I am incredibly honored to be featured as the Sound Bite in the May 2016 issue of Opera News Magazine!
I'd love to briefly share with you about this experience and what went into making this happen. Firstly, my management received a call from F. Paul Driscoll (the Editor of Opera News) last November, letting them know that he would like to feature me. (He had just seen me perform Donna Anna in a production of Don Giovanni). I was ecstatic!
The first part of making this happen was my photo shoot with the world-renowned photographer, Dario Acosta and his fabulous assistant Ira. Dario has photographed so many of world's most famous opera singers. He was incredibly nice, professional, and had several ideas lined up about the looks we were going to go for- he had created a collage of photos from magazines and other places showing certain poses and looks that we could try, which I thought was really helpful. HIs studio is a large, spacious loft in Chelsea with lots of natural light. It is quite perfect!
I was incredibly lucky to have a young singer (and my friend) Zoey Preston at the shoot to help me as my official assistant! She met me at my hotel that morning and helped me lug a giant suitcase full of clothing and jewelry to the shoot. (At one point, Zoey single-handedly caught my giant suitcase just before it fell into a giant puddle of mud and slush!!!)
I was so happy to know that Affan Graber Malik was going to be my hair and makeup artist! He does such great work! He is the "go-to" guru for so many of my colleagues and friends in the opera business! In addition to being an incredible make-up artist, he is such a sweet guy!
Trent Johnson, the Design Director at Opera News was also there. He had the task of bringing along the jewelry which was so generously on loan from Bulgari (!!) as well as overseeing the shoot and in the end, choosing which shots would be included in the publication. Overall, everyone was awesome and they even bought Zoey and I lunch!
The shoot lasted about 7 hours total. It had been a while since my last photo shoot, and I always forget how exhausting shoots are. I give models so much credit! You have to twist your body in so many awkward ways to get that "perfect" angle and shot, and yet somehow still look relaxed. It's hard work! But totally worth it in the end!
The second part of this Sound Bite feature was my interview with F. Paul Driscoll!! It was a scheduled phone interview about a month after the shoot. I've known F. Paul for quite some time. He happened to be a judge at the 2004 Met Opera National Council NY Regional Auditions (which I won) and that is where he first heard me and we first met. We've periodically kept in touch since. It is always a pleasure to run into him or speak with him. This interview was no exception. He is such a kind man and extremely warm. He also has one of the most amazing memories of anyone I've ever met. He remembers little details from the past that most people would forget. He immediately made me feel extremely comfortable during our chat. We chatted about my musical past, present and future. I think he really captured the best moments of our conversation perfectly in the article.
I would like to thank Opera News for this wonderful feature! I hope you enjoyed this inside look on how this all came about! The May issue is on sale now! So please check it out! :)