In order to help you better appreciate our operas, our Community Engagement program presents this series of introductory podcasts hosted by Nicolas Reveles. These brief ‘conversations’ can be enjoyed by opera fans as well as those who are new to the art form. Informal yet informative, this is a great way to prepare to come see the operas during our season.
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Monday, January 27, 2020
Meet Hansel: Mezzo-Soprano, Blythe Gaissert
Blythe Gaissert was last with us in 2017 in our Detour production of Laura Kaminsky's As One, and returns now as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. In this interview with Nic Reveles, she tells us about the physicality necessary to play this very active role, as well as the vocal resources necessary to carry over Humperdinck's large, Wagnerian style orchestra! Enjoy this fun interview with this delightful artist!
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Meet Gretel: Soprano, Sara Gartland
The delightful Sara Gartland is back with us as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, after having performed the role of Musetta for us in La boheme (2015). She's really thought a lot about Gretel and what makes her tick in this operatic version of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale. Listen in as our Nic Reveles interviews her about this charming production and the challenges of the score by composer Englebert Humperdinck!
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Meet the Witch: Tenor, Joel Sorensen
We've done Humperdinck's wonderful opera Hansel and Gretel a number of times in our history of productions here at San Diego Opera, but we've never had a tenor play the role of the Witch! We're welcoming back tenor Joel Sorensen, who's been with the company a number of times since 1999 (Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men). On top of singing the role, something of a challenge simply from the standpoint of musicality and vocalism, Joel has to manipulate a life-sized puppet as a costume, something that makes this a very special opportunity for him as a singing actor. Listen in as Nic Reveles interviews him about this challenging role!
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Meet Radames: Tenor Carl Tanner
It’s always great to welcome back friends who’ve sung with us before, and that’s certainly true of tenor Carl Tanner. Last with us as Calaf in Puccini’s Turandot, he now sings the role of Radames in Verdi’s Aida, a role with few parallels in the ‘big’ tenor repertoire! He reflects on his first-ever Radames which he sung with Mobile Opera in Alabama, a production story that includes an elephant, a horse and a python…not an especially good combination! Enjoy!
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Meet Amneris: Oleysa Petrova
Check out our latest SDO Podcast as Nic Reveles interviews our Amneris in Verdi’s Aida, Russian mezzo-soprano Olesya Petrova. Born in St. Petersburg, her love for her native city is palpable as she talks about the artistic atmosphere that surrounded her during her vocal studies. She has some wonderfully insightful things to say about the character of Amneris, one of the most challenging roles in the Verdi repertoire for mezzo. Enjoy!
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Carmen: Meet Stage Director, Kyle Lang
The wonderful young stage director Kyle Lang brought us terrific productions of The Pirates of Penzance and As One in the last couple of seasons. He's back for Carmen, and that's truly something to be excited about! Listen in as he tells us all about his approach to this classic opera and how each of the principal characters fit in the tragic story. Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Carmen: Meet Robert Watson
Tenor Robert Watson, our Don Jose in Carmen opening this week, has a lot to say about this character. Jose has one of the most interesting character arcs in all opera, moving from lyrical naif to obsessive lover with all of the musical changes that arc demands. The young singer talks about his beginnings as well, hailing from Kansas City (like colleague co-star Scott Conner, our Escamillo) and coming up through the ranks in the German fest system. Enjoy!
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Carmen: Meet Sarah Tucker
Soprano Sarah Tucker sings the role of Micaela in our production of Bizet's Carmen, a role that fits her very well. Micaela is, of course, Don Jose's childhood friend who has come to Seville to bring memories of home and the love of his mother who awaits him in their village. The character as written is rather straightforward, but Sarah talks about how she will come across as somewhat more complex in this production, and how that complexity comes from Bizet's wonderful score. Enjoy.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Carmen: Meet Scott Conner
Bass Scott Conner sings the role of Escamillo in our production of Carmen by Georges Bizet. Listening to this voice...even his speaking voice...you'll want to hear him let loose in the Civic Theatre with the wonderful Toreador Song, an entrance aria like no other! Scott hails from Kansas City and in this interview he talks about his background, his studies and the roles that he's portraying all over the world. On top of it, he's a delightful guy! Enjoy.
Monday, March 18, 2019
Carmen: Meet Ginger Costa-Jackson
Mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson obviously loves the opera Carmen, and has some definite viewpoints when it comes to the main character she portrays. It all boils down to being fully present, completely focused when playing this volatile character, she says. In this delightful interview she digs a little deeper for us and gives the audience a preview of what her Carmen will be! Enjoy.
Monday, March 4, 2019
Three Decembers: Adam Turner
Conductor Adam Turner recently became the Artistic Director and Conductor for Virginia Opera, making him one of the youngest AD's in the American opera world. This is his third time at the helm for Jake Heggie's Three Decembers, and in this interview he reflects on the piece, on chamber opera generally, and on his career. Enjoy this fifth and final interview of the principals in this production!
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Three Decembers: Meet Stage Director, Karen Tiller
Director Karen Tiller has directed Three Decembers three times now, and obviously loves this opera by Jake Heggie. In this interview she talks about her love for the piece as well as for her deep appreciation for its connection between drama, text and music. At the heart of the matter, she says, the message of this opera is that "life is messy", a direct quote from the libretto. Spend a few minutes with this artist and you'll see why we're so excited to present this opera, opening March 8th!
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Three Decembers: Meet Kristin Clayton
Soprano Kristin Clayton has had quite an eclectic career so far...singing roles like Mimi and Violetta, plus singing new roles and including working with a circus! She originated the role of Beatrice in Heggie's Three Decembers, and has an affinity for this wonderful character who is searching for memories of her father, being protective of her brother Charlie and dealing with the sometimes present, sometimes absent mother, Maddy. Join us for this fun conversation with a San Diego Opera debut artist!
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Three Decembers: Meet Steven LaBrie
Baritone Steven LaBrie sings the role of Charlie in Jake Heggie's opera Three Decembers. Charlie is the gay son of Madeline Mitchell (mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade) and brother of Bea (soprano Kristin Clayton) in this intimate family drama. Steven hails from Dallas and has a charming story about his attraction to opera and, eventually, to singing as a career, in this lively interview in which he talks about his career and this wonderful chamber opera. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Three Decembers: Meet Frederica von Stade
We already know what a delightful person and great artist Frederica von Stade is. We're welcoming her back to San Diego Opera in the role of Madeline Mitchell, the central character in Jake Heggie's Three Decembers. In this interview she talks about the opera and her role in it, with an additional few words about opera composer Dominick Argento who passed away just a few days before this interview (aged 91) and composed some lovely music for this singer. A wonderful few minutes with a charming lady! Enjoy!
Friday, February 1, 2019
Rigoletto: Conductor, Steven White
Maestro Steven White is making his debut with San Diego Opera in this production of Rigoletto. (He also happens to be married to soprano Elizabeth Futral who has been with us on several occasions in the past, most notably as Violetta in our 2010 La traviata.) Steven is in love with this Verdi masterwork and has a lot of wonderful things to say about its musical structure in scintillating conversation with Nic Reveles. In fact, they both seem to enjoy "geeking out" over Verdi! Have fun with this dive into the deep end of one of Verdi's greatest works.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Rigoletto: Stage Director, Michael Cavanagh
This is Canadian stage director Michael Cavanagh's debut with San Diego Opera and he's made quite an impression on the cast and crew working on Rigoletto with his positivity, collegiality and generous support of everyone involved in this important project! Listen in to this conversation with Nic Reveles as he gives us his point of view on Verdi's masterpiece and an inside look at what opera stage directors do. Enjoy!
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Rigoletto: Tenor, Scott Quinn
Get ready for a delightful conversation with tenor, Scott Quinn, singing the role of the Duke of Mantua in San Diego Opera's production of Verdi's Rigoletto. Scott is singing the role of a narcissistic, entitled nobleman who uses women for his own pleasure and has utterly no empathy for them. Yet, Verdi gives this character some of the most beautiful and voluptuous music in the opera! Scott discusses that, as well as his past journey into the opera world and a comment or two about how tenors successfully achieve those high notes! Enjoy!
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Rigoletto: Soprano Alisa Jordheim
Soprano Alisa Jordheim is a wonderful young singer making her role debut as well as her company debut with us as Gilda in Rigoletto. In this conversation with Dr. Nic she talks about being a grad student and finding herself in a production of the same opera with Stephen Powell (singing Rigoletto in our production), as well as the challenges of the role. In a fascinating detour, she talks about the importance of breath and where a good singer's breath must emanate from. Listen in and enjoy!
Monday, January 21, 2019
Rigoletto: Interview with Stephen Powell
Baritone Stephen Powell is one of our favorite singers here at San Diego Opera, having sung ten productions with us over the years. He's bringing us his very special take on one of the strangest yet most powerful characters in all opera, and a favorite of the composer himself: Rigoletto. It's a role that demands absolutely everything: technique, musicality, a strong voice and physicality. In this conversation with Nic Reveles the singer shares his ideas about this role as well as some of the other Verdi roles that he has sung (and would like to sing!) Enjoy!