We are thrilled that soprano Greer Davis is returning to the Florentine stage after being last seen during the 2008-2009 season as an inaugural studio artist. Her performances around town, and on the main stage as both Iris in Semele and Papagena in The Magic Flute all won acclaim from critics and audience members alike. She was kind enough to sit down and check with us, to let our readers know what she’s been up to lately.
She also recently sat down to talk with Tom Strini at ThirdCoast Digest - a fascinating look at what it takes to pursue a career in opera and a glimpse into the rehearsal process as we get ready to open our double-bill production this weekend.
Since we’ve last seen you, tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to:
A few roles I’ve done are Gretel in Hansel and Gretel in Chicago, and Angelica in Handel’s Orlando out in Vermont. There have been a few competitions as well: I was a regional finalist in the Met competition in 2010 and just this month got 2nd place in the American Price in Vocal Performance – Schorr Memorial Awards. I also have done a few song recitals (those are harder for me than opera…SO much music!).
However, since I’m still in the early stages of my career, the vast majority of my time is spent on auditions, auditions, and oh!…more auditions. For example, in January this year I traveled every week to at least one or two different cities for auditions – New York, San Antonio, Annapolis, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and hometown of Chicago. Exhausting, but I managed to have a good time!
During your time as an Studio Artist, what was your most meaningful/memorable experience?
I would say the thing I remember most fondly is doing roles in Semele and The Magic Flute. I loved every second of rehearsals and loved performing – especially when my characters (in each show) got laughs. I love engaging the audience!
How did your time as a Florentine Opera Studio Artist prepare you for a professional career in opera?
There is so much that just comes from the experience of working with other professionals and needing to prepare material quickly. I would say that professionalism and preparation were two of the biggest things I took away from the Studio Program.
What are you currently working on in your private study?
My teacher and I are always working to improve my audition arias, and tweaking them here and there where necessary. This year I’d like to prepare a few standard roles.
What is your dream role?
Lately I’ve been dreaming about Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. The story, character, and music are phenomenal!
What’s on your iPod ‘most frequently played’ list right now?
Well I have to admit that I don’t actually listen to much opera or classical music “off the clock”. Some of my favorites lately include the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, Dirty Projectors, The Postal Service, We Were Promised Jetpacks, and The Dismemberment Plan.
You can catch Greer Davis as Venus in Venus & Adonis and as Belinda in Dido & Aeneas beginning this Friday and running through May 22 in Vogel Hall at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets and more info are available at florentineopera.org.