Mezzo Mairi Demings: featured 2017 Halifax Opera Festival artist

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Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen

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“I first became interested in opera in junior high school. A group of students from Mount Allison University came to my school and put on a show of opera excerpts. It was all I wanted to do from that moment on.”

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Where are you from? How did you first get interested in opera or musical theatre? 

I am from Springhill, Nova Scotia. I first became interested in opera in junior high school. A group of students from Mount Allison University came to my school and put on a show of opera excerpts. It was all I wanted to do from that moment on.

When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?

I began taking formal lessons when I was in the second grade. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Acadia University. I will be heading to Western in the fall to begin my Masters degree.

What came first for you, theatre or music?

Music. Many of my family members are musicians by hobby so I have always be exposed to music making.

What are your dream roles?

Cherubino. He is such a fun character to sing and he always makes me laugh when watching The Marriage of Figaro.

 What arias, songs or entire roles belonging to other voice types would you like to perform?

Madamina (Leporello’s aria from Don Giovanni) has always been a favourite of mine!

How should we as interpretive artists deal with works that are racist and/or sexist? What can be done to make opera relevant to the next generation?:

As artists we have to understand the cultural and social differences between the periods. We cannot change history but we can find the good. I think we should latch onto the parts of the work that still hold true today. Many themes and subjects found in opera are still very relevant.

What are you most looking forward to about this summer?

Meeting and working with so many amazing singers!

Thanks, Abigail!

Are you a participant or staff member this year? Why not submit your own answers to our questionnaire!

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