For the past few weeks I’ve been getting over my Australian jet-lag and working at Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C – getting ready to open another production of The Magic Flute by Mozart!
Queen of the Night
I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of QOTN in the last couple years, (this is my 10th production in 2.5 years) and singing this role in particular has introduced me to amazing opportunities, people, countries, and companies. Last December I realized my life-long dream and made my Metropolitan Opera debut singing Queen, and next December I’ll make my debut at the Vienna Staatsoper in Austria singing the same role as well. Two major bucket list items of my career ‘in the bag’ within one year thanks to this role! This particular production is really interesting because it was designed by renowned ceramics artist, Jun Kaneko, so there is a real playful yet edgy and artistic vibe to it. Plus, my two costumes are ridiculously amazing (so I forgive the fact that they are heavy as lead).
Someday I’ll do a post with a Queen theme, that a friend has lovingly started calling “The Queenie Look-Book”.
Washington National Opera
WNO has a fantastic new tradition called “Opera in the Outfield” where they simulcast the opening night performance on the big screen at the Washington Nationals baseball stadium for families to watch in a relaxed picnic-like atmosphere, with lots of other fun activities like face-painting and games, mainly made possible by M&M’s – the Mars Company! This year, a whopping record-breaking 10,000 people of ALL AGES came out to the ballpark to enjoy an evening of opera! Truly an awesome number, especially in light of some recent grim reportings from major opera companies about current attendance! It was amazing to be a part of this, with a great group of colleagues and cast-mates, and a truly memorable way to make my debut at this legendary company at the amazing Kennedy Center, and also in this historic city!
Here are a few pictures that some friends and colleagues took of me on the big screen at the ballpark during the performance – the first two are from Act I, and the last fun and scary one is from later on in the opera when I sing the famous “Vengeance” aria from Act II, which everyone, even non-opera-goers, has heard in their lifetime. There is literally no one I have come across that hasn’t heard it after I hum a few bars (several octaves lower than it’s written…)
I realize this last photo is me…. but it still gives me nightmares.
Here are a few of the press photos, taken at the final dress rehearsal last week!
In the Washington D.C. area and interested in seeing a performance? Visit Washington National Opera’s webspace on the Kennedy Center’s website for more info! There are two casts. My remaining performance dates (including tonight because I’m filling in for an ill colleague) are May 8th, 11th, 16th and 18th.