In anticipation of our 2015 season we interviewd new and returning students to find out more about them and why they decided to make Chautauqua their home this summer.


Guillaume Poudrier, Carnegie Mellon University


Voice (countertenor) 2015

Why did you decide to audition for CHQ?

I wanted to attend a summer program which had an excellent reputation for technical training and a history of moving young singers forward in their hopeful operatic careers. Chautauqua's uniqueness of having highly successful alumni as well as an extremely well known voice and music faculty made it my top choice.

What are you most excited about for this coming summer?

Private voice study. The discoveries that can take place when you work with a totally new set of ears can be incredible. You never know what kinds of improvements you are going to make with this new person, even in just seven weeks. I am so excited to begin that process this summer.

How did your love of music begin?

There was always music playing in my house. From the Rolling Stones to Mozart to Édith Piaf, I heard it all. It didn't take long for my parents, however — both of whom are especially into rock — to realize I had a special love for classical music when starting from when I was 4 years old I would always ask to change whatever ’70s rock band they we were listening to in the car to Mozart. Not too long after that I saw The Sound of Music and like many other kids my age, I totally fell in love with singing. 

Who has been your biggest influence?

That would hands-down have to be David Daniels. His voice and career are more legendary than any other countertenor. Also, as a lot of my friends know, I have a slight obsession with Strauss' opera Elektra. I was in Dresden, Germany, last summer and had the chance to watch the soprano Evelyn Herlitzius perform the title role. Her voice was like a platinum freight train traveling 1,000 miles per hour covered in dark chocolate. It was incredible. I have been a huge fan of hers ever since.