1) What inspired you to become a singer?
My heritage inspired me: I’m proudly Italian-Canadian and a dual citizen. We travel back to my dad’s hometown in Abruzzo every year and I love singing Italian opera and song!
Also, as an eight-year-old, my parents brought me to my first opera, Tosca, in Toronto. In retrospect, my parents laughingly admit that perhaps it was a bit heavy for an eight-year-old, what with the torture, love affairs and suicide, but I was transfixed! Hooked! I talked about that production for months and it planted the seed of opera and theatre in me.
2) What’s your dream role and why?
My dream role is Violetta in “La Traviata”. Seldom does one have the chance to showcase such a wide range, both literally and figuratively. Literally, with regard to vocal range, Violetta sings extreme high notes in the first act, low notes in the final act and runs the gamut in between. Figuratively, one is afforded the opportunity to showcase a great emotional range: from being the centre of attention and commanding a room, to the most intimate, vulnerable moments alone and afraid. This vulnerability is exciting for the audience too, and hopefully, they get a glimpse of the hard work, discipline and commitment required to carry off this complex character.
3) Who is your favourite opera singer and why?
Angela Gheorghiu. I’ve seen her live as both Mimi and Violetta at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Each time, she was utterly unafraid and in command of her instrument. I saw her take control again and again: changing tempi when required, or standing stock still, drawing us in and delivering some of the most vulnerable vocal lines. In an era of impossibly perfect classical recordings, she is a shining example of vocal excellence live, at the theatre.
4) What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition?
The QSIMC is a rare opportunity to step onto the world stage. The Canadian opera world is very small, and being here challenges me to raise my standards, both technically and artistically, and practice complete preparation. In addition, I can learn a lot from such high-level, international young singers. In competition and masterclasses I can constantly ask myself: “How are they doing it in Scandinavia? In Germany? In the U.S.?”
5) Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself!
I make a mean Manhattan cocktail! Perfect for cold, Canadian nights.
6) Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public?
I’ve grown up addicted to Scandinavian crime fiction! I have a deep and abiding love of Jo Nesbø, Anne Holt, Henning Mankell and Jussi Adler-Olssen. This is my first time in Norway and I can’t wait to see all the places I’ve imagined!