Name: Sarah Lewis Jones, soprano
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
How did you first become interested in singing? I was lucky from a young age to have outstanding music teachers in public school. These teachers were committed to exposing their students to the wide variety of musical genres. I was exposed to opera while in high school – my high school music teacher is the person I will forever thank for opening up the operatic door!
Where/with whom have you studied? Robin Rice, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH and Anna Gabrieli, Boston, MA.
What is your favorite opera and why? Tosca was my very first opera in 1997 with the Opera Columbus chorus. I remember being so moved by every aspect of the score and performance. The music is so stunning and the story is so dramatic – I love every measure of the score. I have had the privilege of being in the Tosca chorus twice with Opera Columbus and loved it both times. I am so excited to be a part of it again with Florentine!
What is your dream role? Floria Tosca… of course!
If you could have dinner with any composer, who would you choose and why? Not to be too narrow minded…but I would have to say Giacomo Puccini. I spent a summer in Lucca, Italy and visited his home several times. I find his operas to be absolutely perfect. I would love to just sit and discuss his work over dinner and a bottle of wine.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals? The only thing I need is a really good night of sleep and a big latte from Starbucks.
What has been your most unusual performance to date and why? For the past two years, I have been a member of the Opera Columbus Outreach and Education Department. With these in-school tours I have had countless unusual experiences including fire alarms mid-production, children getting sick and the custodial staff cleaning up during an aria, planes flying over an outdoor stage and kids running out crying. All of this being said, the in-school tour has been a wonderful experience. Bringing opera into the schools and introducing children to this art form is amazing and so much fun!
If you were tone-deaf, what would your dream job be? If I did not sing – I would enjoy a life behind the scenes in production. Perhaps with costuming – I love it all!
What’s on your Ipod right now? I listen to all types of music. Recently I have been listening to a lot of Régine Crespin and Eva Cassidy.
What are you most excited to do in Milwaukee? I am so excited to get to Milwaukee and begin a life based solely in music. The opportunity to sing every day surrounded by outstanding performers and artistic staff is every singer’s dream! I also would really like to watch the Milwaukee Brewers play! Go Prince Fielder!