I made my LA Opera big-stage debut as a daughter of Akhnaten this month. The time-bending score by Philip Glass found perfection in the setting by London director Phelim McDermott.
From the very first day of rehearsal, we knew it would be incredible. We began by exploring a new way of moving across the stage – called “molding” by Phelim – which increased intensity of energy while slowing down the body. Add to that juggling, choreographed by Sean Gandini (who also taught me how to juggle), and this production was a brilliant amalgamation of ancient Egypt, Hollywood, and Cirque du Soleil.
I was especially happy to sing with two other Curtis alumni – J’nai Bridges (who graduated in the same class as me), and Michele Hemmings. (picture below)
Did I mention that we all had blue or gold mani-pedis?
Also, there was this enormous hair-piece-wig-thing that connected Akhnaten’s daughters. Our page to stage said, “would the 6 daughters please come to Stage Left to be fitted with the Hectapus”… and yes, I giggled every single night.
Last night, I made my Hollywood Bowl AND Los Angeles Philharmonic debut!
I gotta say, this place was shnazzy. Super fancy soloist dressing rooms, and they also had a snack/tea spread to die for. Add to that 5 of the best young singers I know (3 of us who were in the LA Opera YAP program at some point), and then also add the chauffeur who drove us everywhere… this was truly STAR treatment!
Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy was conducted by Mirga, a lively and delightful young female conductor. She made the rehearsals so easy and fun! The music was fairly easy too (in my part), so this was honestly one of the most relaxed and enjoyable gigs I’ve ever done.
I am now in the MOST enviable position for all young singers in the world.
At LA Opera, Placido Domingo himself selects a small number of young singers, and he and the staff mentor and coach them for a period of 1-3 years. To have been selected for this program is not only a huge honor, but also the greatest opportunity yet of my operatic career.
Over the next years, I’ll be learning from the living legends of opera, and occasionally (eek!) even performing with them. In addition to regular repertoire, I’ll also be focusing on the Russian repertoire and language (a particular passion of mine).
Also- this means I get to LIVE in Los Angeles, the capitol of the entertainment industry. I look forward to understanding what makes LA Opera a thriving company, focused on both classical and modern opera today.