I grew up in New York City, USA with my parents, brother and sister. I always sang and was surrounded by the arts. I started training for classical voice/opera when I was fourteen years-old. I sang among other children and represented their choir in the solo division of an international competition. I was so excited when I won first place! It really inspired me to take voice lessons and study opera seriously. I also played the flute and piano while studying acting which trained me for a life in the arts.
-My role models in opera were Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, and Cecilia Bartoli in addition to singers from the previous generations such as Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti and Marilyn Horne. I also looked up to pop singers such as Whitney Houston, dancers like Isadora Duncan, and actors like Julia Roberts.
-I was very studious and I remember many hours in the practice room during my teenage years; I was completely committed to figuring out how to sing in a good bel canto vocal technique. I took private voice lessons every week and went to a Saturday day program at the Manhattan School of Music preparatory division. I also went to a performing arts High School, where I had music and acting class in addition to academics.
-I sing professionally in opera and theatre companies and it is very satisfying to perform for audiences and see them moved by the music. I also am currently on many albums and I love hearing from fans around the world that they heard me sing and it healed them or brightened their day. That’s the best satisfaction for me.
-My goal is a gender equal world. On International Women’s Day 2020, my colleagues and I posted on social media the importance of gender equality for today and the future. I think there is still a lot of work to be done in this area, but as more people speak up about the importance of gender equality, the more we are headed in the right direction.
-When I am offered a project, I consider if I can bring truth and life into the role. I consider if the role resonates with me and if I feel passionate about the project. I usually know right away! I either have an instinctive feeling that it is the right fit, or an instinctive feeling that it’s not quite right. Once I accept a role or project, I learn the music, study the language that I am singing in and study the character. I practice at home before I join the cast in rehearsals. Then, once in rehearsals, it’s a very focused time period of several weeks. That time includes: music rehearsals, staging rehearsals, costume and wig fittings, tech and dress rehearsals, and then the performances!
-I am a wife and mother of three young kids. I balance my private life by making sure I have a good work/life balance. I have uninterrupted practice time for two hours every day. My husband takes the kids out and it’s just me at the piano. I also look at the calendar ahead and make sure my schedule allows me to be home with my family enough and if not, I adjust the schedule. When I am offered a role, I make sure that the rehearsal and performance time will fit with my family life. Planning ahead really helps!
-Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many of my upcoming live performances have been cancelled. However, I am on a new album that has just been released and you can listen to it anywhere in the world! Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena” is on Albany Records and I play mama in this beautiful cast recording by the San Francisco Opera Guild. This is a multicultural Children’s opera in Spanish and English by Evan Mack and Joshua McGuire that tells the story of Lucinda and her journey to believe in herself at Christmastime.