Mezzo-Soprano and Lyric Opera Apprentice Elizabeth Tredent
For the 2012-13 season members of the Lyric Opera Apprentice program, which is a partnership with the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and the University of Kansas School of Music, have a featured role in each of our main stage productions at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
In the upcoming production of Madama Butterfly, Mezzo-Soprano Elizabeth Tredent, a second year UMKC Kaplan Apprentice, will portray the demanding role of Suzuki. These days she is busy rehearsing, but not too long ago we had a chance to speak to her about all things opera. Read what she has to say below.
1. How did your initial interest in the art form of opera begin?
Elizabeth: I didn’t see my first opera until my junior year of high school. It was not until college (freshman year) that I even realized I was capable of singing it!
2. Where did you grow up?
Elizabeth: Ashtabula, OH – an hour east of Cleveland.
3. Do you have any pets or significant others?
Elizabeth: My boyfriend, Clay, is not a singer or musician, but is tremendously supportive and proud of what I do! No kids, no pets, but wish I had a dog!!
4. What is an average day like for you? Do you have a set routine?
Elizabeth: I wish I had a routine, but with different class schedules, it is nearly impossible! I try to practice two hours a day as well as work out five days a week.
5. What is your favorite opera to watch/experience?
Elizabeth: La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot…Puccini!
6. What was the first opera you watched/experienced?
Elizabeth: Turandot with Lise Lindstrom in Cleveland.
7. What story about your personal/professional life do you wish reporters would tell when promoting your work for a producing Company, but have not?
Elizabeth: I would not be here had I not been encouraged by my brother, sister-in-law, and local choir director to audition for vocal performance. I thought I was a big fish in a small pond, and the thought of pursuing this path seemed insane! I double majored in vocal performance and pre-medicine. I was positive that singing was only temporary, and that I would become an OB/GYN! Yet, after my first year of college, I realized there was no place that made me happier than the stage!
8. What facts about you would our audiences be surprised to learn?
Elizabeth: My brother created an orchestra in my school district. He is a band director, and works with his wife, who is a choir director. Also, I LOVE to bake, and if opera doesn’t work out, I think I will open a bakery!
9. What opera role would like to perform the most in your career that you haven’t yet performed?
Elizabeth: Carmen, and in my next lifetime, Mimì or Butterfly!
10. If you bumped into someone at a coffee shop and learned that they had never been to an opera before, what would you say to entice them to give it a try?
Elizabeth: Opera singers are no longer overweight and unattractive! They are great on the stage, and every move he/she makes has a purpose! There are no Viking horns, and many great operas have been modernized to appeal to our generation! It is NOT an art just for the upper class, and you don’t have to wear a tuxedo or gown! Come as you are, and give it a chance!
Bonus – What have you learned or experienced during your apprenticeship with the Lyric Opera that has been most helpful? Alternatively, what do you hope to get out of your apprenticeship with the Company?
Elizabeth: I have developed great respect for each part of the staff. I have learned to love your stage managers, or else…! Most importantly I have seen how lovely it is to make music with such supportive staff and musicians standing by!! I LOVE LOKC!!
Interested in learning more about the upcoming production of Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini? Click here for more information.