Meet the Artist: Alyssa Martin
Alyssa Martin is a first year artist in the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio and will return in the 2016/17 Season.
Tell us about your first year in the Studio, and what you’re looking forward to next season.
This first year in the studio has really been fantastic. I feel like I've gotten a lot of great opportunities to sing real roles on the main stage, and that's not an opportunity you get in most other programs. I'm actually looking forward to lots of things about next season like getting to sing a fun role like Kitchen Boy in Rusalka, which has some of the most beautiful music in the repertoire. I'm also really looking forward to getting to sing on the Sapphire Celebration gala with Frederica Von Stade who has always been an idol of mine. I think the most exciting thing for me next season is getting to do my first La Cenerentola here next spring. It's really great to be able to do such a big role debut at a company like this where I feel so very supported.
Do you have a favorite opera?
I have so many operas that I love, and tied for first place is Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Figaro is musically perfect and I never get tired of it. There's also some pretty amazing music in Barber and it is one of the most fun nights you can have in the theatre.
Where was your first opera performance?
My first role was actually Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus at Indiana University. In that production, Orlofsky had a pretty sweet scar across the face from a bar fight and also got to play Russian Roulette on stage with the Eisenstein. They also allowed me to fire a gun on stage in that show which is always fun.
How do you get to know the characters that you play?
The best way to play any character is from an honest, human place. I really pay attention to what my character says and what other people say about them to draw inferences about who they are. I also think about how I would react in that situation and try to relate it as closely as possible to real life experiences I've had. I also think it's important to remember that every character, even the villains, are the heroes of their own stories and have real reasons that they believe in and make sense to them for every action they take.
Do you have a dream role?
This is an ever evolving list of roles I would love to take a crack at. I'm getting to do one of them in La Cenerentola next season, which is very exciting. Another one that has recently made its way onto the list is Donizetti's Maria Stuarda. She has some of the most amazing, dramatic music that would be so thrilling to sing. It's an opera that follows Mary Stuart's imprisonment and eventual execution by her cousin, Elizabeth I. It's just such an extreme set of circumstances for a real person to endure and I think it would be fascinating.
What music is on your current playlist?
I feel like I have a little bit of everything on my playlist. Obviously, plenty of opera and classical. I can also neither confirm nor deny that I frequently scream Taylor Swift songs in the privacy of my car.
Do you have a favorite part of Falstaff?
I really love the letter scene which is the first time you meet the women. All four of them are sharp as tacks and a really great team. I love that they control the whole situation while all the men run around in a frenzy the whole time. I love that you get to see the process of them coming up with their plan and it's just such a fun scene to be a part of. Really this opera is such a masterpiece because there is so much detail happening all at once and your ear never runs out of interesting things to listen to.