WEBSOTOBAYOMIheadshotcolorLaura Soto-Bayomi, Soprano

Studio Artist

 

Hometown: Secaucus, New Jersey
 
 
 

 

 

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We challenged Laura to a 30-second interview. Here is what she told us:
 
Q: What is your favorite opera?
A:The Rake’s Progress and La Traviata
 
Q: Who are your favorite singers?
A: Elly Ameling, Leonard Cohen, Elton John, Renee Fleming
 
Q: What are your dream roles?
A: Anne Trulove, Lohengrin
 
Q: What was your favorite singing experience so far or your favorite role that you have performed?
A: Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw
 
Q: What do you love about opera?
A: Nothing in opera is ridiculous as long as you commit to the intention. And because instead of talking, people sing! What’s not to like? ;)
Q: What is your favorite flavor of icecream?
A:Cookie dough or pistachio
 
Q: What else should we know?
A:I’m a Netflix addict.


 

 

WebFritzPhoto-AlisonK-008Alison King, Soprano

Apprentice Artist

 

Hometown: Portland, Oregon
 
 
 

 

 

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We challenged Alison to a 30-second interview. Here is what she told us:
 
Q: What is your favorite opera?
A:I feel like my favorite opera shifts from year to year. I absolutely love Russian and American operas. Lately I have become obsessed with the music from Tchaikovsky's Iolanta.
 
Q: Who are your favorite singers?
A: Marilyn Horne, Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti to name a few. I recently saw Stephanie Blythe as Baba in The Rake's Progress, which was incredible!
 
Q: What are your dream roles?
A: I am getting to cover my dream role this summer...Tatiana in Eugene Onegin
 
Q: What was your favorite singing experience so far or your favorite role that you have performed?
A: My favorite role was playing Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress. I absolutely love the music in that opera. A favorite singing experience, though, was when I sang at Carnegie Hall for the first time....that feeling was simply magical.
 
Q: What do you love about opera?
A: What I love about opera is the incredible characters and stories that are set with music. They are so powerful that they have the ability to move an audience to tears or laughter.
Q: What is your favorite flavor of icecream?
A:Coffee ice cream!!!
 
Q: What else should we know?
A: I sang back up for Burt Bacharach when I was 10 and I absolutely love Teavana!! 


 

 

WebAddieHamiltonAddie Hamilton, Soprano

Studio Artist

 

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
 
 
 

 

 

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We challenged Addie to a 30-second interview. Here is what she told us:
 
Q: What is your favorite opera?
A: Easy. Tales of Hoffman.
 
Q: Who are your favorite singers?
A: I adore Beverly Sills (who doesn't?) and Anita Hartig.
 
Q: What are your dream roles?
A: I first discovered my love for opera watching The Marriage of Figaro and have always secretly wanted to play Cherubino.
 
Q: What was your favorite singing experience so far or your favorite role that you have performed?
A: My two favorite roles that I have sung are Pamina in The Magic Flute and Charlotte in A Little Night Music. Two VERY different characters.
 
Q: What do you love about opera?
A: Opera has the ability to transport us to a time, place, and emotion of our choosing. Through the music, we are often guided to these places, but the best is when we are swept.
Q: What is your favorite flavor of icecream?
A:Salted Caramel :)
 
Q: What else should we know?
A: I’m “Ambipedal”- I can write with both of my feet. 


 

 

WebHawkinsHeadshothrLeah Hawkins, Mezzo-Soprano

Studio Artist

 

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
 
 
 

 

 

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We challenged Leah to a 30-second interview. Here is what she told us:
 
Q: What is your favorite opera?
A: I can't say that I have a favorite.
 
Q: Who are your favorite singers?
A: FLORENCE QUIVAR. Everyone should know her name! Such a fantastic singer. Also, Jessye Norman, Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry, Christa Ludwig, Elena Obraztsova.
 
Q: What are your dream roles?
A: Haha. I'd love to get to the point where I'm singing so well that fach no longer matters. That said: Carmen, Dalila, Ulrica, Lady Macbeth, Santuzza, Turandot and Mimi.
 
Q: What was your favorite singing experience so far or your favorite role that you have performed?
A: My favorite singing experience? So far it would have to be Lee Hoiby's Bon Appétit where an episode of Julia Child's cooking show is set to music. It is a one-woman show where I had to make cake batter ON STAGE. It was slightly difficult music, but the real challenge was multi-tasking. Singing correct notes and rhythms is pretty challenging when you're beating eggs to stiff peaks! I'm not known for my cooking prowess so I had to go home and practice whisking, beating, folding and everything in between. I have a new-found respect for chefs and bakers alike! It challenged me as a singer and an artist and, for that, I have become a better actress. Also, it taught me how to be fearless and have fun on stage. Julia Child wasn't afraid of making mistakes and being awkward, so why should I? I had to let go of nerves and worries and bake a chocolate cake!
 
Q: What do you love about opera?
A: I love the process of taking a concept and watching it grow and develop. I love that I have the ability to effect how a person feels. Few things are more magical than the moment when you lock in and connect with an audience. And it doesn't matter if it is an audience of 1 or 1000-that inexplicable connection to another human being-THAT is why I sing and THAT is why I love performing opera.
Q: What is your favorite flavor of icecream?
A: Coffee and cookie dough ice cream=heaven.
 
Q: What else should we know?
A: I’ve traveled to every continent except Antarctica-but I haven’t been to Canada. I’m hoping to change that this summer!


 

 

         

Meet Andy Gale and Ms. Teddy Kern,
co-directors and co-writers of

"Backstage Pass: Heart & Music"

Music Theater Revue

               IMG 6932 IMG 6915

Performances July 21 and August 4

10:00pm in Lenna Hall

(Festival Seating. No additional ticket necessary with valid gatepass)

 

How did you develop the show? What came first, the songs or the story? 

AG: We picked songs that we wanted to work on... then Teddy had the idea to set the piece backstage at a show. 
TK: Originally Andy didn't love the idea, but a few days later he came back to me, saying "let's do backstage at the last night of a run".
AG: The stakes are higher, there's more specificity. Then we were talking to Barney [B.G. Fitzgerald, Resident Costume Designer] and he had the idea of doing it backstage at the last performance of Hair. And we thought it was a great idea! It's specific; it's relate-able for the singers. So it was really a collaborative effort to create a framework of a narrative in which each singer can come through individually and collectively. Instead of a "Songs of Sondheim" or "Songs of Cole Porter," we programmed a range of songs from the 1920s to the 2000s to develop the community and the highlight the emotional arc of a theatrical troupe.

How was it working with singers on choreography?
 

TK: It was great! That is my experience. Over the past 40 years, I've worked with singers on dance and movement. 
AG: She knows how to convey technical knowledge in a way that non-dancers understand. And she has a magic touch. A pixie-dust unique to Teddy. Anybody can explain to singers "how to dance". But Teddy knows how to make dance technique palatable for people without that kind of training. I do not mean to talk for her, but she knows how to convey style, history, and intent. She explains why a certain posture exists; why women dance with men in a particular style. It creates a wholeness to the movement she creates.
TK: I know how choreographers talk. They create a behavior and posture unfamiliar to singers. Consequently, the singers retreat; they do not inhabit the movement. I've learned how to remove the sense of intimidation of "dancing" for singers so they can feel as comfortable and natural doing the movements.

What makes your program "Backstage Pass: Heart and Music" special?

AG: Well, there are 12 phenomenal singing actors that you become familiar with--their joy, frustration, and excitement. We think we've created a new, intimate scenario born by the order of the pieces that illustrates a sense of belonging and of needing to be part of something more than oneself. This may come from a boyfriend/girlfriend, a job, a pet. For many of us, this also comes from being part of a theater troupe. Closing night often offers the nostalgic lens to see the journey we have taken together. We tried to mirror that journey in the writing of this program. 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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