Ten Questions With...
Alexander Elliott, baritone
John 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 where I got to work with my hands.
3. The first opera I was ever in was...
I was in the chorus of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah at Florida State University.
4. My favorite opera is...
Usually whatever I am currently staging. Onegin, Bohème, and A Midsummer Night's Dream are always near the top, though.
5. My favorite pre/post-show meal is...
Pre-show I like something light. A sandwich is great. Post-show, give me burgers, beer, or whatever I can get my hands on! I also like to snack a lot during performances.
6. People would be surprised to know that...
I am actually pretty shy. I get uncomfortable if I have to perform as myself. I think the reason I love opera so much is because I get to wear a costume!
7. My favorite book to read growing up was...
The Harry Potter series. The first book came out when I was 12 or so, and I got totally hooked.
8. If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists / songs would we see on you recently-played list?
Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, The Beatles, Nick Offerman's audiobooks, and tons of holiday music. [Ed. note: He answered this question in December.]
9. What is the worst costume you've ever worn?
I played a mouse for an outreach show. I had to put on and take off this really heavy and sort of scary makeup (along with a healthy layer of skin) twice a day. My costume was a brown thrift store suit. It was pretty terrible.
10. Everyone should see Little Women because....
It's an excellent example of how powerful a familiar but fine work of literature can be when set to music. I think people seeing it for the first time will be floored by how endearing and stirring the interactions of these characters become.
Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q: Would you like to talk about the new Star Wars film?
A: YES! I loved it. As of Christmas, I have seen it twice. I felt like I was 10 years old again. So fun.
Don't miss the chance to see Alexander in Little Women, as this beloved American classic comes to vivid musical life! Performances are February 5 and 7 in the Capitol Theater. Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.