoy the pictures!

Candace Evans in Madison Magazine

Director / choreographer Candace Evans is featured in this month’s issue of Madison Magazine. Check it out! From the article… “I adore Carmen,” says Evans, who now lives in Dallas. “The core of the story is about love and passion and what you care about–and being honest about it.”

Madison Youth Choirs gets the opera treatment

Members of the Madison Youth Choirs and their families were treated to a special presentation by Madison Opera last night. General Director Allan Naplan offered a youth-friendly version of Opera Up Close: The Carmen Preview, featuring the music and history of Carmen and an often hilarious look at the many modern pop-incarnations of Bizet’s famous music. Following the presentation, soprano […]

Education activities update

Carmen artists arrive on Sunday, with our first reherasals starting on Monday. Stay tuned for interviews, videos, and rehearsal photos once things get under way next week! For now, let’s take a look at what’s coming up under our Creating OPERAtunities education initiative. On Tuesday night, Oct. 20, General Director Allan Naplan and guest artists from Carmen will present a […]

Met Opera National Council Auditions

Tomorrow at 10 a.m., head to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield to hear opera’s rising stars audition in the Wisconsin district of the nation’s most prestigious vocal competition. General Director Allan Naplan will award special talent with a future Madison Opera role. Two of last year’s winners of the Wisconsin district can be seen in […]

SHOW US YOUR HABANERA!

The Habanera. You know it, even if you don’t, and now it just may be your ticket to free tickets. Madison Opera is excited to announce its first ever YouTube video contest: Show Us Your Habanera! The Habanera is a famous aria from Georges Bizet’s popular opera Carmen. It originated on the opera stage but has since infiltrated our popular […]

Escamillo, your time is up?

In his always interesting “Abroad” column, Michael Kimmelman reports on the “Twilight of the Matadors” in Northeast Spain. Hopefully this doesn’t affect Escamillo’s job safety in Seville.

2008-2009 Annual Report

Today is the first board meeting of the 2009-2010 Season, so it is the perfect time to officially wrap up last year. The 2008-2009 Annual Report [PDF/4 mb] is now available and the news is good. For the fourth consecutive season, Madison Opera ended its fiscal year “in the black” with a positive net income. Despite a historically-challenging economic climate, […]

Carmen: Click/Read/Watch/Listen

The rehearsal schedule for Carmen landed in my inbox yesterday, a definitive sign that opening night is not that far off. The artists arrive in 3 weeks, and come Nov. 6 the curtain goes up on the 2009/2010 Season. So, how to prepare for Georges Bizet’s ever-popular Carmen? Maybe you’ve seen it five times, maybe this will be your first. […]

Overture’s 5th Anniversary

The Overture Center for the Arts is celebrating 5 years of magic in Madison this Saturday with an open-house featuring free showcase performances, ticket giveaways, kids activities, birthday cake and a red wine tasting. Take a VIP backstage tour and explore all the nooks and crannies of the beautiful complex, including the rarely opened Audubon Room; listen to stories of […]

Opening night at the Met

Last night was the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2009-2010 Season. Puccini’s Tosca was the vehicle for star-soprano Karita Matilla and visionary director Luc Bondy. In just one night, the Met’s stark, edgy new interpretation of this repertory classic has caused a sensation in the world of opera, begging the question over at Aria Serious: is opera for the […]

Congrats to Maestro Kelly Kuo!

Congratulations are in order for Maestro Kelly Kuo! Kelly was our conductor for Cosi fan Tutte last March and he has just been awarded a prestigious Career Assistance Award from The Solti Foundation US. Madison Opera is always proud to support exciting young talent. Judging the response Mr. Kuo received in Madison and this remarkable vote of confidence from the […]

Pre-season survey

Madison Opera would love to know more about its wonderful audience. In anticipation of the new opera season, would you mind helping us by completing this brief online survey? You’ll have the chance to tell us things like where you get your news and why you attend the opera. The whole thing should take less than five minutes to finish. […]

Single tickets now on sale

It’s official: tickets are now on sale for Madison Opera’s 2009/2010 Season performances! Get your seats here online, or call the Overture Center Box Office at (608) 258-4141. Happy opera shopping! UPDATE: Check out this post about Madison Opera’s new season on the Inside Overture blog.

Season preview with Allan Naplan

Get excited for the 2009/2010 Season with this new YouTube preview, featuring the sights and sounds of our productions of Carmen, The Turn of the Screw and The Flying Dutchman. Check it out (click HQ for high quality version after it starts playing): Also visit our new and improved YouTube page at YouTube.com/MadisonOpera. Single tickets go on sale Monday, September […]

What’s been going on

It has been a busy few weeks in the office as we continue to wrap up our fiscal year and buckle down for single ticket sales (NEXT MONDAY!!) and Carmen. In addition, we’ve spent some time completely rearranging the front of our headquarters here at 3414 Monroe Street in preparation for the arrival of our new marketing and development associate […]

We met the challenge!

Madison Opera is thrilled to announce that, thanks to the tremendous support of the community, our $100,000 Opera in the Park Challenge was a huge success! We raised over $50,000, which was then matched by a special friend of the Opera for a total campaign revenue of $101,396. This campaign attracted the largest community response we have ever experienced and […]

Michael Kaiser’s “Arts in Crisis” Tour at Overture

Yesterday, arts professionals from around Wisconsin gathered in the Capitol Theater at the Overture Center for the Arts to listen to Michael Kaiser, the so-called “turnaround king” and president of the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Many from the Madison Opera staff and board of trustees were in attendance. In a conversation moderated by Andrew Taylor, Kaiser touched on the […]

Two new blogs

Two new performing arts blogs have recently popped up here in Madison: Overture Center is now publishing the “Inside Overture Blog,” at overturecenter.com/blog. Jacob Stockinger, formerly of The Capitol Times, is now writing his own blog, “The Well Tempered Ear,” at welltempered.wordpress.com. A Madison-area classical music blog has been long overdue, so we are thrilled to have Jake sharing his […]

Back on Monroe St.

It’s time to start blogging again after a very nice rest. Suddenly, after only 2 weeks, it seems single ticket sales (starting Sept. 14) and Carmen (Nov.6 & 8) are upon us. Well, at least in administrative time. It’s good to be back!

Summer vacation

The MadOpera Blog will be taking a little summer vacation over the next two weeks. In the meantime, I encourage new subscribers to get their orders in today to save 15%! Also, be sure to explore Overture Center’s new website when it launches next week and don’t miss Four Seasons Theatre’s Evita August 21-23.

More on OITP…and Faust

Maestro John DeMain and soprano Lisa Daltirus. (Photo by James Gill) If you check out 77 Square today, you’ll see a big spread on Opera in the Park in the “Seen” column. Rob Thomas writes, “…thousands gathered on the park hill to enjoy a free evening of terrific music.” Nice pictures accompany the piece, though none of any singers! Shifting […]

Photo by Madison Guy

Check out the Opera in the Park post on Letter from Here, a great blog-stop for all things Madison (politics, nature, the arts), with posts usually accompanied by really incredible photography. The picture above is ample evidence (the full Opera in the Park slideshow by “Madison Guy” Peter Patau is on Flickr).

Oh what a night

Wow! Opera in the Park was a huge success! Who to thank first? The weather gods? Our fantastic crew? Volunteers? Sponsors? The thousands who showed up? As a first-time Opera in the Park staffer, I am simply in awe of the forces that cooperated on Saturday to make such a wonderful show happen, for free, for such a large crowd. […]

It’s on!

After an afternoon of storm tracking, we can now officially confirm that Opera in the Park is definitely on for tonight, Saturday, July 25 at 8 p.m. in Garner Park! And what a night it looks like we’ll have! The threat of rain earlier in the day did not keep these hardcore fans from setting up their blankets at the […]

Getting ready

Our crew is busy working to get Garner Park ready for Opera in the Park tomorrow night. Here are some time-lapse images of the stage going up yesterday (click to enlarge).

OITP on TV

Our fearless leader Allan Naplan was up bright and early this morning in Garner Park to talk with WKOW 27 Morning News. Catch Allan on NBC15 News at 4 today with soprano Lisa Daltirus, and live from the park again tomorrow morning on WISC TV.

Prepare for OITP

Per a request on Facebook, here’s a guide to most of the music you’ll hear this Saturday at Opera in the Park. Get excited and know your stuff! Gioachino Rossini: Overture from Il Viaggio a Reims Premiered in 1825, this is Rossini’s last opera in the Italian language and features music considered his most grand. The plot revolves around a […]

Catching up with Beth, Director of Development

Madison Opera’s director of development is the wonderful Lizabeth Tolles. Ever since my first day at Madison Opera, Beth has been telling me how cool Opera in the Park is. It’s her favorite event of the year, and here’s what she has to say: MOB: How many Opera in the Park concerts have you participated in?Beth: This will be my […]

Previews in the papers

Opera in the Park 2009 was all over the Sunday State Journal. In case you missed it, read Tom Alesia’s preview here. He spoke with tenor Adam Diegel and General Director Allan Naplan for a great story on how we bring in the best talent from around the country for this special night of free opera. Earlier last week, Madison […]

Catching up with Karra, OITP Coordinator

Opera in the Park volunteers Opera in the Park is a logistical beast, and the person who ties all of the loose ends together to make it happen is the event coordinator. For the past three years that has been Karra Liddicoat, a UW Madison graduate in Theater and Drama who first started assistant stage managing for Madison Opera back […]

Happy Bastille Day!

It’s Bastille Day! I thought it appropriate to join in with the French as we are presenting our second consecutive French opera with Carmen in the fall (Gounod’s Faust just ran in May). If you were in Madison this past weekend, La Fete de Marquette offered the perfect opportunity to celebrate. However if I were in Paris today I think […]

The OITP 2009 Program

Opera in the Park is fast approaching, so here’s a glimpse of the program. In addition to excerpts from our upcoming mainstage productions of Carmen (Seguidilla/Flower Song/Toreador Song) and The Flying Dutchman (Overture/Senta’s Ballad/Act III Chorus), the 2009 program will feature: Il Viaggio a Reims (Overture) Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Un voce poco fa) Don Giovanni (Champagne Aria/La ci darem […]

“Break a leg” (literally)

It had to happen sometime, and perhaps it has happened before, but surely never in such spectacular style: American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato fractured her fibula during a performance of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Royal Opera House in London Saturday night, giving painful life to the phrase “break a leg.” Read all about it on her blog. You’ll notice […]

Opera in the Park memories

The 8th annual Opera in the Park is just 3 weeks away! This will be my first OITP experience, having only arrived in Madison last August, but I know Madison Opera fans have many fond memories of this magical summer night of music under the stars…and we’d love to here them! Post your favorite OITP memories in the comment section […]

The role of the critic

Keeping with the theme of yesterday’s post, I thought I’d share two very recent writings on the role of the critic, coming from two of the best out there: Tim Page, “The Education of a Critic,” Opera News (July 2009). Anne Midgette, “Do Critics Matter?,” The Washington Post (The Classical Beat blog, July 1, 2009). Puliter Prize-winner Tim Page is […]

Worth reading: “Good Things About Bad Reviews”

As any Madison Opera fan knows, we received one review this past May for Faust that was pointedly unpleasant. Beyond the usual frustration that follows any less than positive review was genuine shock at the language and tone in this particular piece. Alas, we survived the storm intact and confident in our artistic product, with many good things having been […]

Opera: Music for the healthy heart

Via San Diego Opera’s Aria Serious? blog, we learn that what opera lovers have long claimed actually holds a grain of medical truth: a healthy diet of opera is good for the body and soul! No, seriously, an Italian study has showed that listening to opera has serious physical benefits, especially for stroke victims and others in need of rehabilitative […]

OITP Preview: Lisa Daltirus

The New York Times said she “exuded an intangible electricity” as Tosca. Opera News has called her “a star in the making.” Soprano Lisa Daltirus brings her powerful voice to Opera in the Park on July 25, when she’ll sing selections from her signature role of Aida and also explore new territory with Senta’s Ballad from The Flying Dutchman. In […]

OITP Preview: Adam Diegel

Tenor Adam Diegel comes to Madison twice in 2009: first for Opera in the Park, and then for Carmen as Don Jose in November. A graduate of Yale University, Mr. Diegel has performed in recent seasons with the New York City Opera, Opera Company of North Carolina, Tulsa Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and his hometown company, Opera Memphis. Upcoming engagements […]

Look back on the 2008/2009 Season…

A year to remember for Madison Opera: (Click the video to view a larger version on YouTube.)

OITP Preview: Jennifer Holloway

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Holloway is a fast-rising star in the opera world, and she’ll be in Madison for Opera in the Park on July 25th. Jennifer is currently performing at the Glyndebourne Festival as Meg Page in Falstaff, and she also appeared at the renowned festival as Hansel in Hansel und Gretel. Her 2008/2009 season included performances as Dorabella in Cosi […]

OITP Preview: Timothy Kuhn

Baritone Timothy Kuhn will be singing at Opera in the Park on July 25, 2009. Lucky for us, he has quite a few videos on YouTube from a concert performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, led by superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel of all people. Enjoy, and don’t miss Tim singing the Don at OITP!

Our Opera in the Park 2009 Stars

Announcing our Opera in the Park 2009 singers: Lisa Daltirus, sopranoJennifer Holloway, mezzo-soprano Adam Diegel, tenorTimothy Kuhn, baritone We’re thrilled to have such a stellar line-up! Check back over the next few weeks as I post videos and information on each guest artist.

An Ikea opera?

As if a scent opera wasn’t enough to scramble our notions of what opera can be this week, it seems a dynamic group of Brits are producing an opera live in a furniture store. It’s called “Flatpack the Opera“, by composer Tom Lane. The work originated in a theater but is migrating to Ikea in order to directly involve the […]

An opera that really stinks

We’re all in Faust recovery mode, crunching numbers from the production for our board meeting this afternoon and also looking ahead excitedly to Opera in the Park 2009 on July 25 and the new season after that. It’s a bit of a transitional period, so to pass the time here I offer up this interesting story from the Wall Street […]

Faust broadcast tomorrow

If you missed Faust last weekend or are raring to hear the Madison Opera performance again, you’re in luck: tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Wisconsin Public Radio will broadcast last Friday night’s performance of Faust in Overture Hall. Tune in to WERN 88.7 or visit the WPR website to stream the broadcast online. Enjoy the intermission features with host Stephanie Elkins, […]

Explore the Voice a success

Thank you to everyone who came out for “Explore the Voice” at the UW Hospital and Clinics on Saturday, May 16, and a big thank you to the UW Voice and Swallow Clinic staff for all of their organizational efforts! The workshops were full and there was a great feeling in the air throughout the event. I think the content […]

Opening night slideshow

The birth of opera in a paragraph

Only Alex Ross could pull it off so eloquently: Opera was, in effect, born twice. Its first coming was during the last decade of the sixteenth century, when humanist musicians and poets at the court of the Medici, in Florence, began to present a new kind of sung drama. The inaugural operas had impeccably high-minded subjects—Daphne changing into a laurel […]

“…the best thing I’ve seen on a Wisconsin stage”

The standing ovation was almost instantaneous last night; don’t miss tomorrow’s final performance of Faust!  Lindsay Christians of 77 Square raves, “Madison Opera has produced a fine version of the classic, one anchored by Andy Abrams’ excellent chorus and energized by the superior singing of the leads.” And check out the fantastic review on Dane101, Dane County’s leading blog collective. […]

Get ready for opening night!

Faust opens tonight, and I think Madison audiences are in for a memorable performance. Here are some links to help you get ready! Stream Opera Up Close: The Faust Preview online, just click here to start. Listen to David Pittsinger’s interview on Wisconsin Public Radio. Read our educational guide to Faust, or peruse our collection of the best sources online […]

Faust teaser…

Love… Fear… Faust opens tomorrow night. Don’t miss it. Regret can make you do funny things…

Student Matinee Day

Just back from a fantastic student matinee of Faust at the Overture Center. We had over 800 students from all over Wisconsin and they seemed completely involved in the opera, laughing at Mephisto’s antics, cheering Faust’s high-Cs, ooo-ing and ahh-ing the sets, and struck silent by Marguerite’s demise and redemption in the final scenes. More pictures tomorrow!

Tune in to WPR at Noon!

Listen to WERN 88.7 or stream live online to hear David Pittsinger on Wisconsin Public Radio! UPDATE: Listen to yesterday’s Midday Interview with David Pittsinger on WPR and watch his chat on “Wake Up Wisconsin” below.

Weekend slideshow

It was a busy weekend for Madison Opera. Saturday, the Faust set was loaded in to Overture Hall during Overture’s Open House. Meanwhile, the orchestra and singers got together for the first time at the sitzprobe rehearsal upstairs. On Sunday, David Pittsinger, David Lomeli, Jill Gardner, Director Bernard Uzan, and Maestro Laurent Campellone all joined Allan Naplan at Opera Up […]

Last night’s rehearsal

I had a fantastic time at rehearsal last night. Goosebumps abounded: we no doubt have a special cast on our hands, and the chorus is sounding extra strong and polished. There are a few things I love about being a fly on the wall at our rehearsals. First, I am perpetually blown away when I hear opera singers up close […]