Artist Name: Nalani Perry
Voice type: soprano
Role you’re singing this year: First Salvation Army Girl/First Nursemaid in Street Scene
Tell us where you’re from!
I’m from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and I became interested in opera at the young age of 10, which is when I saw my first production of Humperdinck’s ‘Hansel und Gretel’. I was mesmerized by the acting, singing and joy it brought to me, and the audience.
When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?
Growing up I was always very shy. I started playing the French Horn and continued with that for 10 years. I wasn’t serious about singing until about four years ago when I started working with Dr. Susan Boddie and she introduced me to singing baroque music. That’s when I really started to come out of my shell and enjoy vocal performance. I still study with Dr. Boddie at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts.
What came first for you, theatre or music?
Music definitely came first for me as I’ve always found that singing puts us in touch with our feelings and our desires, and empowers us to express emotions, even if it is out of our comfort zone. For me, music requires tremendous skill, but it also requires self-awareness and courage as it challenges me to give up control of my emotions, to feel deeply, and to long for heightened and empowering experiences. Music is one way to feel a gamut of feelings, sounds, movements and makes you feel alive.
What are your dream roles?
My dream role is Rosina in “Barber of Seville”, because she’s such a fun, feisty character and sings such spectacular music.
How can we keep opera a relevant art form for young people? What is the future of opera?
In my opinion, opera is more relevant than ever for today’s audiences. I love opera, but not just because I love singing. I am fanatical about opera because to me it is the only musical genre that fully exploits the capabilities of the human voice. I believe that is what keeps opera a relevant art form for young people. Opera has the power to communicate emotions, provoke empathy, and provide a deeper flow of feeling in the audience. If people truly realized what they were missing, there would be no lack of support and appreciation for opera!
Thanks, Nalani! Are you a participant or staff member this year? Why not submit your own answers to our questionnaire!