Monday, June 27, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Daveda Karanas

Daveda Karanas, scheduled to appear at Arizona Opera as Amneris in Aida in March 2012, is currently performing her first complete Ring Cycle at San Francisco Opera as Waltraute & Second Norn.  Read on to learn more about Daveda, her Arizona roots, and her dream signature role! 

Daveda as Suzuki with Koukla
backstage at San Fransisco Opera's
production of  Madama Butterfly
Although this is not my company debut with Arizona Opera, I performed in last season’s Concert of Arias, it is my role debut of Amneris (Aida). I had the privilege to cover the fantastic reigning Amneris, Dolora Zajick, last fall at San Francisco Opera. It was an amazing experience to watch and learn from someone who has performed the role over 200 times. I met Dolora back in 2008, through San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship, the company’s two-year young artist program. Dolora took me under her wing and has been a great mentor in my professional life. I have coached with her numerous times, in San Francisco and New York, and even visited her while she was running her young artist program (The Institute of Young Dramatic Voices) to coach Verdi repertoire.

Like Dolora, Amneris will hopefully become one of my signature roles. Therefore it seems 2012 is the start of my career as Amneris. I’m covering the role at Lyric Opera of Chicago in January & February, performing it with Arizona Opera in March, performing it with Vancouver Opera in April & May, and then again with The Glimmerglass Festival in July & August. 

I’m extremely proud to debut the role here, especially because I consider Arizona home. In 2006, I graduated with my master’s degree in opera performance at Arizona State University. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a graduate student and I’m looking forward to returning to my old stomping grounds. I have many friends, teachers, and colleagues still in the area and am excited about reconnecting with them.

As a traveling performer, most people travel alone. I, on the other hand, have a traveling companion. My 11-year-old Chinese Crested dog, Koukla, has become quite the traveler. I’ve had her since she was a puppy and she has been with me everywhere. I have to say that she adored living in Arizona. A dog with no hair, she appreciated the dry warm weather Arizona had to offer. I know for a fact that she will love the wonderful weather, new smells, and sights during our time in Tucson and Phoenix.

A fond memory I have of Arizona, specifically Phoenix, is the GREAT FOOD! My husband and I ventured to many wonderful restaurants during our two-year residence in Phoenix, AZ. I think my husband is more excited about his future visit to Arizona for the culinary cuisine rather than to visit his wife! He has already formed a restaurant go-to list!

As with any engagement, I love to explore the culture, land, and all that the area has to offer. I look forward to seeing what has changed in both Tucson and Phoenix. For me this engagement is more than just a wonderful opportunity to debut a role, it’s also a fantastic reunion!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome to the New Arizona Opera Blog!

As Arizona Opera launches into its “next 40 years” we welcome an era of thrilling productions and renewed sustainability.  We are also eager to embrace and energize our followers in the blogosphere, on Facebook, Twitter, MeetUp, and YouTube!  

Connecting with the entire Arizona Opera Family is paramount, while delivering opera both at the theater and to those around the globe is the future for a vital art form.  Here we will be able to openly enjoy each other’s company as we interconnect in discussion about everything Arizona Opera and beyond- welcome to our new blog and thank you for being a part of the Arizona Opera Family!