|Resident Artist Rebecca Sjöwall (Amore)|
The same is true of the production teams. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with several different conductors, directors and choreographers, all of whom have had their own styles and approaches to the rehearsal process and offer their own individual perspectives. For me, as someone whose strength lies much more in performing than in auditioning, the chance to show these influential people who I am and what I can do —not to mention learning from them—is priceless.
Some guest artists have gone even further, "above and beyond" their purely professional duties, and taken me under their wings outside of rehearsal. Remember the beautiful Kelly Kaduce, AZO's Nedda in Pagliacci? She worked with me, completely of her own volition, outside of rehearsal and refused to let me pay her. As did Jill Gardner. And Peter Volpe. And Greer Grimsley and Luretta Bybee. What an awe-inspiring tag team! Again, I could go on and on, but I will stop the name dropping! To be able to hone my craft with artists of this caliber, along with the many others who have shared their precious time off with me, is invaluable. It has helped me to grow tremendously as an artist and has enabled me to get to know these fantastic people and their journeys.
I am thrilled and humbled that my Orfeo and Euridice are just as generous and encouraging as previous guests. Both Katharine and Christine are not only supportive colleagues in the rehearsal room but have also offered their time and expertise when they have been "off the clock" as well. I just read Ryan Taylor's latest blog entry, and he hit the nail on the head. It is a gift of immeasurable value to work with the artists. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to share the stage with these two brilliant, warm-hearted, fiercely talented women! — Soprano Rebecca Sjöwall (Amore)