By: Jennifer Colgan
Opera Colorado’s fortieth Anniversary Season kicks off with a spectacular semi-staged manufacturing of Cavalleria rusticana. In case you are a longtime Opera Colorado attendee, you’ll acknowledge a number of faces on stage, together with mezzo-soprano Kira Dills-DeSurra as Lola. Kira has carried out in a number of Opera Colorado productions going again to 2018. Be taught a bit about her historical past with the corporate and why she is trying ahead to this particular efficiency of Cavalleria rusticana.
Be part of us September 10 at 7:00 p.m. for Cavalleria rusticana and mezzo-soprano Kira Dills-DeSurra’s efficiency. Tickets begin at simply $39>>
TELL US ABOUT YOUR HISTORY WITH OPERA COLORADO.
I used to be one in all Opera Colorado’s Artists in Residence from 2018 by 2020. I had the privilege of working with the corporate for 2 seasons—my second was through the pandemic. Quite a lot of corporations needed to let their artists go, and it was superb that Opera Colorado maintained our contracts and housing and made certain that we have been taken care of throughout that point. They actually look out for their very own.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS FROM YOUR TIME WITH OPERA COLORADO?
Do I ever! It’s so arduous as a result of there are such a lot of, from mainstage to neighborhood performances. A giant one was After Life by Tom Cipullo on the Kirkland Museum. I performed Gertrude Stein, who has a autopsy reunion with Picasso, and so they speak about their lives and relationships round World Conflict II. It ties into the Holocaust and the way their artwork might need helped or harm what was occurring on the time. It was an fascinating piece, and Tom Cipullo himself attended. I really like new work and recognize that Opera Colorado seeks to inform tales in new and progressive methods.
Opera Colorado additionally has an incredible efficiency alternative for its Artists in Residence referred to as the Pupil Matinee. We get to cowl larger, mainstage roles on the Ellie, with full orchestra, in a barely abridged efficiency for college kids. I acquired to try this with two roles, one in all which was my dream position of Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. The second pupil matinee position I had the chance to play was Rosina in The Barber of Seville, which is a large endeavor. I additionally got here again within the 2021-22 Season to be featured within the Pupil Matinee for Carmen as Mercedes, who narrated this system for the children!
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO SINCE YOUR ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE DAYS?
All through the pandemic, I’ve been in a position to work greater than I believed was doable, partly due to the coaching and assets I acquired at Opera Colorado. Some roles I’ve taken on embody Frida in Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Lady within the Phrase with Central Metropolis Opera and Opera Steamboat and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus at Central Metropolis Opera.
A good friend and I additionally put collectively a program at a neighborhood gallery, BRDG Undertaking, referred to as Interaction, the place we curated a program that concerned singing and visible artwork. We recorded music, and visible artists created items based mostly on what they felt, heard, or skilled whereas listening to it. There was a gallery exhibiting all of the items of artwork—it was such a cool solution to see how folks react to opera or music otherwise. Everybody heard the identical program, and the artwork was so wildly completely different.
This summer season, Opera Colorado introduced me again for an additional very thrilling undertaking, a recording of Steal a Pencil for Me by Gerald Cohen and Deborah Brevoort. The unique mezzo-soprano featured in Opera Colorado’s world premiere of the manufacturing had one other contract, in order that they requested me if I used to be . It was simply such an incredible expertise. I had by no means executed an expert recording earlier than.
THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME SINGING LOLA. WHAT IS YOUR PREPARATION PROCESS FOR A NEW ROLE?
First, I look to see if there’s any supply materials that the libretto relies on. I take into account myself a storyteller, and I prefer to get conversant in the character in any means I can. I additionally actually like to dig into the rating. One of many first issues I do is tab and spotlight my components, then I’m going again by and translate the entire opera. I hearken to the entire piece with the libretto and ensure I perceive what the total story is. After that, I communicate the textual content like a monologue, after which I work within the rhythm and music. I additionally have a look at the orchestration to see what else the music is saying.
With Lola, it’s form of arduous as a result of she’s not the nicest girl… she causes some drama. I work arduous at discovering what makes her human—I by no means need her to really feel like a caricature. David, the director, referred to as me previous to the present and gave me some concepts about his idea.
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT TO PREPARE FOR A SEMI-STAGED PERFORMANCE VERSUS A FULL PERFORMANCE?
I’ve to say, the half I’m challenged with probably the most is discovering my very own clothes! In some methods, it offers me a lot extra freedom to make Lola who I need her to be and produce a few of Kira to that, versus somebody dressing me. Then again, it’s like while you open Netflix and have so many choices and find yourself scrolling for hours as a result of it’s an excessive amount of stress!
David is a superb director. Regardless that it’ll be “semi-staged,” we’ll nonetheless be capable of inform the total story. The music is so stunning, and it actually helps inform the story. The staging additionally makes it extra intimate of an expertise, and it some methods, it is going to be simpler to search out the reality in it.
I’m additionally excited to have Ari [Pelto] on stage, to really feel the orchestration in actual time with out the delay of the pit. Seeing what Ari is like bodily and the orchestra takes it to a brand new degree. The viewers needs to be enthusiastic about this uncommon alternative to see them in motion.
IS THERE ANYTHING THE AUDIENCE SHOULD LISTEN OR WATCH FOR IN CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA? ANYTHING YOU ARE PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT?
The Intermezzo is so stunning. A lot of the story is informed within the orchestration together with the singing, and the orchestra is nearly like its personal character.
I am so excited to work with two powerhouse mezzos I’ve been a fan of for my complete profession, Catherine Martin and Catherine Prepare dinner. That is such a terrific group of individuals that may have nice chemistry, particularly with David facilitating. Regardless that it’s a brief opera, the viewers will really feel one thing for all these characters, and that’s what artwork is about.
It’s so fantastic to be introduced again to Opera Colorado, an organization that invested in me and believes in me. This can be an electrical efficiency I hope nobody misses as a result of I feel folks can be speaking about it for some time. Blissful Birthday, Opera Colorado!
Be part of us September 10 at 7:00 p.m. for Cavalleria rusticana and mezzo-soprano Kira Dills-DeSurra’s efficiency. Tickets begin at simply $39.>>
What questions would you ask Kira? Have you ever ever seen a semi-staged manufacturing earlier than? What are you most trying ahead to seeing or listening to in Cavalleria rusticana?