Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Delightful Lisa Vroman

By Wendy German

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Lisa Vroman who takes the role of Charlotte Malcolm in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music playing November 14-22, 2009 here at the Detroit Opera House. She was gracious enough to share a little of her life with me. What an enchanting lady, with a fantastic approach about her singing, theatre career and towards life. She has made worldwide appearances due to the ease with which she navigates the rage from musical theatre to opera. She played Christine Daae in the Phantom of the Opera on both coasts and touring for years. Her list of vocal performances and theatrical appearances is extensive.

Q: What led you into the world of musical theatre?

A: I had a crossover path, my mother was a choral music educator and my dad was an undertaker. We grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald music all the at home when I was little. My parents would go so often to see her in concert in New York City that I believed this was my “Auntie Ella”, but that is not so.

Q: What motivates you to continue your theatre life?

A: We are the relief for people having a bad day. In this economy, it is the first response to go and put on a CD and listen to your favorite music. We as theatre people provide that escape from the everyday.

Q: What are the best and worst parts of the travel aspect of touring?

A: The worst parts, missing family, my husband and my dog. Best part, I get to travel the world, I was recently in Hong Kong and am booked to work in Beijing for the opening of a new opera house in 2010.

Q: Have you ever performed A Little Night Music before?

A: Yes, I have done ALNM three times, so I know the piece well from all aspects.

Q: How far in advance to you begin to prepare for a role?

A: As soon as I know I am going to do it, however long that is.

Q: What was it like meeting Stephen Sondheim?

A: He was at a rehearsal and tapped me on the shoulder, when I turned around and saw him, I couldn’t speak. Stephen is beautiful music; the complexity of his composing is on another level.

Q: Have you ever visited/performed in Detroit before? Is there anything that stands out for you?

A: Yes, Three times in concert with the Detroit Symphony and also while touring. There is a Pewabic tile store I can’t wait to visit!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

MOT Allesee Dance and Opera Resource Library Online!

The Michigan Opera Theatre’s Allesee Dance and Opera Resource Library just opened up to the public this past month. This is an awesome piece of MOT’s history as it creates a new and very useful resource for Michigan’s cultural history.

The database was created online through a partnership between MOT and Wayne State University. Masters students from WSU’s School of Library and Information Science began working on the project after receiving a $1 million grant in start-up funds from Maggie and Bob Allesee, which also assisted in the transformation of the physical library’s structure.

“What an incredible opportunity to open MOT history to the world through this state-of-the-art online database and our partnership with Wayne State’s School of Library and Information Science,” says MOT Archivist Tim Lentz. “We hope this will be a model for other arts organizations to follow around the country.”

The online database includes a complete performance history and a catalogue of thousands of unique items, including scores, books, CDs, videos, reviews, and many other unique items from MOT productions.