HEIDI MELTON – An Interview with “Sieglinde” in San Francisco Opera’s DIE WALKÜRE, 6/29

sean-martinfield-2-2.jpg
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

On Wednesday, June 29th, soprano Heidi Melton will appear as Sieglinde in San Francisco Opera’s final performance of Wagner’s Die Walküre. She has also been assigned the Third Norn in Götterdämmrung, the final performance being Sunday, July 3rd. Local opera fans will recall her stunning appearance in the extraordinary presentation of the Verdi Requiem in May 2009, an occasion which celebrated the 17-year tenure of Music Director and Principal Conductor Donald Runnicles. Earlier this season Heidi appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony in a concert version of Act I from Die Walküre. Next season, she will return to the Metropolitan Opera as the Third Norn in the new Robert Lepage production of Götterdämmerung under James Levine and the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Gutrune in the same opera under Donald Runnicles. She will also be a member of the ensemble at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe where she will sing Elsa in Lohengrin, Didon in a new production of Les Troyens, and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. In 2006, Heidi joined the Merola Opera Program and in 2007 was invited into the Adler Fellows where she remained for two additional terms. During these formative years she appeared with SF Opera as Marianne in Der Rosenkavalier; Diane in Iphigénie en Tauride; Mary Todd Lincoln in the world premiere of Appomattox by Philip Glass; The Nursing Sister in Suor Angelica, and covered the title role in the Company’s wildly popular production of Aïda. Heidi and I recently got together for an early morning coffee prior to a Walküre rehearsal.

the-norns
MEET THE NORNS OF GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG
Heidi Melton, Daveda Karanas, and Ronnita Miller
Photo, Cory Weaver

Sean: You have to know you’re talking to an adoring fan who gets very romantic about all this stuff. I’ve been watching you since you were with the Merola Opera Program. Did you do a second term with Merola or go right into the Adler Fellows?

Heidi: I was in Merola once and then went into the Adler Fellowship for three years. Usually it’s for two. I failed the first year.

Sean: That will make a great footnote. What did you sing at the final concerts?

Heidi: The first year, we were at the Cowell Theatre. I did the duet from Un Ballo with Noah Stewart. The second year we had the concert at the opera house. That was the big one. I did the duet from Tristan und Isolde and the trio from Der Rosenkavalier. My third year I was away on a gig and missed the concert.

Sean: Once in a while, the Operatic community gets a surge of drama and publicity like nothing else. The first role I saw you do was “Marianne” in Der Rosenkavalier. Virtually at the last minute, you replaced Elza van den Heever because she was called to replace the soprano singing “Donna Anna” in Don Giovanni. It was like a scene out of an old MGM movie – including the guy who comes along and plasters a big banner over the theater billboard. “Soprano Canned”!

Heidi: It was a lot of drama. I had to learn the role of “Marianne” in just a couple of days.

Sean: With all that in mind, I grabbed the binoculars and zoomed-in on your face. Your sense of comedy registers to the back row.

Heidi: Thank you! That means a lot. I was terrified. You can’t ask for more than working with Joyce DiDonato and Soile Isokoski.

Sean: And then it seems like all of a sudden you’re singing all over Europe. Where are you living these days and what are you doing?

Heidi: Since I left the Adler Fellowship in November 2009 I’ve been living in suitcases. Seriously! Thankfully, I’ve been booked. I’m very blest and very excited about that. But I’m also cheap. I’m not going to pay for a place if I’m not going to be in it. So, I thought, for the first time in my life – and probably the only time in my life – I’m going to be Nomadic and just pare-down what I need, put some things in storage, and just live and go. That’s what I’ve done and I’m still doing it.

Sean: Where is all this happening?

Heidi: I’ve been at the Met. I covered “Chrysothemis” in Elektra and did one of the maids – which was fun. Then I went to Berlin and was with the Deutsche Oper for about five months. From there I went to Philadelphia and San Antonio for concerts and then came back here and covered “Aïda” and did four recitals. Then I went to Scotland for a concert, back to Berlin, and then to Bordeaux for Ariadne. I was supposed to have been in Japan in March for Lohengrin. But, obviously, the disaster happened and that was postponed until 2013. And here I am!

Sean: At least you weren’t in Japan when it happened.

Heidi: Thank God! I’m very lucky. I was supposed to have left for Japan on March 28th – about two and a half weeks afterwards. They only decided to postpone the production on March 25th. I think they were really pushing to try to make it work.

Sean: Bad idea.

Heidi: A bad idea. But I’m very thankful that it is going to work and I get to go there and sing Lohengrin.

Sean: How long does it take you to learn a role? Had you been studying “Aïda” before? Was that on the horizon or part of the Plan to learn it anyway?

Heidi: There are certain roles you just start studying because you know they’ll be a part of you. There are others that you wait until you get the offer or the contract. Aïda was one where I waited until I got the contract. That was a great opportunity because I was able to come back to San Francisco where my teachers and mentors are and check-in with them after being away from it for a year. You know – get the mechanics under the hood of that car and make everything work the way it needs to work.

Sean: When it came to traveling, my concerns as a singer were always about a place to practice.

Heidi: I’ve found some rather odd places. Necessity is the mother of invention and I can be rather inventive.

Sean: Do the companies help you to find conducive places to practice?

Heidi: Sure, it just depends on each company. Most of the time you can go in and say – I need a practice room from two until four – or whatever and they will find a way to make that work.

Sean: Do you have to state that requirement when working out a contract?

Heidi: Sure, it just depends on each company. Most of the time you can go in and say – I need a practice room from two until four – or whatever and they will find a way to make that work. There are times when I’m going to an audition or something, I will use the little piano on my iphone and warm-up in the bathroom. You do what you gotta do to get what you wanna get. You know?!

heidi-melton-as-elizabeth
HEIDI MELTON (as Elizabeth)
Tannhäuser – Operá National de Bordeaux (2009).
Photo, Frédéric Desmesure

Sean: Have you ever had anybody pounding on the door with, “Hey! Shut-up in there!”

Heidi: Oh, yeah! The last time I was in France, we rehearsed at this crazy location in the polar opposite direction from the theatre. No practice rooms – nothing. So, if we had a 10:00 morning rehearsal – and there’s no way I’m going to get myself up, get ready, get the voice ready, and go all the way the other way – I warmed-up in my apartment. The neighbor below me would play music every night until about four or five in the morning. So, one time I said, “Well, forget him! I’m going to do what I need to do in normal hours.” And there he was, pounding on the door – “I’m trying to sleep!” I came back with “I was trying to sleep last night! Give me twenty minutes!”

Sean: Did you then offer who you are and what’s really going on with the crazy lady upstairs?

Heidi: No, I’m happy being the crazy lady.

Sean: Here’s how I see your situation right now. Being a native San Franciscan, I’m very tuned-in to how hugely important this summer Ring festival really is – especially to Wagner fans who travel the world in search of the complete cycle and now they’re in San Francisco. Consequently, they will experience you. And you become a part of this saga – singing one of the most beloved Wagnerian roles and, most certainly, in one of the oddest and most climactic love scenes ever written. For me, it’s about you coming home as a star.

Heidi: San Francisco is my artistic and spiritual home. I love this city. I love everything about it. I love this Company and its opera house. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities San Francisco Opera has given to me. “Sieglinde” is a dream role for me. I feel incredibly fortunate that my voice is turning out to be Wagnerian, because that’s the kind of music I love. It’s the kind of music that kills me, that hurts me, and speaks to my heart. I need to sing it. So, I’m very happy that my voice is going in that direction. To be given this kind of opportunity! I pinch myself on a daily basis. I’m doing everything I can do to make sure it is the best performance I can give.

Sean: How long ago did you know you’d be doing the role?

Heidi: There was talk of it back in 2009. I didn’t want to jinx it by thinking about it too much. There are times when somebody says “You’ve got this role” and then it falls through. Whether they can’t afford to do it because of the budget or the conductor doesn’t want to do that piece – you can’t get your hopes up. But I will say – the day I got that contract there was a lot of happy dancing.

Sean: Where were you at the time?

Heidi: I was in San Francisco. It was fall of ’09. I was still in Adler and getting ready to leave. I am perhaps the worst person in the entire world with good-byes. So filled to the brim with emotion all the time, crying at the drop of a hat about leaving San Francisco and all these things. Then I get this contract saying – you’re coming back here, you’re doing your dream role in your dream house with your dream conductor and it’s going to be OK, Kiddo.

Sean: I wish I knew what was in store for me two years from now.

Heidi: It really is odd. I’ve got my calendar and I’ve got it all on my computer. All color coded, because I’m OCD that way.

Sean: You mean, like, “priorities”?

Heidi: No. Each show has it’s own color. Very lively, very lovely colors.

Sean: What color is Die Walküre?

Heidi: Die Walküre is like a purple which is my favorite color.

Sean: Very fitting. Very high-end color.

Heidi: Götterdämmerung is green – you know, the whole earth theme. And I am this weird.

Sean: Hey, I totally understand.

Heidi: I have things into 2014–15. It’s odd to look at a calendar and say, “OK, I know I’m here during this period.”

Sean: Where are you going to be in ’15?

Heidi: I can’t say yet.

Sean: Darn!

Heidi: I know. But good for you for trying. I can say – not at this point. We’ll see. I can’t say anything until the companies announce it. But it is funny to look at these things and say, “OK, I’ve got to learn this role by this time” or “Oh, it’s so nice because I get to do this role again.” I’m actually doing my first role ever for the second time in September. This is very exciting because up until now all the roles have been new.

Sean: Dare I ask?

Heidi: It’s “Gutrune”. In Berlin. Speaking of The Ring folks and the crazies. They’re not crazy, they’re amazing. I’m crazy.

Sean: Me too, about so many things.

Heidi: We all are. I’m completely nuts. And I’m OK with that.

Sean: It’s about living way-up-here on this particular plane.

Heidi: You have to. Right now, I’m in rehearsals in a show where I fall in love with my brother, have his baby, and all these things. I believe it. I’m in it. You have to either completely commit or ship out. There’s no middle ground with Wagner.

Sean: And all of us will know it if you aren’t completely committed.

Heidi: You can spot it in a split second. Wagner does not allow for any sort of middle ground in any of his characters.

Sean: So when you’re in your alone time, walking down the street, thinking about the role – and aside from the physical responsibilities about singing – what’s going through your head about the role?

Heidi: For me, “Sieglinde” is such a woman – from her head to her toes. She’s had an incredibly unfortunate life, but she’s a fighter. She never ever once gives up. I grab onto the aspect of her being a fighter – for what she wants, for what she gets.

Sean: Even on a daily basis with “Hunding”, her husband.

Heidi: This is something that shows the genius within this production. Hunding is not just a big brute of a man who beats her up. That is a part of him, yes. But there is also this odd tenderness between the two of them – of being a married couple for however many years. You can see that, in a lot of ways, they have a good sexual relationship. Whatever it may be, Sieglinde at least knows she can get what she wants through that manipulation and he is hook-line-and sinker for it. I think this adds so much more. It makes Hunding more appealing and gives Sieglinde more color in that she is cunning. She’s intelligent and smart enough to be a survivalist in a completely disadvantageous position.

Sean: She uses her feminine wiles to say, “I will survive”.

Heidi: Completely! What else does she have? She’s alone with a man who kidnapped her. Perhaps there’s a bit of Stockholm Syndrome in this.

Sean: Then along comes Mr. Right who is also her brother.

Heidi: He is her other half. She’s been missing him her entire life. There’s a recognition. Neither of them trust each other at the beginning. Looking into mythology, there are a lot of brother/sister relationships.

Sean: You have to deal with it on the mythological level, not the moral level. It’s interesting information and then you get on with the plot.

Heidi: We can’t look at it through contemporary eyes. We can’t. Or we’ll get …

Sean: Too bogged-down in a whole lotta stuff that doesn’t matter.

Heidi: Exactly. And then there’s Sieglinde’s father – the Wanderer, “Wotan” – who sticks the sword in the tree. He says, “Whoever can pull this out will save you from all of this.” So what – if it’s her brother? Move on. These two people are each other’s missing half. They’ve been torn apart, but they’ve had similar experiences. Then you get this combustion when they meet. And all of a sudden it’s “I fit! I belong somewhere.” It’s not only about “I find you incredibly attractive” and “I’ve never had these feelings before.” Most likely, whatever sexual relationship she has with Hunding is satisfactory. But she’s probably never had feelings of fulfillment. Or even something as simple as butterflies.

Sean: Thus, when Siegmund pulls the sword from the tree in her living room, it’s not only a demonstration of his physical strength but a mystical confirmation of being the chosen one. It’s also the ecstatic unleashing of her own stuff – and then she falls to the floor.

Heidi: Completely. It’s the fulfillment of prophecy. It’s something so much bigger than Siegmund and Sieglinde. In Act II she’s dealing with so much guilt and so much pain. She wants nothing more than to be with Siegmund, but she also hates herself for it. She feels she’s going to bring him down.

Sean: As an actress, how do you work that through?

Heidi: I think Sieglinde, for the first time in her life, is caught up in passion. All she’s ever known is Hunding. She’s been taken by him, locked up, not allowed to be or do or feel anything. All of a sudden, she has this explosive passion for Siegmund and she genuinely cares about him. Not only is he her lover but her brother. He is the missing piece. It becomes so much – “I want to be with you, but you need to get away from me. Because I will bring you down.” It’s two magnets that are really fighting. It’s incredibly powerful stuff.

Sean: It’s not going to end behind a white picket fence.

Heidi: Right. There is no Happy for Sieglinde. There is no Happy for Siegmund. The other day Brandon and I did all of Act II. We had time left, so we went back and did the Act I love duet. We both had the hardest time doing that. It was devastating – to go back and do all the love and all the wonderful optimism when we’ve just done what will happen.

brandon-and-heidi
BRANDON JOVANOVICH and HEIDI MELTON

Sean: Brandon Jovanovich is an amazing leading man.

Heidi: He is an amazing person. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do this with him.

Sean: If I were singing opposite him, I would find the forbidden passion-thing pretty easy to understand.

Heidi: Oh, yeah! He’s a very good looking man. But more amazing than that, he is an incredible person. He’s as sweet as they come. He’s doing his first Siegmund and I’m doing my first Sieglinde. We’ve both spoken about how luxurious it is to have this discovery process together – where neither of us is tainted in any way by previous productions or ideas. We can just talk through the process – “How are you feeling exactly?” or “This doesn’t feel right for me.”

Sean: What’s coming up on your schedule?

Heidi: After this I go to rehearsals for a new production of Trojans where I’m singing “Dido”.

Sean: Where is this happening?

Heidi: In Karlsruhe, in the theater where it premiered. I’m singing another lovely, tragic woman. I’m very excited about it. There will be a lot of rehearsal time. It’s a brand new role. I don’t sing a lot of French, so that’s something new.

Sean: This opera hasn’t been done for a while. It’s a massive thing.

Heidi: It’s kind of the French Götterdämmerung – in scope and in length.

Sean: Yet another historical event for you.

Heidi: It’s incredible! They’re opening the season with it.

Sean: Again, I go into my romantic mode…

Heidi: I’m always in a romantic mode. Go there.

Sean: At the outset of her career and while she was in her prime, I was Beverly Sills’ biggest fan and still am. I shed a whole bunch of tears when she died. I mentioned this attachment of mine to Elza van den Heever during our interview.

Heidi: Isn’t she wonderful? She was “The Composer” in the Ariadne I just did in France. We had a blast.

Sean: So, I’m familiar with both of you from the beginning, following along ever since, and all the time hearing others predict about your Legendary future. You emerge here in San Francisco and then you’re catapulted into situations that cause greatness. You have to keep delivering the goods, of course.

Heidi: I have to keep realizing that I’m a work in progress. I’m a slow-cooking meal. A couple of years ago here, when I stepped in at the last minute for the Verdi Requiem, Stephanie Blythe looked at me and said, “How old are you, honey?” I said, “Twenty-seven.” She says, “Oh, good Lord! You’ve got another ten years.”

Sean: Oh, easily! I was at that performance.

Heidi: It was crazy. I have never been more nervous in my life.

Sean: I noticed the incredible rapport the two of you had. We could all see all this loving support coming from her towards you and you responding to all of that.

Heidi: Thank God for her and Maestro Runnicles.

heidi-melton-and-stephanie-blythe
Heidi Melton and Stephanie Blythe
Photo, Kristen Loken Anstey

Sean: You and Stephanie were just beaming through the whole performance.

Heidi: It was crazy. I can honestly tell you I have never been more nervous.

Sean: That’s what sparks the beaming!

Heidi: And up to that point in my life, I’ve never been more happy.

Sean: There was such concentration going on – the two of you listening to each other and, obviously, focusing on conductor Donald Runnicles and the Requiem being this symbolic thing about his forthcoming departure. All eyes are on you because you become the voice of that Idea.

Heidi: When we got our assignments at the beginning of the Adler Fellowship year – which roles we’re singing and covering – they say, “You are covering the Verdi Requiem.” OK, great, I need to learn that. I need to get it into my voice, into my body, because I’m sure I’ll be singing it again. I was in France doingTannhäuser and studying the Requiem. Two weeks later I’m back in San Francisco and thinking how great it’s going to be to hear Pat Racette and Stephanie Blythe sing the Requiem. I’m in awe of Maestro Runnicles’ conducting and can’t wait to watch this and learn from it. Then I get the call – less than 24 hours before the performance – saying “You’re going on!”. Pat Racette was not feeling well and couldn’t do it. It was one of those very crazy and surreal moments. I’m so thankful I have the support system I do and the best friends in the entire world. People like Sherri Greenawald, John Parr, and César Ulloa who said, “You can do it. This is what Technique is for, kiddo!” Even when I talk about it, I still get this adrenaline pump. It was insane. Over the next 24 hours my first priority was getting sleep. That was a chore, because my mind was going a million miles an hour.

Sean: What do you do to turn-off?

Heidi: My friends will laugh at this question because they know I don’t turn-off easily. I don’t relax easily. Sometimes Tylenol PM is involved. That night it most definitely was – just trying to stay grounded, not go crazy, and get in my head.

Sean: Did you get the practice gene? Do you like to practice?

heidi-melton-and-conductor-donald-runnicles
Heidi Melton and Conductor Donald Runnicles

Heidi: I love to practice. I love to rehearse. I love to coach. In general, I think it’s because I’m a Virgo. I don’t take compliments very well. When I’ve got a coach that says, “That was great!” – I’m always going “What can I do better?” I need to know how to improve. I can’t improve from “that was great”. You can’t do more than that. For this Ring, I’m very thankful that Anja Kampe has been doing Sieglinde for eight years. She comes in about a week before the production goes up and she has done this production before. So, I’ve had all the rehearsal time. What a luxury.

Sean: What are your dream roles?

Heidi: I have a few. I’m actually starting to get into some of my dream roles, like Sieglinde. But I can’t wait to do the Big Girls – Brünnhilde. I’ve had offers for it already, but I have to turn them down because there’s no way I’m touching that for a while. I can’t wait to do Isolde and Elektra. I also want to do crazy things, like Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk. I’d like to do Chrysothemis, Elektra, Klytämnestra. At some point, in the twilight of my career, I definitely want to do Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. I love singing the Eileen Farrell stuff – like Irving Berlin and Kurt Weill.

Sean: One last question. Who were your operatic idols? Did you latch onto someone and learn roles through them and their recordings?

Heidi: Growing up, my family was not into opera. I was kind of the weird one, but I didn’t latch onto anyone in my younger years. It was in college that I started developing feelings for certain singers and voices. I’m really bad at picking favorites. Astrid Varnay was one of them. Flagstad, definitely. I love Ettore Bastianini, Pilar, Anita Cerquetti. My taste in music is odd. As far as opera composers – I’m in love with Wagner, Strauss, Britten.

Sean: There must have been a day when you said something like, “That’s it! I’m going to sing.”

Heidi: I was a kind-of hard process for me. As an undergrad, it was an ugly duckling sort of voice. It was big, it was loud and nobody really knew what to do with it. It was very confusing. I got relegated to singing Second Alto in choir. “You! Go over there. Just support, be loud.” When I got to grad school, people started saying that maybe I was a soprano and maybe there was something important there, something worthwhile. God bless Sheri Greenawald for hearing me at my Merola audition.

Sean: What did you sing?

Heidi: I had just gotten into Soprano Land. I sang an aria from Alcina, “Ma quando tornerai”.

Sean: How did that happen?

Heidi: Mikael Eliasen, who is the artistic director of Curtis where I went to grad school, is a bit of a visionary. I think he’s a genius. I was 22 and had never done an opera role. What am I supposed to do as an undergrad? They wouldn’t put me in anything. I did a lot of chorus work. He says, “OK, you’re a soprano. You are going to sing Fiordiligi.” That was my very first role. And then I sang Alcina. He said something I really believe – “Handel is not for small voices.” If I could sing Alcina again, anywhere in the world, I would. It’s hard, it’s fun, and it’s rewarding. Then I sang this crazy aria from Meyerbeer’s Roberto le Diable. I was nervous, sweaty and gross and put on this really bright red lipstick because that’s what I thought opera singers did. Sheri saw something in that and took me into Merola. I was 23. She put me in the Scenes program. They were doing Conrad Susa’s Transformations and Il Matrimonio Segreto. And there’s nothing for me in either one of those.

Sean: Followed by three terms in Adler.

Heidi: Elza had three terms as well. People with bigger voices, who come in especially young, will do three terms.

Sean: So, you got caught up in Destiny.

Heidi: My entire life is about Destiny.

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NEW PUBLICATIONS: PUBLIC TRUST BETRAYED. An Interview with author and real estate appraiser, James E. Manning
MARVELOUS MENAGERIE: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel – At the Legion of Honor
CHARLOTTE SALOMON: Life? or Theatre? – Opens today at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
THE ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE – At the Aurora Theatre, 4/1—5/8
PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA & CHORALE – Announces 2011-2012 Season
AUDITIONS – SF OPERA Needs In-Shape Men and 40 Kids For WAGNER’S RING
VICE PALACE: The Last Cockettes Musical – Opens April 29th
ARMISTEAD MAUPIN – At the Julia Morgan Theatre, Thursday, 4/14
JOAN and SANFORD I. WEILL – Contribute $12 Million Dollars to Sonoma State University for Green Music Center
HUGH JACKMAN – Exclusive Engagement at the Curran Theatre, May 3–15
BALENCIAGA AND SPAIN – At the de Young, 3/26–7/4
COPPÉLIA – A Gorgeous New Production at San Francisco Ballet
DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES – At Fort Mason, 3/31—4/3
NEW ON CD – Icicle Creek Piano Trio: Haydn, Turina, Shostakovich
NATALIE DESSAY – Is “Lucia di Lammermoor” in HD at Sundance Kabuki Cinema
NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Presents “Mastery of Schubert”, Featuring Soprano Melody Moore, 3/24–27
SF CONCERT CHORALE – Presents Herbert Howells’ Requiem and Arthur Honegger’s King David
“COPPÉLIA” – A SF Ballet Premiere, Cast Announced for Opening Night, 3/19
“THE HOMECOMING” – A Home Run at A.C.T.
BACH B-MINOR MASS – This week at San Francisco Symphony
KILLER QUEEN – The Story of “Paco the Pink Pounder”
ARE WE THERE YET? — At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, March 31st – July 31st
FLORAL DESIGNER NATASHA LISITSA – Creating the Fantastical in the Wilsey Court for “Bouquets To Art 2011″
EDITOR’S CHOICE — HÉLÈNE RENAUT, Vinyl Release Celebration at Cafe du Nord, 3/9
ZHENG CAO – A Conversation with A Miracle Artist
MELODY MOORE – Soprano shines in SF Ballet’s “Nanna’s Lied”
MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
ODC THEATER – Presents Sarah Michelson and Richard Maxwell’s “Devotion”
AVENUE Q – A Totally Fabulous Place To Be
CONSTANTINE MAROULIS – Comes to the Curran Theatre in “Rock of Ages”
EDITORIAL – A confession about ballerina Lorena Feijóo
PULP FASHION: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave at the Legion of Honor
YURI POSSOKHOV’S RAkU — Stunning World Premiere At San Francisco Ballet
CAMERON CARPENTER – Organist signs with CAMI Music and Konzertdirektion Schmid
THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS – Opening Celebration, January 14th
GISELLE – Opens SF Ballet’s 78th Season, 1/29/11
A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
THE BLACK SWAN – Don’t Save The Drippings
HEART OF A SOLDIER – SF Opera Commissions New Work
SF SYMPHONY – Announces 2011/12 Centennial Celebration
SHREK THE MUSICAL – Ogres and Freaks and Spells, “Oh, my!”
CD: MAHLER’S “Songs With Orchestra” – SF Symphony Completes Mahler Recording Project
KARITA MATTILA – “Viva To The Diva!”
CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA – A Conversation with Richard Marriot
WEST SIDE STORY – Most of it, anyway
Dr. ELISA STEPHENS – My Visit with the President
PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA – 30th Anniversary Gala, 9/24
TENOR RAMÓN VARGAS – A Worthy “Werther” At San Francisco Opera
AÏDA – Spectacular Opening Night At San Francisco Opera
OPENING NIGHT AT SF SYMPHONY – A Mixed Bag
CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
A Look At “Giselle” with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
DOLORA ZAJICK – Internationally Acclaimed Mezzo To Receive Merola Distinguished Alumni Award
DEBORAH VOIGT – A Captivating “Fanciulla del West”
JEANETTE MacDONALD – Hollywood Diva Remembered at the War Memorial Opera House
CD/DVD Release: CAMERON LIVE! – Organist Cameron Carpenter
THE RUFFATTI ORGAN & CAMERON CARPENTER at DAVIES HALL
PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI – An Interview with Russell Blackwood
PIANIST MISHA DICHTER – A Conversation
ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
DAVID PERRY – On the “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media”
CAMINOS FLAMENCOS – A Conversation with Yaelisa
A CONVERSATION WITH LUCIE ARNAZ
JANE MONHEIT – At The Empire Ballroom
CAMERON CARPENTER – Up Close and Very Personal
RUBÉN MARTIN CINTAS – Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet
CHRISTINE ANDREAS – A Conversation with Beautiful Broadway and Cabaret Star
CD Review – REVOLUTIONARY, Cameron Carpenter, Organist
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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.


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