Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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 and social justice, so maybe that? 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…

...the chorus in Madison Opera's The Flying Dutchman in Spring of 2010, my senior year of high school. I ended up doing five shows (I think) with the Madison Opera Chorus, ending my tenure with Dead Man Walking in Spring 2014 - which was also my professional debut as the Motorcycle Cop.

4.  My favorite opera...

...tends to change on a weekly basis, but The Marriage of Figaro is my proverbial ol' faithful. 

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…

...chicken fried rice (I'm not a talented cook).

6.  People would be surprised to know…

I have a long-standing tradition of getting pedicures with my sisters. My toes are usually painted a sensible red.

7.  If I could travel anywhere, real or fantasy…

I would most definitely travel to the Water Gardens of Dorne.

8.  I like to binge-watch…

My go-to binge watching show is The Office, but most recently I've been working through Sons of Anarchy.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?

This depends on a lot of factors...am I cooking? Are we all cooking together? So many things to consider...BUT, if I had to choose...I would say George London, Carol Burnett (for comic relief), Rick Sanchez (for good spirits), and finally - the love of my life, Bridget. 

10.  Everyone should see Carmen because….

It is honestly one of few absolutely timeless masterpieces. With a beautiful drama displayed in so many - very human ways - it's a perfect example how opera can marry several arts into one union.

11.  Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).

BONUS! WUBBA-LUBBA-DUB-DUB!!

"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it."





Don't miss the chance to see Erik in Carmen, Bizet's breathtaking opera. Performances are November 3 & November 5 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.






Monday, October 16, 2017

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 to be a veterinarian, but in retrospect, I'm not sure I'd have the nerves for it (too many sick pups).  

3.  The first opera I was ever in was

I was an eager chorister in Die Fledermaus at the University of Connecticut, before I really knew what opera was all about.

4.  My favorite opera is…

I absolutely love The Crucible by Robert Ward.  I think the music and drama is spectacular.  The Marriage of Figaro is pretty high up on my list as well.

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…

I love all things coconut.  I will always choose coconut flavor over all others if given the option.

6.  People would be surprised to know… 


I lived with my parents for my last three years of college...the idea of taking out more loans to live in a dorm seemed silly, and my parents are pretty awesome :).

7.  If I could travel anywhere, real or fantasy, I would travel to…

Hobbiton.  Hands down.

8.  I like to binge-watch…

The Office is my go-to show when trying to fall asleep to something or pass time.  I think I've watched the whole series about 10 times through.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?

It'd be incredible to meet the guy I'm named after, who died in World War II.  Other than that, maybe Mahler, my theory professor from grad school (Michael Cherlin, who loves Mahler and taught me so much about his music), and my childhood pup, Marley, who passed last year.  That'd be an interesting meet up...

10.  Everyone should see Carmen because…. 

It's such a fun, dramatic story with an awesome, powerful leading lady, and the music is some of the most recognizable and beautiful there is.

11.  Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer)?

Q: What would be your superpower if you could have just one?
A: Transfiguratiom, like McGonagall!




Don't miss the chance to see Charles in Carmen, Bizet's breathtaking opera. Performances are November 3 & November 5 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Ten Questions with Studio Artist Anna Polum

Anna Polum – Soprano

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

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

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

4. My favorite opera is…
Peter Grimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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