Monday, January 23, 2017

Ten Questions with Angela Mortellaro


Ten Questions with
Angela Mortellaro, soprano
Doris 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 is my passion. Music, dance, art, on the stage or behind the scenes ... I must be involved!

3.  The first opera I was ever in was...
My first full production of an opera was Britten's The Turn of the Screw. I loved it. 

4.  My favorite opera is...
It is very difficult to pick because every opera offers something unique and wonderful. That's one of my favorite things about opera - the variety in music, scope, style, and voices ... But I do have a special place in my heart for Massenet operas, and for La Traviata. 

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is...
People think I'm crazy, but I don't eat before a show and I sing my best on a mostly empty stomach. I have a normal meal around 2 pm and after the show I enjoy a big meal. Probably Italian-style pizza with olio piccante and wine. 

6.  People would be surprised to know that...
I'm an introvert! I am an out-going, stage-loving person who needs a lot of quiet and alone time. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are...
Let the Great World Spin, Jane Eyre, and I'm about to read The Goldfinch. 

8.  I like to binge-watch...
I recently binged watched Game of Thrones, I Medici, and a bunch of science documentaries. 

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Frida Kahlo, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, and the Dalai Lama. 

10.  Everyone should see Charlie Parker's Yardbird because....
It has exciting music and great singing. It is an awesome show.


Don't miss the chance to see Angela in Charlie Parker's Yardbirdthe Midwest premiere of this acclaimed new opera about the legendary saxophone player.  Performances are February 10 and 12 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

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 holds a special place in my heart because it was the first opera I ever saw, as it was my grandmother's (childhood musical mentor) favorite, but I feel like the music in Der Rosenkavalier is unmatched. 

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is...
I'm not too picky about pre-show meals as long as they are well-balanced, but I almost always crave fried food as a post-show meal. 

6.  People would be surprised to know that...
My first musical love was violin and I have a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. I only decided to add a voice degree to my studies during my sophomore year of undergrad because I thought it would be a good addition to my music studies and a help to my violin playing. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are...
Currently, at the suggestion of a friend, I'm enjoying reading several books by John le CarrĂ©. However, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and Harry Potter are books I'm happy to read and reread.

8.  I like to binge-watch...
Reality cooking shows and criminal mysteries.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Gustav Mahler, Emily Dickinson, Dame Janet Baker, and Mozart. 

10.  Everyone should see Charlie Parker's Yardbird because....
Charlie Parker's Yardbird is a new piece in my repertoire and I have enjoyed delving into it over the last few months. The things that I have found most compelling about it are its use of a jazz-based style, and its compelling story of a phenomenal musician and his struggle to cope with the demands of music (his first love) and real life. 

11. Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q: Why do you sing? 
A: I sing to tell a story; to strive to connect with people on a deeper level that, in my opinion, can only be achieved through music. 

Don't miss the chance to see Julie in Charlie Parker's Yardbirdthe Midwest premiere of this acclaimed new opera about the legendary saxophone player.  Performances are February 10 and 12 in the Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ten Questions with Emily Birsan


Ten Questions with
Emily Birsan, soprano
Juliet 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 way.  Or a therapist!

3.  The first opera I was ever in was...
The Magic Flute.

4.  My favorite opera is...
La Traviata.

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is...
Protein and veggies!

6.  People would be surprised to know that...
I am a major goofball.  My grandpa used to call me a "firecracker." :) 

7.  A few of my favorite books are...
Books about self-awareness - Tich nhat Hanh.

8.  What do you like to binge-watch?
My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Transparent.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Joni Mitchell, Maya Angelou, Pablo Picasso, and President Obama.

10.  Everyone should see Romeo and Juliet because....
One's first true love is indescribable, but join us in trying to portray it.

Don't miss the chance to see Emily in Romeo and Juliet, as Shakespeare's classic work comes to ravishing operatic life.  Performances are November 4 and 6 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.