The Rothesay-born mezzo soprano who lives in Toronto says she’s a fan of Anne of Green Gables. ‘She is such a feisty, strong-willed character.’
a I am from Rothesay, but I currently live in Toronto. I am finishing my masters in opera performance and performing at the University of Toronto.
q Why opera?
a I love singing, acting, learning languages and have always been at home on the stage. My voice has a classical and operatic quality, which was evident even before my voice started to develop from voice lessons. I also love musical theatre – anything with singing, acting and dancing.
q What was your breakthrough moment?
a After my first year of university, I went to Mozart’s most famous opera, Marriage of Figaro, in New York City with The Acadia Vocal Ensemble. I became very passionate about opera and vocal technique. I always loved the theatre, but opera really seemed to fit.
q What would you be if you weren’t an opera singer?
a An actor; I love impersonating a character and using my emotions to communicate to an audience. Or a yoga teacher; I may even do it in conjunction with opera singing. Or a psychologist, because I love listening to people and their stories, analyzing situations and learning about behaviours.
q What are you working on next?
a The role of the child in Ravel’s French opera L’enfant et les sortileges.
q What place on earth inspires you?
a I love Italy – Rome, Tuscanny and the Amalfi coast. There is so much beauty in that country, so much history.
q Your current obsession?
a Balancing healthy eating with my love for sweets.
q What place in New Brunswick inspires you?
a Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved the Saint John City Market. With a ceiling shaped like the bottom of a ship, the long building is filled with artisans, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and poultry, crafts, bustling people – both artistic and business types. In memories, it is always there; it doesn’t leave with the changing of the seasons, and it is home. There really is no place like home … and I have a pair of bright and shiny red shoes to get me there.
q Secret indulgence?
a Toffee, chocolate and caramel, pies and cookies, but I am not sure how much of a secret it is.
q Your favourite hero of fiction?
a Anne of Green Gables, because she is such a feisty, strong-willed character who knows what she wants. And she is a well-known and loved Maritime fictional character.
q What is your greatest extravagance?
a Clothes. I love to dress nicely and have a classy wardrobe.
q What is your greatest fear?
a Failure. I want to succeed in my career, my relationships and my finances, have good health and still have time, energy and money to give to society.
q Greatest joy?
a To love and be loved in return – in my personal and professional life.
q Your favourite opera?
a Carmen. It is filled with passion, tragedy, wit, humour, sensuality, dancing and high drama. The orchestration, vocal writing, libretto, language and style are an absolutely spectacular package. It is the perfect musical drama, in my mind. I would love to perform the role someday.
q Favourite paintings on Earth?
a Impressionist paintings by Monet, Degas and Renoir because they are very beautiful, but they depict nature or people in a way that is not exact or defined; the artist interprets a scene and is free to colour outside of the lines. Reproductions of paintings by Degas on notebooks and posters have been cherished gifts since I was a little ballerina.
q Favourite painting by a New Brunswick artist?
a A drawing of a circle of dancers by my uncle, Brian Perkins, who worked for Festival-by-the-Sea. The festival is no longer active, but it is a part of my fond memories of summers in Saint John.
q What are you reading?
a Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert
q What’s on your iPod?
a Dance and pop music, a bit of R&B, several opera albums and some rehearsal recordings of myself.
q What is the greatest public misconception about opera?
a That is is stuffy and boring and only for old people. It is entertaining, sexy and high drama!
q Your most treasured possession?
a A beautiful diamond ring from my great, great aunt Jennie Fitzgerald who was 111 years old when she died. She was a vibrant and cheerful lady, and I enjoyed visiting her at the Loch Lomond Villa, where she lived for 25 years.
q What is your favourite performance venue?
a In Rome, Italy, there is a magnificent courtyard near Piazza Navona, where I performed with Operafestival di Roma, called the Palazzo della Sapienza. The façade of the church provides an ideal scenic background for the opera, and the four-sided courtyard is a vibrant acoustical space.
Built in the 15th century and for nearly 500 years the seat of the original University of Rome, the Palazzo now houses the library of the Senate of the Roman Republic. The famous church, S. Ivo alla Sapienza, built inside the courtyard, is considered one of the architectural masterpieces of Rome.
q What is your motto?
a Life is a daring and bold adventure. Cherish yesterday, live today and dream tomorrow.
q What opera singer would you like to hear in person before you die?
a More like, who would I like to hear before they die?! lol or stop singing … Frederica von Stade. She is a beautiful mezzo soprano that has achieved abundant international acclaim and has made many recordings. I think my voice is a lot like hers and she is definately one of my role models.
Source: The Telegraph Jounral