all the information you won't find in a professional biography!
where are you actually from?
I was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to American parents.
We moved to Vancouver, BC, Canada while I was still an infant.
I lived in Vancouver until age 18 and consider it my hometown.
I attended Western Washington University from 1994-1998 in Bellingham, WA.
I attended Rice University from 1998-2000 in Houston, TX.
I joined the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago 2001-2004.
I continued to live in Chicago until 2009, when I moved back to Canada.
I currently live near Toronto with my husband and children.
I am a dual citizen of Canada and the USA.
All of the places I lived still feel like home!
What are some of your interests outside of music?
Reading, done mostly on long plane rides and in the wee hours.
Running - 2 marathons, 10 half-marathons, and countless 10ks and 5ks.
Learning to cook healthfully after dropping red meat and dairy.
Binge-watching television series on Netflix and/or iTunes.
Good coffee and good wine!
My main interest, however, is spending time with my family!
did you always want to be a singer?
I grew up in a very musical family and both my parents were professional musicians and played in the Vancouver Symphony. I studied piano and later on, the flute. I joined choir in fifth grade and absolutely loved it, but in no part of my mind did I ever think it was something I could do professionally. I sang 2nd alto from Day 1 and was terrified of high notes. Drama, music, and biology were my favorite subjects, and I especially loved singing jazz and playing in the youth orchestra. My parents wanted me to have a proper degree in music as a basis, so I went to a program where choral singing and music education were the primary focus. I was lucky enough to study with a wonderful voice teacher who saw and heard potential in me, helped me bring my voice out of the basement, and guided me as my operatic voice started to come out. While in some ways opera was a natural fit - it appealed to my musical and dramatic side - I still struggled with being in the spotlight - I felt very safe and capable performing as part of a group, but it took a long time to get comfortable with owning the spotlight as a soloist.
what was your first opera?
The first opera I remember seeing as a child was Carmen, although we left before it ended so it came as quite a shock when I found out later on that *spoiler alert* she dies at the end! I also remember seeing The Cunning Little Vixen and being quite jealous of one of my friends who got to play the part of a baby fox.
The first opera I got to sing was Haydn's La Canterina, and the following year I was in the chorus of The Marriage of Figaro - I still get excited every time I hear that overture.
if you weren't a singer, what would you be?
Had I not studied music in school, I think I would have studied sciences, biology, genetics. I've always found that field fascinating and compelling.
Now, if my singing career ended tomorrow, I'd start my own business and become a professional organizer. I love organizing things, whether they're mine or someone else's. Creating order out of chaos is incredibly soothing to me.
what's on your wish list as a singer?
First of all, there are roles I love to sing but rarely get to do: Marguerite in Faust, and Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress.
Then, there are the roles I'm dreaming of right now: Eva in Die Meistersinger, Elsa in Lohengrin, Desdemona in Otello, and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. I'd also love to sing Chrysothemis in Elektra and Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos at least once before I die.
desert island discs?
This one, utterly perfect one: