Sunday, April 22, 2018

10 Questions with Elizabeth Caballero

Elizabeth Caballero 
Florencia Grimaldi in Florencia en el Amazonas 


1.  Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the USA in the 1980 Mariel Boatlift as a child with my family. I grew up in Miami, Florida.

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Probably something involved with animals. 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
Gosh, I don't remember. I want to say Trouble in Tahiti

4.  My favorite opera is…
Usually the one I'm singing at the moment. 

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…
Recently I've gotten really good at making Chicken Francese. My favorite food to eat is pizza. 

6.  People would be surprised to know…
I didn't discover opera until college. 

7.  If I could cruise down any river in the world, it would be ... 
Probably the Rhine River.

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Game of Thrones. 

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Puccini, Beethoven, Wagner, Van Gogh.

10.  Everyone should see Florencia en el Amazonas because…. 
Florencia is a beautiful opera about love found and lost. It's set to a beautiful, lush musical score that feels like you're watching a movie.

11. Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q: What's another thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: My grandmother played in the women’s national baseball and basketball teams of Cuba in the 1940’s.



Don't miss the chance to see Elizabeth 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, April 20, 2018

10 Questions with Mackenzie Whitney

Mackenzie Whitney 
Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas 





1.  Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Janesville, Iowa, a little over a 3 hour drive from here. 

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
Possibly something in real estate, or something involving the environment.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
In my sophomore year at the University of Northern Iowa, I was the scribe Ezekial Cheever in The Crucible. 

4.  My favorite opera is…
It's hard to beat Carmen for me. I do enjoy all genres,  but operas more in the verismo realm are what I find myself drawn to more often than not. It's all about the drama for me. 

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…
I love all foods, but if you twisted my arm I'd have to say taco pizza - a beautiful Midwest creation that I have to have every time I come back home to Iowa. 

6.  People would be surprised to know…
I was an all-conference point guard in high school, and almost pursued it to a small school in Iowa before I decided to give music my full attention. I even dunked a basketball a few times; however, that was many years ago. I still play a mean game of HORSE though! 

7.  If I could cruise down any river in the world, it would be ... 
Am I taking the easy way out if I say the Amazon? I honestly think that would be incredible, minus the mosquitoes. I'd also love to take a trip down the Rhine. I recently took a trip to Europe and saw the Rhine in all its beauty when I was in Basel, Switzerland. I'll never forget seeing a man swimming along with the current in a wetsuit (this was in November) and stopping mid-stroke to wave at me.  

8.  I like to binge-watch…
Where do I begin? Netflix has allowed me the ability to binge probably too many shows. I'll start with the most appropriate title when it comes to binging - Shameless; followed by Game of Thrones, The Office, Family Guy, and too many more to name. 

9.  What four people would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Teddy Roosevelt, Neil Armstrong, Luciano Pavarotti, Steve Carell. 

10.  Everyone should see Florencia en el Amazonas because…. 
Who wouldn't want to be part of a voyage down the Amazon? It's an exotic story filled with beautiful music. What more could you ask for? 



Don't miss the chance to see Mackenzie 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.

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.