Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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 a production for the WOT tour. First show of my own was Dialogues of the Carmelites! 

4.  My favorite opera is…
...whatever I'm working on at the moment. Seriously, directing is like falling in love. You should be faithful - at least for a while. 

5.  My favorite food is…
Chocolate. In every form. 

6.  People would be surprised to know…
I love baseball and knitting. 

7.  If I could cruise down any river in the world, it would be ... 
...through the fjords of Norway.  It looks so beautiful. 

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Star Trek and The British Baking Show. 

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Dorothea Lange, Josephine Baker, Margaret Atwood, and Frances McDormand. 

10.  Everyone should see Florencia en el Amazonas because…. 
It's awesome, you've never seen it before, and nothing beats contemporary opera with great music. 


Don't miss the chance to see Kristine's production of Florencia en el Amazonas, a Madison Opera premiere. Performances are April 27 and April 29 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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 Marriage of Figaro. 

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…
...almost anything Mediterranean. 

6.  People would be surprised to know…
My Cuban grandfather was a major league pitcher with the New York Giants. 

7.  If I could cruise down any river in the world, it would be ... 
... Amazonas!

8.  I like to binge-watch…
I like to binge-read Graham Greene, Trollope, Zadie Smith. Ok, ok, I watch some things too - Versailles, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The West Wing, The Queen, and Victoria. 

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Shakespeare, Camille Claudel, Leonardo da Vinci, Eleanor Roosevelt. 

10.  Everyone should see Florencia en el Amazonas because…. 
It's sensual, beautiful, and speaks to our deepest longing.

11. Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer). 
Q: (Asked by someone who is a really good dancer) Would you like to dance?
A: Yes. 



Don't miss the chance to see Adriana in the Madison Opera premiere of the beautiful Florencia en el Amazonas. Performances are April 27 and April 29 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

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 food to cook or eat is…
Cook: stir fry; Eat: Thai, Thai, Thai ... 

6.  People would be surprised to know…
Art films put me straight to sleep. 

7.  If I could cruise down any river in the world, it would be ... 
Colorado, maybe? 

8.  I like to binge-watch…
House of Cards.  

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Jesus, Oscar Micheaux, Leontyne Price, and Prince. 

10.  Everyone should see Florencia en el Amazonas because…. 
It has gorgeous music, an interesting and easily followable story-line, and really good acting. 

11. Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer). 
Q: What's your favorite movie? 
A: Aliens. I know every line by heart. 



Don't miss the chance to see Nmon in the Madison Opera premiere of the beautiful Florencia en el Amazonas. Performances are April 27 & April 29 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

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 Arabic translation at the Cairo Opera House, March 10, 1988. I performed Bartolo and Antonio. 

4.  My favorite opera is…
...Verdi's Falstaff. 

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…
I love cooking Thanksgiving food, all of it. Also, fixing Egyptian fava beans in about a dozen ways. 

6.  People would be surprised to know…
I'm the Arabic dubbing voice of Mickey Mouse, Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Louis in The Princess and the Frog, and Slim in A Bug's Life. 

7.  If I could cruise down any river in the world, it would be ... 
... the Danube, with a huge stash of Riesling.

8.  I like to binge-watch…
The West Wing, Grey's Anatomy, Friends, Will and Grace, House of Cards, Grace and Frankie, and most recently The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Verdi, President Obama, Armistead Maupin, and Aaron Sorkin. 

10.  Everyone should see Florencia en el Amazonas because…. 
It has an amazing cast singing luscious music that sounds like how Puccini's would have evolved had he lived till now. All of this is matched by a visually scrumptious production. 

11. Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer). 
Q: What's your secret guilty pleasure?
A: Watching and practicing belly dancing. 



Don't miss the chance to see Ashraf in the Madison Opera premiere of the beautiful Florencia en el Amazonas. Performances are April 27 & April 29 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

10 Questions with Rachel Sterrenberg

Rachel Sterrenberg
Rosalba 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 and pride in being really organized and neat.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
In college there was a professor who was also a composer, and he wrote an opera about Abraham Lincoln that our college of music performed. I sang one of the townswomen! 

4.  My favorite opera is…
Right now (because it changes all the time), it is Massenet's Cendrillon (the duets with Cinderella and the Prince are breathtaking), and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. I would be remiss if I didn't name my all-time favorite Mozart though: Le Nozze di Figaro.

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…
Tacos! 

6.  People would be surprised to know…
I am a twin (and she is not an opera singer). 

7.  If I could cruise down any river in the world, it would be ... 
...the Rhine! That area is where the Sterrenberg lineage hails from. 

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Grey's Anatomy and Downton Abbey. 

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Joyce DiDonato, Brene Brown, Barbara Hannigan, and Hoda Kotb and Kathy Lee Gifford. 

10.  Everyone should see Florencia en el Amazonas because…. 
The music is breathtaking, and there are characters in the opera that I think everyone can relate to a little bit. It is a very beautiful and magical story! 

11. Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q:  Do you have any pets? 
A:  Yes! I have the cutest, most adorable Great Dane puppy named Leif. He is 8 months old and already over 100 lbs! He looks like Scooby-Doo and Marmaduke. I am a very proud dog Mom. 


Don't miss the chance to see Rachel in the Madison Opera premiere of the beautiful Florencia en el Amazonas. Performances are April 27 and April 29 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Monday, April 9, 2018

10 Questions with Levi Hernandez

Levi Hernandez
Alvaro 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 I have that in me somehow. 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
Don Giovanni in El Paso. I understudied Masetto. 

4.  My favorite opera is…
The Rake's Progress. 

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…
Anything Greek! I can't make it, but I love it. Enchiladas are my favorite to make. 

6.  People would be surprised to know…
I just recently went back to school for my Master's degree while maintaining a career. 

7.  If I could cruise down any river in the world, it would be ... 
...the Nile. I've always wanted to see Egypt.

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Television Españolas - TVE's el Ministerio del Tiempo. 

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
J.S. Bach, Freddie Mercury, Stephen Lord, and Tom Ford - incredible minds and talents! 

10.  Everyone should see Florencia en el Amazonas because…. 
It's an incredibly beautiful journey of this group of people who are transformed by the end of the story. The music is lush and enveloping - just gorgeous! 


Don't miss the chance to see Levi in the Madison Opera premiere of the beautiful Florencia en el Amazonas. Performances are April 27 and April 29 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Friday, February 2, 2018

10 Questions with Amanda Woodbury

Amanda Woodbury
Konstanze,
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 would be surprised to know…
I lived in England as a kid.

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

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Monk, Psych, or Alias.

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
I have a lot of fun with my siblings so I would probably invite all four of them.

10.  Everyone should see The Abduction from the Seraglio because…. 
It has a little bit of everything! All the love and passion in this piece makes it perfect for Valentine's Day.

11.  Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you.  
Ask me about my baby boy Peter!



Don't miss the chance to see Amanda in the upcoming production of The Abduction from the Seraglio, Mozart's first major success. Performances are February 9 & February 11 in Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

10 Questions with David Walton

David Walton
Belmonte, 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 pounds and played high school football.

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

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Frasier.

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, C.S. Lewis, and Benjamin Britten.

10.  Everyone should see The Abduction from the Seraglio because…. 
It’s a thrilling score, funny and charming libretto, and a relatable story about forgiveness and peace. 

11.  Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you.  
Q: What is the one food item you absolutely WILL NOT eat?
A: Raw onions.



Don't miss the chance to see David in the upcoming production of The Abduction from the Seraglio, Mozart's first major success. Performances are February 9 & February 11 in Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

10 Questions with Matt Boehler


Matt Boehler
Osmin, 
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? Salome. This answer will be different tomorrow.

5.  My favorite food to eat is…
This is intensely bougie, but...my favorite breakfast food right now is avocado toast. (IT'S PERFECT.)

6.  People would be surprised to know…
With a height of 6'7", you'd think I play basketball, right? I don't - if I had any talent for it, I'd have made my millions already.

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

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Chopped.

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters. (I'm assuming this is a potluck.)

10.  Everyone should see The Abduction from the Seraglio because…. 
Abduction has some of Mozart's most extreme, ridiculous, and beautiful music.



Don't miss the chance to see Matt in the upcoming production of The Abduction from the Seraglio, Mozart's first major success. Performances are February 9 & February 11 in Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

10 Questions with Alison Moritz

Alison Moritz
Stage 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 same ways directing operas does.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
The Thunder of Horses, a children's opera by Cary John Franklin, at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. I vividly remember playing a scared squirrel in one scene (I was nine years old).

4.  My favorite opera is…
It's hard to nail down just one, but Peter Grimes and The Rake's Progress are pretty high on my list! I'm also a sucker for Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, and I'm itching to do my own production soon.

5.  My favorite food to cook…
...anything breakfast related! Last summer, there was a period when Anshuman Bhatia (scenic and lighting designer for Abduction) and I were having a series of morning meetings. Every time he called, I was just taking a frittata out of the oven! He says I owe him a frittata now. :) I'm definitely more of a cook than a baker - my former roommates can all attest to some pretty "creative" baking disasters in my past.

6.  People would be surprised to know…
I'm an avid fan of the New York Times crossword. I've been doing it on and off since 2006, and Fridays are my favorite puzzles.

7.  If I could travel anywhere, real or fantasy, I would travel to…
I'm a big fan of museums, and I've never been to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, so I think a cultural tour of Russia would be pretty amazing. I'm also increasingly curious about non-Western forms of theatre and music, which will likely inspire a lot of travel in my future!

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Twin Peaks, The Wire, The West Wing, Broad City, and The Great British Bake-Off.

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Oh gosh! This one is hard - I'd honestly probably choose four of my close friends from grad school, because we don't get to see each other enough. One of the perks of being in this business is that you are constantly making new friends, but nothing beats reconnecting with the people who know you best.

10.  Everyone should see The Abduction from the Seraglio because…. 
In my opinion, the best reason to see a new production of The Abduction from the Seraglio is to feature an ensemble cast of wonderful singing actors. And, yes, we will absolutely have some fantastic talent in Madison!

11.  Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you.
Oh, let me turn this around for our Madison friends:  what are the not-to-be-missed places in Madison? Recommendations for coffee, cocktails, and culture appreciated! :) Thanks!




Don't miss the chance to see Alison's production of The Abduction from the Seraglio, Mozart's first major success. Performances are February 9 & February 11 in Capitol Theater.  Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.