Houston, Houston Grand Opera, Opera, La boheme, LA BOHÈME, Heidi Stober, Musetta, John Caird
Me: Is LA BOHÈME a good first opera for someone to see?
Heidi: Absolutely. I think this is a fantastic first opera. I’ve never met a single person, operagoer or in the profession, who has said, “Oh, LA BOHÈME, I don’t really care for it.” Some people simply love it, love it, love it way more than others do, but I still think there is always an appreciation for it. This opera pulls at your heartstrings. The music is gorgeous. The story is relatable, I think, especially because of RENT. I remember in college going to see RENT whenever I could in various cities that I would either be living in or visiting. I think it’s a perfect first opera.
Me: For you, what are the best aspects of performing LA BOHÈME in Houston?
Heidi: I just think it’s wonderful that Houston Grand [Opera] is doing this brand new production. It's just been a great group of people to work with. I sort of can't express that enough. Like I said, for me, this is like coming home because this is where I did my training and it was such an important, crucial part of my development as a singer and artist.
Me: Who would be a dream role for you?
Heidi: Well, there’s a number of dream roles. One, definitely for me, is Ann Truelove in THE RAKE’S PROGRESS, which is by [Igor] Stravinsky. It’s just amazing music and it’s a lovely role. There are a number of Handel roles I’d like to do. The other one I’d say definitely is doing more Strauss. I’d love to do more Strauss operas.
Me: You received rave reviews for playing Atlanta in XERXES in Houston. What was that like for you as an artist?
Heidi: It was wonderful. First of all, I love singing Handel. I certainly cannot have enough opportunities to do Handel operas. For me, with XERXES, it was singing with Susan Graham, David Daniels, Laura Claycomb, and all of these artists I had worked with before and have very nice, wonderful relationships with. David Daniels singing Handel, there’s just nothing like it in the world. This was just a fantastic opera. It was nice to play a role that had sort of this comedic side to it as well and play with that. When the reviews came out, of course, it was nice to know things were well received. And I think again that production, even though it wasn’t a new production and something that had been around for a while, it still really captured audiences. Handel operas can be very long evenings, but I think with this dynamic group of singers and actors and some beautiful, beautiful Handel music and some very exciting fast arias and the fireworks that happen in the fast aria, it was really a nice role to come back to Houston and do. Then, we actually did it again, the same production, last fall in San Francisco with a lot of the same cast. That time Patrick Summers conducted. He did not conduct it here in Houston actually, but he did in San Francisco. That was just an incredible experience, and one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time.
Me: What advice do you have for young performers, working on their craft?
Heidi: Continue to work on your voice with teachers no matter where you are and what you’re doing. It becomes harder and harder if you’re on the road with this career. And I think besides being strong musicians that pay really good attention to all the details, the wonderful subtleties that can be in the music that the composer created, to me, having acting chops this day and age is really important—taking acting courses and really honing that craft as well.
Me: Where can audiences see you after LA BOHÈME?
Heidi: Well, I go back to Berlin, which is my home base. Basically in a period of about a month, when I’m back there, I will be doing a brand new production of THE LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES which is by [Sergei] Prokofiev, and I will also be singing Pamina in THE MAGIC FLUTE and Micaëla in CARMEN. Like I said, all three of those are within a month.
With direction by Tony winner John Caird, this is sure to be a must see production. Tickets range from $15 to $350. Season subscriptions, which get you tickets for all 6 operas, can still be purchased for as low as $69. For tickets and more information please call (713) 228 -6737.
Photo courtesy of Houston Grand Opera.
David is a Special Education teacher with a passion and love for the performing arts. He aspires to become a full time theatre critic and/or professor of Drama as Literature. |