By Kelly Schlicht, Development Manager
She’s sung on some of the biggest stages in the world, and won some of the most prestigious vocal competitions in Europe. In May, this up-and-coming mezzo-soprano will be making her much-anticipated American role debut right here in Milwaukee.
Barcelona native Carol Garcia says she’s excited to be playing Rosina in the Florentine Opera’s production of The Barber of Seville.
“I’ve only sung once in Los Angeles for a competition, but I’ve never done a production here. The Florentine is actually my first chance that I’ve gotten to sing in the U.S., and I’m really happy to be here,” said Garcia.
But, this isn’t the first time she’s played Rosina.
“I’ve been doing the role on and off for about ten years now. I’ve always kept il barbiere in my repertoire,” she said. Garcia debut the role at the Teatro Real Madrid, one of her first professional engagements.
She describes Rosina character as “young, happy, committed to what she wants”—but also, a little manipulative.
“She plays with people’s emotions, all the different men in the show. She’s not mean-spirited, but she does play with them a lot,” Garcia laughed. “I’m not that cold.”
Garcia has been singing ever since she was a small child. But, she didn’t originally pursue opera performance.
“I started out as a teacher in Barcelona,” she said. “I taught music, math and science, but music was my specialty. The kids were anywhere from three to twelve years old.”
After two years, Garcia said she realized that “being alone in a classroom all day with thirty kids” was not for her. That’s when she decided to choose singing as a career path.
Garcia completed her vocal studies at the National Opera Academy of Paris. It was in the city of lights where her professional career began to take off.
Since then, she has been a semi-finalist at the 2008 Montserrat Caballé Singing Competition, a finalist at the 2009 Luis Mariano Singing Competition, being awarded the second prize for female singers; a finalist at the 2009 Francesco Viñas Competition, being awarded with a scholarship and with the special prize “Grupo de liceístas del 4o y 5o piso” as the most promising Spanish singer; and a finalist of the 2010 Paris Opera Competition. During 2014, Garcia was a finalist in the 33rd International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Düsseldorf and in the 22nd edition of Plácido Domingo’s Operalia in Los Angeles.
Garcia said her favorite places to perform have been in Montreal, Amsterdam, and her home town, Barcelona. She explained that the biggest differences between doing an opera production in Europe and the United States are the rehearsal schedules, and when people generally eat in different countries and cultures.
So far, she’s enjoying her time with the Florentine and in the city of Milwaukee.
“Everyone here is really friendly, and everyone at the company is great. Everyone has been really receptive,” she said.
While she’s been mostly busy rehearsing, she did have the chance to take in her first ever professional baseball game at Miller Park, when the Milwaukee Brewers took on the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, April 22. Garcia and a group of other cast and crew members from The Barber of Seville attended the game together on their evening off of rehearsal.
“It was a lot of fun. It was really cool to see, and we even got up on the big screen!” she said, laughing.
Garcia said she has also appreciated learning from, and talking with, Maestro Joseph Rescigno, the Florentine’s principal conductor. “He has some really funny stories he tells,” she said.
As for her co-stars, Garcia said each one is incredibly talented and fun to watch on stage.
“I won’t tell you which one is the funniest, because I want people to see for themselves when they come,” she said. “You should come and discover the Barber of Seville, whether you are a little child or an older person. Everyone will like this production.”