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HomeOperaQ&A with Aria Umezawa - Opera Colorado

Q&A with Aria Umezawa – Opera Colorado


A woman in a blue shirt points to something in the distance for a male coworker to see

Through: Jennifer Colgan

Are you interested by our spring manufacturing of Puccini’s Turandot? This manufacturing is certainly one of nice renown within the repertoire and a favourite amongst opera aficionados.

Tickets are going temporarily for Turandot! Get yours lately for performances on the Ellie Caulkins Opera Space from Might 6 – 14 beginning at $39>>

The fantastic director Aria Umezawa is taking in this vintage story. Be informed extra about her background and her revel in with Turandot.

Let us know a bit about your background. How did you turn out to be a director?

A woman in a blue shirt directs a group of people
Director Aria Umezawa in rehearsals for Turandot
Supply: Jamie Kraus/Opera Colorado

I noticed my first opera when I used to be 8 years outdated and was once straight away hooked! I made up our minds then and there I used to be going to paintings in opera, and since I used to be so younger, I thought that supposed I needed to be an opera singer.

Flash ahead nearly a decade: I used to be a vocal efficiency primary on the Schulich Faculty of Song (McGill College). Once I stepped on degree for the primary time to accomplish as a soloist, I knew I had made a horrible mistake. I had degree fright, and the speculation of creating a profession out of acting was once a terrifying prospect. So, I took a yr off from my research to determine what precisely I sought after to do.

After I considered what appealed to me about opera all of it got here right down to the scope of creativeness and introduction, and the chance to collaborate with other folks. From there, I made up our minds that I used to be most certainly at the fallacious aspect of the manufacturing desk as a singer and made up our minds to pursue directing as an alternative.

Let us know about your historical past with Turandot. When did you first see it? What’s your favourite second?

That opera that I noticed at age 8—the opera that satisfied my more youthful self to pursue a profession in opera—that was once Turandot. I take note Liù’s loss of life scene vividly. Or reasonably, I take note how onerous I used to be crying. I take note considering that if I may just spend my existence making other folks really feel the best way I felt in that second, that might be a existence smartly spent.

A lot of your paintings specializes in reimagining the introduction and presentation of opera. How will your paintings at Opera Colorado mirror your dedication to those problems?

A man sings as two others stand behind him
Forged contributors of Turandot in rehearsals
Supply: Jamie Kraus/Opera Colorado

There’s a actual irony in how my courting with Turandot has modified since I first noticed it. By the point I started my post-secondary research, I had skilled exoticization on account of my ethnicity. As an example, other folks would continuously inform me I reminded them of an anime personality or would draw uncomfortable comparisons between me and Geishas. And so, orientalist operas like Turandot, Madama Butterfly, and Pearl Fishers began to tackle a distinct measurement.

Whilst I inherited the units and costumes for Turandot (which have been created for different productions), and am due to this fact dedicated to a classy, we’re making necessary alternatives—in particular with the make-up—to attenuate the yellowface on degree, however we will be able to’t totally keep away from the orientalist lens during which this piece is being informed.

Be informed extra about how we’re addressing a few of these demanding situations with The Riddle of Turandot>>

What we will be able to do is give voice to the worries of the group whose tradition is supposedly represented on this paintings. My hope is that we will be able to inspire the target market to imagine the have an effect on that presenting this paintings has on individuals who have skilled racism and discrimination. Turandot could also be a vital paintings within the operatic canon, however no longer everybody can respect its attractiveness when it perpetuates damaging stereotypes about Chinese language tradition.

What are you maximum taking a look ahead to, each referring to Turandot and your time in Colorado?

A row of people sit in front of a screen which reads "The Riddle of Turandot: A Community Discussion"
The Riddle of Turandot: A Neighborhood Dialogue Panel

I’ve already had the risk to satisfy some inspiring Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Neighborhood Leaders via Opera Colorado’s contemporary panel dialogue. I in point of fact hope to proceed to construct connections with other folks in Denver and get to grasp a little extra about this in point of fact cool and colourful the city.

Be informed extra about this group dialogue, that includes panelists from the AAPI group, which explored Turandot additional>>

Additionally, as any person who loves climbing and mountains, I will’t wait to hit some trails!

What do you prefer doing out of doors of labor?

I like cooking, strolling alongside the Don Valley in Toronto, and going to the theatre and artwork galleries. And I completely love bar trivialities, however I’m in point of fact aggressive. I normally attempt to move with individuals who received’t pass judgement on me for being tremendous intense about it.

This can be a pleasure to have Aria with us for this manufacturing of Turandot. Be sure you see the overall produc on degree on the Ellie Caulkins Opera Space from Might 6 – 14. Get tickets lately>>

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