The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown
—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —–
To describe this time before the premiere of The Tale of Lady Thị Kính as “busy” is an understatement. It is extremely stressful, hectic, exhausting, at the very least. But rewarding, worthy, and excited at the same time, I imagine.
Thus, I do appreciate it so very much indeed any singer who could find time in their five-dimensional world of work and family to share some thoughts on their characters, as follow.
Cast 1: Friday, February 7, 2014 and Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Cast 2: Saturday, February 8, 2014 and Friday, February 14, 2014.
Mãng Ông 1 – David Rugger
Mãng Ông 2 – David Ross Coughanour
Sùng Ông 1 – Bruno Sandes
Sùng Ông 2 – Daniel Lentz
“The challenges for my character are to be drunk, but to not act like I’m drunk and still singing with good technique. Also, to be a really unlikeable person, which is not my nature. I have to be really physical and make a big impression to the plot, while only being on stage a short while. I have to be comical while doing a really intense and dramatic act in a scene.”
Sùng Bà 1 – Sooyeon Kim
“The challenge for me in playing Sùng Bà (also in playing any roles from other operas) is to pace out well the physical and emotional energy that’s needed for this role so that I do not get exhausted vocally and emotionally before the end of the show. I tend to be absorbed too much in the emotion of the character I play and I’ve realized that it could sometimes affect the quality of my singing.
Sùng Bà is such a dramatic character (and the meanest!) who often needs powerful singing with a big vocal range and yelling at other characters. So I try not to tire my voice by being too dramatic with emotions and I try to sing with a good energy without losing the expressiveness in the character throughout the whole show.”
Sùng Bà 2 – Julianne Park
“My character is Sùng Bà She is all of our worst nightmare to have as a mother-in-law. She screams, pushes, accuses, insults… Having often sung roles where I played the stereotypical damsel in distress, learning how to be a complete terror both physically and vocally on stage, and unleashing the ‘inner-beast’ has been a growing experience. Additionally, since this is a world premiere, we are paving the way in a sense, we have learned it with the help of great coaches as we navigate through a very unfamiliar style and this has been an exciting challenge. The biggest struggle with my role, however, has been keeping a healthy technical vocal approach while having to sing a very demanding vocal range consisting of a high tessitura that then drops below the staff. And all this sung as such an angry woman… I must keep in check constantly to not over sing or push as would be the temptation with this type of character. It has been a thrill to work with the charming P.Q. Phan, though. A positive, kind man that makes the hard work very worth while.”
Lý Trưởng 1 – Jeremy Gussin
Lý Trưởng 2 – Jerome Sibulo
Nô 1 – Lorenzo Garcia
Nô 2 – Andrew LeVan
Four friends: Veronica Amandola, Natalie Weinberg, Anna Hashizume, Joan Snyder
Sư Cụ 1 – Adam Walton
Sư Cụ 2- Rafael Porto
Thiện Sĩ 1 – Will Perkins
Thiện Sĩ 2 – Christopher Sokolowski
“A challenge for my character, Thiện Sĩ, is how to properly portray him in this setting and still be relatable to the audience. Naturally we all want the challenge of portraying our characters in the Eastern background that they are from, but to really make the story relatable and to communicate effectively, the characters need to be somewhat of a synthesis of Eastern-world flair and Western-world realism or relevance. My character is an arrogant and noble scholar born into a very wealthy family, but it’s not quite the same smug and selfishly entitled quality that we would interpret in our society. Status is such an strong element in the Vietnamese culture that this opera displays, so the arrogance must feel very integral to him and his family, and thus must be completely unforgiving.”
Vợ Mõ 1 – Christa Ruiz
Vợ Mõ 2 – Marlen Nahhas:
“I have to say that the biggest challenge with playing the character of Vợ Mõ is that she is a very intelligent, witty, and bombastic character. It is difficult to be true to her persona whilst still sounding like an opera singer. I often just am tempted to over act and my sound suffers from it.”
Thị Mầu 1 – Sandra Periord
Thị Mầu 2 – Angela Yoon
Thị Kính 1 – Sarah Ballman
Thị Kính 2 – Veronica Jensen
Read the Vietnamese version.