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.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ten Questions with John Irvin


Ten Questions with
John Irvin, tenor
Romeo 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 breakfast and something light for lunch.
Post-show:  Cheeseburger.


6.  People would be surprised to know that...
I haven't seen a play in Chicago after living there for four years. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are...
Right now... the Italian translation of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One and John Fowles' The Magus.

8.  What do you like to binge-watch?
Stranger Things.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
My grandfather, Killer Mike, Janelle Monae, and Karl Marx.

10.  Everyone should see Romeo and Juliet because....
It's both funny and tragic, with beautiful music.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  What's your favorite city outside of the United States?
A:  Salzburg... so far.

Don't miss the chance to see John 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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ten Questions with Sidney Outlaw


Ten Questions with
Sidney Outlaw, baritone
Mercutio 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 if I didn't sing full time, I would definitely go into music education, arts administration, or artist management.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was...
Aida at Bob Jones University, November 11, 1998.  (Mrs. Shumate's Concert Chorus class).

4.  My favorite opera is...
Le Nozze di Figaro.

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is...
Pre-show:  Pure Pharma protein shake.
Post-show:  Some sort of red meat and veggie.


6.  People would be surprised to know that...
I practice Olympic weightlifting. 

7.  A few of my favorite books are...
The Audacity of Hope (President Obama); Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (Dr. Joy DeGruy); The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander); Sula (Toni Morrison); I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou); Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe); For Your Consideration.... (Kathy Griffin).

8.  What do you like to binge-watch?
Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS-LA, Madame Secretary.

9.  What five people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
President Obama, Jennifer Lewis, Roland Martin, Leontyne Price, Viola Davis.

10.  Everyone should see Romeo and Juliet because....
It is a timeless story and the singing in this particular production is fantastic, which will make you think of the good old days at the Met.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Would you like to make your debut as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at the San Francisco Opera and/or the Metropolitan Opera (and here is the contract already drawn up with all the signatures on it)?
A:  YES, PLEASE and THANK YOU!!!

Don't miss the chance to see Sidney 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.