Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A Chat with Lisa Daltirus
Soprano Lisa Daltirus loves to sing Verdi’s heroines—especially Leonora, the role she is currently performing in Seattle Opera’s Il Trovatore. “I enjoy her journey: from girlish and naïve and in love to desperate and willing to sacrifice her life for the one she loves,” Daltirus said. Of course, singing Verdi’s beautiful and challenging music is part of the fun, as well. “I enjoy conquering the vocal demands of this role,” she said. “It’s pure Verdi!”
And how does she put her own stamp on a role that’s been sung by some of opera’s greats? “I make it my own by delving into the soul of the character and finding the colors and intentions in the music that Verdi penned,” she said.
The days before opening night were trying for Daltirus, to say the least. During dress rehearsal week, her father passed away. Her husband also lost family members in the Haitian earthquake. Even so, the performances have gone well, Daltirus said. “I have truly been leaning on my faith in God.”
This is only her second Leonora (she previously performed the role at Connecticut Opera), and she is pleased to be making her sophomore outing at Seattle Opera. Although she is from the Philadelphia area, returning to Seattle Opera “feels like coming home,” said Daltirus, who has been seen here in the title roles in Verdi’s Aida and Puccini’s Tosca. “Speight Jenkins and the wonderful audience and people of Seattle have been amazingly supportive of me and I am so very grateful. I look forward to great productions in the future with the company.”
You only have two more chances to catch Daltirus in Il Trovatore before it closes on Saturday (this cast also performs tonight; the alternate cast performs on Friday). Daltirus’s next stop is Washington National Opera, where she makes her company debut as Serena in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in March.