Archive for the ‘deutsche oper berlin’ Tag

Heidi Melton: The Official Berlin E-Interview

Since I first sang the praises of my friend, soprano Heidi Melton on jcm, she has moved several steps closer to the exposure that her prodigious gifts hinted at. I’m very excited to share with you (Melton fans and newbies alike) my new e-interview with her: she, in Berlin, sidled up to her laptop with frosty brew-in-hand, and me, in San Francisco, eagerly awaiting her return to SFO, in 2011. Ah, it’s the next best thing to sitting down in-person at a pub!

It’s not surprising that, despite the 5,657 miles between us, her appeal, warmth, irrepressible sense of humor, and passion for her art still shine through. Enjoy this glimpse into her life, career and heart…

Photo: Kristin Hoebermann

jcm: What is your very first memory of singing or performing?

HM: I suppose that my first memory of music would be of my grandma sitting next to me on the piano bench, teaching me how to play. It is how I spent the majority of my formative years, and was very gratifying.

jcm: Are you from a musical family? Or, were your gifts helped along in any way in your childhood home?

HM: My family has always loved music, although not necessarily opera. But, they have really started finding an appreciation for it — except for my sister, who still feels that opera sounds like someone is stepping on nails! My grandma went to college for piano performance, so that was always a part of my home, but I will admit to not really discovering opera until I was about 14 or 15.

jcm: Have you always been on track to be a performer, and when did your trajectory shift towards opera?

HM: When I first started applying to undergraduate schools, I did so under music performance and music education. I applied mostly to state schools in Washington, but I had my one “pie in the sky” school, which was the Eastman School of Music. I was accepted into Eastman, but only as a music education major. I wasn’t good enough to get into their performance program. Anyhow, I’ve never been good at accepting a “no,” so I worked hard and juried into performance, and haven’t looked back.

jcm: When did it become clear that your voice was that very special and true dramatic soprano, like one of your favorites, Régine Crespin, or perhaps even a Hochdramatische (“heroic”), like another favorite, Astrid Varnay? Is it a pressure, or instead empowering to know you hold this rare gift?

HM: It does seem to be heading in that direction, doesn’t it? I do consider it a gift, and with any gift comes responsibility, so I am just trying to do all that I can to ensure that I give “the beast” everything that it needs to be the best it can be. But to answer your question, it is both a pressure and empowering.

Continue reading interview —>

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Keeping Tabs on Heidi Melton

Heidi MeltonThanks to operabase.com I discovered that while diva Heidi Melton is in the middle of her career-first run as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser at Opéra National de Bordeaux, she already has quite a line-up of early career roles next season at Deutsche Oper Berlin! I presume this is in addition to her duties covering Brewer’s Alceste, and Voigt’s Chrysothemis.

2009

September – December: Die Frau ohne Schatten, Kinderstimmen / Stimmen der Ungeborenen, Conductors: U Schirmer / Rogister / A Kober

September ’09 – April ’10: Die Zauberflöte, Erste Dame, Conducter: Foremny

2010

February – March: Der Rosenkavalier, Marianne Leitmetzerin,
Conductor: Runnicles

April: Die Walküre, Helmwige, Conductor: Runnicles

April – May: Gotterdammerung, Dritte Norn, Conductor: Runnicles

May: Nabucco, Anna, Conductor: J Fiore

Click here to see her actual posted schedule, and search for your own favorite artist’s upcoming performances by clicking in the left side nav on “Artists”.

Upcoming, Bay Area:

Berkeley Opera’s 2009 Annual Gala
Sunday, May 31, 4:00 – 7:00pm
At Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland
Funds raised at the Gala support Berkeley Opera’s 30th Anniversary Season productions. With sopranos Heidi Melton (Adler Fellow 2007-2009) and Nicolle Foland (Adler Fellow 1995-1996) and bass Kenneth Kellogg (Adler Fellow 2008-2009). Tickets: $65. (510) 841-1903, berkeleyopera@gmail.com, or www.berkeleyopera.org.

If you hear of any additional upcoming performances by Heidi, please post them here in Comments. Thanks! We have to enjoy her Bay Area performances before she becomes more scarce here.