Opera, Travel

Cherry Blossoms, Monuments, and Opera – OH MY!

Magic Flute at Washington National Opera has it’s final performance tomorrow afternoon, and then we will head home to our little Connecticut seaside gem on Monday for the first time in over 4 months.  It’s hard to believe that we’ve literally been AROUND the world and back since January, with so many new adventures to remember and cherish.  I am very ready for a few hermit-like weeks at home, and despite lots of work to do on new roles I am learning for this summer in Austria and next season, it will undoubtedly feel a bit like a vacation. What’s the saying? “Home is where ‘my bed’ is”, right?

But before we leave our great nation’s capitol, here are some images of our explorations here!

We arrived at the beginning of April just in time to see the famous cherry blossoms! We were lucky they were a little late this year because of the terribly horrendous life-crushing winter. (We were also lucky to have MISSED the terribly horrendous life-crushing winter… instead, enjoying locales like New Orleans, Hawaii and Australia!) It was odd, bidding farewell to the waning summer days of Tasmania and being greeted with the bursting beauty of fresh springtime (and pollen) here in DC! Every tree was heavy with these gorgeous blossoms!  The cherries really run the roost around here, but an honorable mention goes to the magnolias – and the apples too!

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Tom and Noir and I took several long walks around the famous monuments at the National Mall, and since dogs aren’t allowed inside the boundaries of many of the monuments, he spent most of his time snuggling inside my purse, where he seems happier than when he’s using his own four legs to walk.

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The White House!

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I had my very first TV interview to promote WNO’s Magic Flute on the funky Arch Campbell Show on ABC7! Here we are in front of the green screen!

Katie reads a letter

Katie bids Arch adieu

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And then there was the opera!  Here I am singing The Queen of the Night in Washington National’s The Magic Flute!

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And the after-party of opening night! Isn’t my date a handsome dude?

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And the cherry on top was a little one-on-one time with this incredible lady: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

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It’s been an amazing 6 weeks here in Washington D.C!

Next stop… THE BEACH!

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Opera, Travel

Opera in the Outfield

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…)

 

Opera in the Outfield
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I realize this last photo is me…. but it still gives me nightmares.

 

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Here are a few of the press photos, taken at the final dress rehearsal last week!

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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.

 

 

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