Mezzo-Soprano Alexandra Beley was Dorabella in the company’s first production, Cosí fan tutte in 2011. Alexandra has since gone on to join Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program and is currently with the Atelier Lyrique, Opéra de Montréal. Alexandra is very prolific on Twitter and you can follow what she’s up to @alexandrabeley
Co-Conspiritors Alexandra Beley as Dorabella (left), Rosanna Murphy as Fiordiligi (middle) and Kate Applin as Despina (right) in Cosí fan tutte (2011) photo: Gene Wu
- Where are you from? I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario (To be fair, I grew up in Etobicoke… Some people have issues with the Toronto boarders).
- Where do you currently live? I am currently living in Montreal, Quebec!
- What’s your favourite MYOpera memory? I was a part of the inaugural performance with MYOpera, so it’s a bit of a blur! The whole performance feels like it maybe happened in a dream!
- What role did MYOpera play in your career/life? MYOpera was really the first time in Toronto where I had the chance to perform a full role as a professional. I learned what it was like to be a lead in a production and what the physical demands are of an opera singer!
- What have you been doing since MYOpera? I’ve been very busy since MYOpera! I finished my masters (at Opera School), had my first year out of school where I auditioned for YAPS, I completed a year in the Calgary Opera Emerging Artists program, and now I’m in Montreal, in my second year with L’Atelier Lyrique! This sounds kind of glamorous, but it definitely comes with moments of homesickness!
- What’s your favourite opera (to watch/listen to)? Questions like these always frustrate me. I love music, so because of that I have many favourites. A suppose a current favourite would be Madama Butterfly. But, I’m also totally in love with Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte…. This question isn’t fair, there are too many.
- What’s your guilty pleasure song (any genre)? I’m partial to “Call me maybe”, although, I don’t really feel guilty about it. Also, I definitely loved “A Party in the USA”.
- Traveling is always an adventure! What’s your favourite/most memorable travel experience? My favourite travel memories come from a trip I took to Europe with two close friends. I’ll never forget how I first saw the Eiffel Tower, how I got lost in the Latin Quarter, or my first taste of a macaroon from Ladurée!
- Do you have a signature dish/meal that you make? Tell us about it! I love to cook! It’s how I like to decompress after a long day. I’ve been told my chilli and my red velvet cupcakes are my signature dishes (but, I love cooking/baking everything!).
- Singers/Artists are busy people! What’s your favourite snack when you’re on the go? I’m pretty bad with remembering to snack when I’m super busy, but what you can normally see me noshing on while I’m on break at work is normally bananas, apples, and trail mix. That being said, my all time favourite snack is a bag of Dutch Crunch Creamy Dill Chips. Apparently, you can go to the factory in New Brunswick and put the seasoning on the freshly deep fried chips #vacationgoal
Giovanni Spanu is a MYOpera alumnus twice over! He was in our 2012 production of L’Elisir d’Amore as the zany Dr Dulcamara and in the Triple Bill in 2013 as the title role in Le magicien. Giovanni combined his beautiful baritone and talents of comedic timing paired with his prodigious ability to grow facial hair ensured the hilarity in MYOpera shows (see question #3!).
Giovanni Spanu and Conrad Siebert in L’Elisir d’Amore (2012)
- Where are you from? Toronto, Ontario
- Where do you currently live? Toronto, Ontario
- What’s your favourite MYOpera memory? L’elisir d’amore production in 2012, walking around the city for 5 days the week of the performances looking like a character straight out of the movie Gangs of New York – I’ve never been served so quickly at a bank.
- What role has MYOpera played in your career/life? MYOpera gave me the opportunity to perform not only as an opera singer, but also as an actor honing his craft. In my experience, MYOpera values professionalism, the artist as a unique individual, and hard work. That was incredibly encouraging for me. I have very much enjoyed being part of this company, and look forward to its bright artistic future.
- What have you been doing since MYOpera? Since MYOpera I have continued to perform as a freelance artist and musician. I teach music, perform and work at other jobs.
- What’s your favourite opera (to watch/listen to)? Il signor Bruschino, Gioachino Rossini
- What’s your guilty pleasure song (any genre)? Fight Fire with Fire – Metallica
- Traveling is always an adventure! What’s your favourite/most memorable travel experience? Getting locked out of our apartment in Vienna because apparently, keys are only used to unlock doors, not to lock them. So make sure you have one on you when everyone steps out into the hall!
- Do you have a signature dish/meal that you make? Tell us about it! I like to make Mujaddara, a Middle Eastern dish consisting of caramelized onions, lentils, rice and spiced yoghurt. Anything with onion is at the top of my list, but this is a relatively simple dish to make, and looks impressive!
- Singers/Artists are busy people! What’s your favourite snack when you’re on the go? Pizza, pizza and more pizza.
I’m here to tell you about MYOpera’s recent rebrand from Metro Youth Opera. You may already know the story. I founded Metro Youth Opera in 2010 to create viable, paid performance experiences for emerging artists throughout the world of opera. I was a young artist myself at the time, no longer in school, and I realized there must be many others like me who were in need of performance experiences. So I created Metro Youth Opera to help fill this void. Over the course of five years, Metro Youth Opera grew in both size and reputation, and began to attract attention from outside the world of opera.
Here’s when the story of the rebrand begins. Read more »