Mimì in La Bohème, opening February 20
"What I love most about singing Mimi is the way the audience becomes completely captivated by the performance. People are drawn in by Puccini’s emotionally charged music. And the story is fairly realistic by operatic standards, which I think helps people to relate to it on a personal level. For me, the combination of these things makes for a very powerful performance experience."
Odabella in the new production of Attila, opening February 23
"Even though Odabella is shorter than most of Verdi’s dramatic soprano roles, singing her is a huge challenge—with coloratura from top to bottom and quite difficult register changes. She’s a patriotic heroine, but she’s also a little neurotic because she has lost her father and (as she thinks at the beginning of the opera) her beloved Foresto. She has nothing to lose, so she plans to kill Attila—the person she sees as responsible for all her suffering. I don’t have any previous experience singing this role and I’m looking forward to working with director Pierre Audi on making her a completely credible and complex character. With each day, I get to know her a little better and can feel her character growing in my mind and heart."
"Ariadne is a rather funny character as the prima donna in the prologue. Then in the second part she shows psychological and philosophical depth. Of course she has beautiful vocal lines as well. And she’s one of the few soprano characters who don’t die at the end!"
Micaëla in Carmen
"In this production of Carmen, Micaëla is a very important figure. She has a strong character, she knows what to do—and she does it, in spite of a thousand difficulties and even if she’s all by herself. I like that she is sweet and feminine but at the same time strong and volatile. Musically the role is a challenge: her phrases are gentle and soft, but you have to fill them with true emotion."
"There is something absolutely magical in the Composer’s soaring phrases, supported as they are by Strauss’s glorious harmonies. I’m looking forward to singing and enjoying them!"
"Musetta is a fabulous character to portray—not only because she is so different from me, but because her music is universally loved. It’s a bit of a challenge, actually, to throw myself into such a brassy role, but it’s worth it. She’s never morose or tragic, just a lot of fun. And there’s payoff in Act IV when we see another side of Musetta: a caring, generous soul. Of course it doesn’t hurt to get to wear the most beautiful costumes and wigs!"
Title role in Carmen
"I love Carmen’s gorgeous music. But it’s also fascinating to play her. She’s such a strong, independent character and has a wild, powerful energy in everything she does."
Strauss is one of my favorite composers, and he gave Zerbinetta some of his most beautiful music, including her big, famous aria. She is such a wonderfully honest character. There isn’t a single word she says throughout the opera that I disagree with. I feel such a bond with her. Maybe it’s because we’re both performers!"
Read an interview with Diana Damrau, who sings Marie in La Fille du Régiment and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. And don’t miss Kiri Te Kanawa, returning to the Met stage in the speaking role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp in La Fille du Régiment.
This feature was first published online in January 2010 and in the Met's Playbill in February 2010.