Artist Name: Irina Medvedeva
Voice type: coloratura soprano
Role you’re singing this year: La Fée in Cendrillon
Where are you from? How did you first get interested in opera or musical theatre?
I was born in Russia, but now call Thunder Bay home. I first received exposure to classical music through my mom who was a concertmaster of an orchestra, and I would be dragged along to rehearsals and performances. I later discovered how fun musical theater was, and after that fell in love with opera.
When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?
I have always loved singing but my formal training began the year before I attended Western University. I have recently completed my Bachelor of Music degree, and will be starting an Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School in September.
What came first for you, theatre or music?
Music came first, but being an only child I had to find ways of entertaining myself so theater came shortly after!
What are your dream roles?
I am really looking forward to playing the role of La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon with HSOF! Some other roles I would love to sing are Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto— the opera has beautiful music, and a tragically beautiful love story, what’s not to love! Some other roles are Marie in La fille du régiment, Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor.
What arias or roles belonging to another voice type would you love to perform?
I would love to sing “Refiner’s Fire” from Handel’s Messiah, or be one of the bass-baritone bad guys!
Who are your favourite performing artists?
There are so many! But, Beverly Sills takes the cake!
How can we keep opera a relevant art form for young people? What is the future of opera?
We can keep opera relevant by continuing to find the layers that make the stories relevant to us as people, no matter what decade we are in. I think there are a lot of great newly established opera companies that are bringing opera to different venues making it more accessible.
What are you most looking forward to about this summer?
I am looking forward to meeting my colleagues and mentors. I am also looking forward to seeing Halifax for the first time. I’ve heard it’s beautiful and there is a lot of fresh lobster…mmm!
Thanks, Irina! Are you a participant or staff member this year? Why not submit your own answers to our questionnaire!