Yes indeed. It seems to be the year of Colline for the red-headed wonder. For my third one this year, I’m very pleased to be making my début with Opera Memphis on Nov. 9 and 11. It has been a fantastic experience joining this company in what seems a time of major rejuvenation under the leadership of the talented and contagiously charismatic Ned Canty. I’ve known and worked with Ned over the years with American Opera Projects and am so happy to see him thriving at the helm of his own ship, with everyone on board here loving what he’s bringing to the table.
It’s a fantastic cast! Beautiful voices and very talented and fun colleagues. It’s so nice when a familial vibe develops so quickly. Most in this bunch are new to me, but I do know a few. In addition to Ned, who is directing this show, I know conductor Ari Pelto from back in my grad school days at Indiana University. He was assisting Maestro Pallo on my first production there, Arabella, when I sang Count Waldner. That was such an incredible experience. Ari is a great guy and I’m so happy to reconnect with him. Our Musetta is Zulimar López-Hernández, who also sang the role in my last Bohème at Opera Grand Rapids. With her fiery Puerto Rican spirit and an effortless, shimmering soprano to match, she’s perfect for the role. So it goes in the opera world. It’s a strange little extended family, we singers, always crossing paths with each-other here or there. After quickly bonding with the other cast members here that I did not know before, I will look forward to working with them again in some other corner of the world and on who knows what repertoire.
After this production is done, I’m home for a quick few days before heading back to Jacksonville, FL to sing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony again with the Jacksonville Symphony. It’s the same quartet of soloists, but this time we’re performing in Daytona Beach. I love working with that orchestra and Beethoven’s 9th is….well…Beethoven’s 9th. Can’t wait!