Tag: opera

Herbert Meets: Willie Alexander

Herbert Meets: Willie Alexander

Willie Alexander is a New York based musician and composer whose journey began with the accidental discovery of his singing talent. Fast-forward to today and Willie has just completed a five year stint with the San Francisco Symphony and now lives in New York where he is composing – most recently the music for Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS Fashion show. 

I soon found out when listening to his story that Willie is tenacious, warm and unafraid to get to the heart of the matter, so that’s exactly what we did.  read more

Herbert Meets: Elena Perroni

Herbert Meets: Elena Perroni

I was immediately drawn to speak to Elena after hearing her sing because her voice betrayed a maturity I can only describe as characteristic of an ‘old (and clever) soul.’  
 
We arranged to speak and I was greeted by a warm voice with a distinctive Australian twang. Maybe it was the accent, but I soon detected a level of mischievousness in Elena and I liked her instantly. Before I knew it, we were into the full swing of things –

 So, who are some of the artists that you admire right now? 
 
Well, I was watching this year’s Grammys, and I was blown away. I felt like there was a new energy about it and a new voice that was emerging. An artist that really blew me away was Billie Eilish – I admire her honesty in her work, which is what I try to achieve with my own work. 

Is there an artist in the classical world that you feel similarly about?
 
There is an artist called Ermonela Jaho – have you heard of her?
 
Yes!
 
Oh good, well, I love her because she draws you in but she’s never showy – She performs with no ego. I met her briefly once at an awards show and I could immediately sense there was no ego there.  
 
I agree totally and love her too; I saw her perform a couple of years ago and her performance made a huge impact on me – what do you think is her quality?
 
I think what it is, is that she has a human quality – in the sense that she is able to capture what it is to be human in her performance and she shares that back to the audience-
 
So, then I assume, you are a Maria Callas fan…?
 
Yes, without a doubt. It’s also because of her honestly and the way she communicates in performance.  
read more

Sandra Hamaoui

Herbert Meets: Sandra Hamaoui

Herbert Meets: Sandra Hamaoui

Meet Sandra Hamaoui @sandrahamaoui – rising 24-year-old French – American soprano.  

Sandra is currently a singer at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and will be performing the roles of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Ninette in L’amour des trois oranges, Annina in La Traviata in this coming season. Herbert was curious for me to find out more about the singer, her life and why she had chosen to pursue opera.

And, there’s an extra treat with this one – Sandra has put together a playlist of her favourite opera music. An opera playlists curated by an opera singer, not bad.  read more

Herbert Uncovers: Maria Callas

Herbert Uncovers: Maria Callas 

A longer post – you have been warned. 

Everything really started for me in classical music with opera singer, Maria Callas.(1923 -1977).

I didn’t know anything (nor do I really now) about opera but I know how I felt when I first heard Callas sing – and it was ‘a lot’. I didn’t understand the words, I didn’t understand the context but when I heard this song playing from the kitchen as a teen (mum was cooking)- I felt an extraordinary wave of emotion that I had never felt from any voice or any song ever before.  read more

Herbert Meets: Laura King

Herbert meets: Laura King

Meet Laura King – Australian Soprano, opera company founder, yogi and travel junkie.

Herbert actually came across Laura through her Instagram page @lauraking_adventurequeen and about 2 minutes of scrolling (check it out) was intrigued to find out more about the woman behind the account…

Photo by Susan L’estrange

So, Laura you came to classical music at a very young age (Laura started singing with Opera Australia as a child) but how and why opera? Was it self-motivated? Did you come from a musical family?      read more

Herbert Meets: Layla Felder

Herbert Meets: Layla Felder

Meet Layla Felder, a 13 year old opera lover that lives in Atlanta. 

I came across Layla’s Instagram page (@kaopweb) and had to reach out to find out where her love of opera came from.

So Layla, where did your love for opera come from?

When I was still in my mom’s tummy she would put headphones on her stomach and play Mozart so I could hear the music – he’s still my favorite composer to this day. When I was around two or three years old I was watching Sesame St. and Denyce Graves came on to sing “The Habañera” from Bizet’s “Carmen” to Elmo.  After she finished singing- I turned to my mom and said “Again, Again!!”    read more

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