You worked with Peter Kazaras (former Seattle Opera YAP Director) during your time in the program. Now he’s directing The Consul. How has Peter influenced your career?
If it weren’t for Seattle Opera’s Young Artists Program, I have no idea where I would be. Peter was no small part of that.
My grandfather (who was Lithuanian) was drafted into the Soviet Army during World War II. He ended up spending a summer living in the forest trying to avoid the draft and because he defected, the rest of his family was sent to Siberia.
|Marcy Stonikas (right) as Magda Sorel and Sarah Larsen (left) as The Secretary in rehearsal for The Consul |
Bill Mohn photo
I try to use every life experience that I can. I happen to be married and I have a little boy, but I can’t really go there in a way. It is helpful to have those relationships, and in fact, I even lived with my mother-in-law at one point, just like Magda does.
What’s the most challenging part of this opera for you vocally and dramatically?
What’s funny to me is that the most challenging scenes are the ones where I’m trying to interact with The Secretary. It’s hard to calm down enough to sing; it gets to the point where, because of what I’m doing, I’m actually agitated and nervous. It’s way more complicated and dramatic than simply singing an aria.
|Marcy Stonikas (center) as Magda Sorel, Michael Todd Simpson as John Sorel (right) and Lucille Beer as The Mother|
Bill Mohn photo
I’m slightly trepidatious, but also, I’m excited to have my son Henry come on these intercontinental adventures with me. I want him to speak other languages, which is just a good idea if you’re the son of an opera singer. I myself speak French, German and Italian.
What are you most looking forward to about singing Magda?
I’m excited to have my most dramatic role yet; it’s going to be a big sing, that’s for sure. This story is so relevant, it could be any time period—it’s happening some place right now.
The Consul at Seattle Opera
February 22, 26, 28 and March 1, 5, 7 at 7:30 p.m. February 23 at 2 p.m.
For full cast, more information and tickets, please click here.