1. What made you first get interested in Opera? It sort of just happened while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree in Music Education. Already 22 years old when I transferred to San Diego State University, my intent was to become a choral director, but as a requirement for my major I had to begin taking classical voice lessons. During my lessons I began to explore art song and operatic repertoire and began to get involved with the school productions a year later. After my first public performance I knew opera was where I belonged.
2. Who is your favorite Opera Singer now? Famous historical singer (i.e. Caruso)? It’s so difficult to pick just one, but if I had to, I would say Mariusz Kwiecien. He is a very exciting performer and has a powerhouse voice. As far as historical singers, I really enjoy listening to Franco Corelli.
3. Aside from Opera, what is the music you like to listen to the most? I listen to some acoustic folk music, mainly to keep my mind from working on opera when I’m not in rehearsals.
4. Besides singing, do you play an instrument? I took piano courses in college as part of a requirement for the major, but I can’t say that I’m as proficient at it as I would like to be.
5. If you weren’t going to be a singer, what do you think you would do professionally? I think I might have pursued a career in graphic design, maybe interior design. They’re both fields I’ve always had an interest in and had a knack for, but a lack in formal training in them has kept me from making it a career choice.
6. So, what do you think of Milwaukee so far? Although I have only seen a very small portion of what Milwaukee has to offer, it feels like a great city that is rich in culture and proud of its unique attributes.
7. What would you say to someone who had never been to an opera, to convince them to try it? I would say that regardless of what language the opera is in, it speaks a universal language. Opera is not casual and it won’t be about everyday life, like anything you see on television. Opera takes the most emotional, terrifying, elated, mournful, even psychotic moments of someone’s life and heightens it with music that reflects those feelings and thoughts. It becomes universal when you see real people on that stage using their voices and their bodies to tell you these stories in a way that will stir something inside and ultimately leave you breathless by the end of the performance.
8. What is your favorite language to sing? As a native Spanish speaker, it is easiest for me to sing in Italian. The two languages share similar consonant and vowel sounds, so it feels the most natural for me.
9. When I’m not singing, rehearsing, or performing, the thing I like to do most is……? Rest (mainly). Visit local coffee shops, restaurants, bars, walk around new neighborhoods, ride my bike (weather-permitting), and exercise.
10. What is the funniest (now – probably awkward at the time!) thing that has happened to you in the middle of a performance? Last summer I was singing the title role in Don Giovanni in northern Michigan and in one of the final scenes, there was a feast set out and I was supposed to rummage through and eat the food savagely. On the second performance, I took a bite of a loaf of bread that proved to be way too large to eat in time to sing my next entrance. I still attempted to sing my line with bread in my mouth, but ended up choking on it (audibly). So, I decided to stop singing there, finish my bite of food, and come in on my next entrance. I will never forget the confused and slightly-worried look from the conductor as he’s watching me struggle. It turned into a great post-production topic of conversation. Lesson learned: if you’re going to actually eat on-stage, make sure to take small bites.
The Florentine Opera will begin our 80th season with one of opera’s most captivating tales by its most treasured composer: Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (November 8 & 10, 2013). We continue our season with a Valentine’s Day weekend concert of cherished Italian arias and Italian-American songs: Festa Fiorentina (February 14, 15 & 16, 2014). Next, we bring you Handel’s most iconic opera in a brand new production: Julius Caesar (March 28 & 30, 2014). This monumental season will come to its finale with Puccini’s tragic tale of young love: La Bohème (May 9 & 11, 2014).
Become a season ticket subscriber today, and receive the best seats at the best prices. Early purchases will receive the highest discount available. You won’t want to miss a moment, so subscribe today for our 80th anniversary season of Italian opera classics!
- Florentine Opera General Director William Florescu will stage direct productions of La Traviata and La Bohème this season.