Born in California, Coddington is a mezzo-soprano who has had a very musical upbringing. Both her grandparents are professional musicians, and she went into her first opera in the fourth grade! This year, she joins HSOF as Bradamande in Alcina. Find out more about Alcina here:
The 2019 festival
This year, HSOF welcomes over 50 performers from around the world, including many from Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, all of whom underwent competitive auditions. We are excited to introduce Laurel Coddington as a performer this summer!
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Q: What has been your onstage experience or role that has been the most meaningful, exciting or successful for you? What do you long to do next?
A: “Playing Cherubino in Marriage of Figaro this past February was extremely exciting for me! Lyric mezzo-sopranos (the highest of the voice type) generally play a lot of different pants roles, so dressing up as a teenage boy was nothing new for me; however, in the opera, Cherubino has to disguise himself as a woman to hide from the Count. How do I, a female, act as a cis boy who’s wearing Susanna’s dress and bonnet? It was a super fun acting challenge!
My school, Biola University (La Mirada, California) is putting on The Music Man next fall, so I would LOVE to play Marian. In terms of opera, though, La Cenerentola, Carmen, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Cosí fan tutte are on my “wish list!”“
Q: What is the best part about starting a new opera?
A: “I love opening a new, clean score. There’s something so exhilarating about flipping through it, looking for my character’s lines, and dreaming about having it all memorized.
I enjoy a good challenge!“
Q: What has been the most challenging thing about performing or preparing an operatic role for you so far? How are you dealing with it?
A: “First of all, I’ve never been in a Handel opera, so Alcina is entirely new to me. Secondly, melismas (the really long vocal runs) are intimidating! Bradamante has some of the most complex, unintuitive melismas in the opera, so learning and making them sound clean has definitely been a challenge.”
Q: Which non-operatic artwork or piece of culture or history would you like to see become an opera?
A: “Ooooh – such a good question! There are a lot of U.S. history events that would be really interesting to see as operas: the Great Depression, industrialization, the civil rights movement, 9/11… to name a few.
I think opera is such a unique platform to 1) bring awareness to a historical or cultural event, 2) share someone’s story, and 3) convey the emotions connected with the event to the audience. As historical events begin to repeat themselves in our world, we need reminders of our past. We need to be emotionally moved by and connected to tragic events in order to move forward.”