Sept 24, 2021, marked the first Lyric Theatre at Illinois concert of the 2021/22 season, which sold out within the first two weeks! It was electrifying to sing to a sold-out house (or should I say- garden) of 250+ people after a year of virtual music-making and limited audience attendance. As a part of the “Lyric Theatre Under the Stars” concert, I had the opportunity to perform the witch’s aria from Rusalka and a gorgeous duet from Madama Butterfly. We also sang beautiful chorus numbers such as One Day More from Les Misérables, Va Pensiero from Nabucco, and Make our Garden Grow from Candide.
What I found particularly special about the concert was the Rusalka/Little Mermaid set. These shows were important milestones in my journey to becoming a music major. As a young child, I had cherished my VHS copy of The Little Mermaid. My two childhood hobbies were swimming and singing- and the Little Mermaid had both! It wasn’t until I was a junior in High School that I heard live opera for the first time. My high school choir teacher Ms. J had taken us to see Dvořák’s Rusalka (the Czech version of The Little Mermaid story) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. I was amazed by the power of the human voice and how this art form could keep me, a first-time listener, on the edge of my seat and in tears. That was the day I fell in love with opera and knew I wanted to explore this art form for the rest of my life.