Over the course of three performances, Edmonton audiences will become familiar with the stories of Almaviva, Rosina, Bartolo, Basilio and Figaro, along with other characters that they pull into the drama of The Barber of Seville (Oct. 25, 28 & 30, 2014). But what about the stories of the opera singers behind these characters? Through a series of blog posts, we'll share some of the most interesting answers that members of the cast have submitted.
Which character would you love the opportunity to play in an opera?
I would love to sing Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier because the music is drop-dead gorgeous. On a completely different note, I would also love to play Carmen. I think that is a dream role for a lot of mezzos. (Editor's note: since this production of "The Barber of Seville" is set on a movie studio backlot, the film star Rosina is shooting scenes for a movie version of the opera "Carmen.") -Sylvia Szadovszki, Rosina
I would love to sing the role of Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd. I used to maintain and sail on tall ships as a teenager and I have sung Britten's music at practically all stages of my life, from his children's songs to the War Requiem. This story of a tragic dreamer aboard a ship of the line really resonates with me and the music fits my voice like a glove. -Phillip Addis, Figaro
I'd love one day to play Rigoletto. You run this gauntlet of emotions, playing a father, a jester and a vengeful employee. - Aaron Durand, Fiorello
There are a few! One of the greatest tenor roles Mozart ever wrote is Tito in La Clemenza di Tito. He's a Roman emperor who gets betrayed by his friends and has to reconcile his conscience with his duties as king — the plot reads like an episode of Game of Thrones. His music is just thrilling and it's one of those roles that my voice just loves to sing. I also love the role of Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore. On the surface, he's a simple guy, but his too-beautiful music and the words he sings reveal a really deep character with enormous heart. It's a role that's both comic and dramatic in its scope. What's not to love? Finally, I'm not sure what this says about me but I really like playing bad guys. There are only a few opera villains written for tenors — it's mostly baritones who get to be mean on stage! I'd love to play Begearss in The Ghosts of Versailles. He's hilariously evil and I completely adore him. Seeing that show was also a big part of why I went into opera! Herod in Salome is another great role. I don't know that I'd ever fit it vocally, but a guy can dream! - James McLennan, Almaviva