Meet the Artist: Angela Fout
The leading lady of Arizona Lady gives us a glipse of her favorite opera, what's on her iPod and more!
Tell us about your favorite opera.
My favorite opera is Der Rosenkavalier. When I hear this music, it gives me courage, and I have found myself needing to lean on the strength this music gives me many times. I remember packing in preparation to pursue my career in Europe. As I sat on my living room floor surrounded by chaos, I thought, what on earth am I doing? Moving to a new country where I don't know anyone and don't speak the language, leaving my friends and family. I sat in my chaos and turned on the final trio from Der Rosenkavalier and wept. Not a pretty furtive tear but a true howling cry. Then it came to me: this is why I was packing! I was going to sing an incredible season, learn a new language and experience a new culture. I was brave! This music gave me clarity and strength, and I never cried again.
Thank goodness for the courage Richard Strauss gifted me that day. Not only did I move to Switzerland, but I continued to live there for seven beautiful years, sang dream roles, and met the man I would marry.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in opera?
This career is a perfect union of my interests. I love the honesty and vulnerability of the human voice. Combine that with my first love of orchestral music (I was a flutist for eight years) and my childlike love for make-believe in the grown-up arena of theater, this job was a real slam dunk. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine loving a job more than this. It’s such a true privilege to sing opera for a living. This gift is not lost on me.
What are your favorite parts of Arizona Lady?
The music really takes on its own character in this piece, and when the curtain opens, one can hardly believe that the music was written by a German composer. It sounds like something out of the Golden Age of Cinema. All of the sudden, you hear a delicious operetta, and before you even know what happened, right back to the wild west you go! Lona’s music really has that Hungarian/Viennese feel and Roy's is so beautifully American Southwest. The cultural divide is celebrated in the music in such a special way that it really takes my breath away! How have we not heard this music before now?
What important pieces do you take away from your character?
It’s important for me to remember that they have a whole story and a whole life that happened leading up to when we, both artists and audience members, meet them. They are flawed, they have pain and baggage, they have undiscovered talents and beauty, they have scabs and scars. I like to start there. In a piece like Arizona Lady, it is such a gift to not have tons of existing tradition surrounding the operetta.
What music is on your playlist right now?
So very much, but here are the highlights: Adele (of course), La fanciulla del West with the great Eleanor Steber, Music Together CD for my toddler, and, my guilty pleasure, Tom Jones.