Meet The Step-Mother and the Son/Bird, two of the most important characters from the Grimm Brothers’ dark and sinister tale, The Juniper Tree. Here is a symbolic universe where we find the apple of sin, the tree of fertility and the bird of renewal.

At the heart of these symbols dominates a terrible and evil character, the Step-Mother, while the bird is the hope of a new and better world. These two wildly unique and disturbingly different characters share a troublesome story-line, filled with deceit, manipulation, hope, fear and, most of all, jealousy. The Juniper Tree sets in place an atmosphere of darkness, while all the while bringing with it a sparkle of hope.

Navigating through her marriage and fighting for her daughter’s recognition, The Step-Mother falls into a rabbit hole of darkness, jealousy, vendettas and, eventually, madness. She is driven by impulsiveness and her desire to be the center of her husband’s life. She gradually loses her grip on reality and becomes obsessed with the visions she has of her step-son. Through madness and seduction, the Step-Mother ultimately gets what she wants, but at which cost? She makes a deal with the devil, and will most definitely have to pay.

Never take an apple from a stranger, they say. Well, in this case, don’t ever take one from a family member either. Blood, gnarled roots, leaves, feathers and, of course, the famous apple. The ultimate symbol of temptation and the fall into madness. How to capture these elements without going overboard? Here is my interpretation…

Happy Halloween 🎃 👻
Today, for my very final character, on this very spooky day of witches and ghosts, I am not an opera character. I have chosen to impersonate Schubert’s Lied “Der Tod und das Mädchen“, the girl and death.
The girl, afraid of dying, cries out to be saved from her inevitable doom. But what if Death was nice? Schubert’s Lied alludes to this. Maybe Death is kind and maybe death is welcoming. Or, maybe Death is simply manipulative and hypocritical. We will never know!
But what we do know is that, tonight, when the lights go low, when the air gets crisp and owls howl, creatures will be roaming. This year, they may not be roaming our streets, but they will be there. The monsters are ALWAYS there 😈
Der Tod und das Mädchen – Schubert

Who says I can’t have my cake and eat it too?
« Cosi fan tutte”, an opera composed by Mozart in 1790, translates to “so do all of them”, meaning all women are the same. Oh really?
Today, I present to you Dorabella, a strong willed, naïve, but “does what she wants” kinda girl. She is the type of woman we should strive to be. She does not care what people think, she drinks her hot chocolate and does what her heart desires. We should be able to have the same openness to life, to enjoy every desert without counting the calories, to whole heartedly see the good in people without doubting their loyalty, and to have a sexuality that belongs to us and us alone.
We expect all women to fit into one standard of beauty, especially in opera. We judge ourselves, and we judge others. How can we say that times have really changed, if us, as women, we won’t let ourselves have that little piece of cake? All shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities are beautiful, in opera and in life. We need to accept these differences, to embrace them and to make them part of our art form. We are not all the same, because we are all unique, and we have a reason to love ourselves, especially our differences.
Cosi fan tutte : Smanie Implacabili (Mozart)

Today, I present to you my unconventional adaptation of Romeo, from Bellini’s opera “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”. A pants/breeches role is one where a singer, often mezzo-soprano, transforms herself into a male character. Composers often used pants roles in order to allow their male characters to have innocent and gentle voices. But, what happens if we don’t conform to those rules, and we allow these roles to be modernized ?
Opera is about tradition and convention. We can honour it by staying true to what the composers wrote, but we can also shake things up and push the boundaries. What would happen if we adapted these stories to our current way of thinking? Would we be taking away from what has already reached perfection, or would we be lending a voice to those who don’t have one?
What if, just once, we did not turn ourselves into men who fall in love with women, but instead, let the audience decide what they wanted to see? What if, just this one time, Romeo was a woman, who fell in love with a woman? Shouldn’t we try, and find out?
My adaptation of Romeo, a role I LOVE to act and sing, is not one of a man. It is of a woman as powerful and privileged as Romeo, as dark and passionate, but also loving and devoted to Juliet, the woman he/she loves. I have chosen to portray what is on the inside, and not what is on the outside. It is up to you to decide if my adaption is male or female, neither or both. Decide what you see, decide what kind of love you want for these two well-known characters, and decide what you want to see for yourself, and only for yourself.
I Capuleti e i Montecchi : Se Romeo t’uccise un figlio (Bellini)

Makeup lights up the stage 🦹‍♀️ Opera characters are larger than life. For a lyrical singer, entering the worlds created by the most talented composers requires transformation, practice, patience, and a whole lot of makeup. As the voice moves with the breath through the stories of love, deceit, violence and despair, the body becomes the visual support that channels these emotions. This creates the mesmerizing show that is opera.
Today, I start an 8 week challenge, ending on October 31st. You guys guessed it: a Halloween themed project where I join both music and beauty to create one challenging yet inspiring project. 8 characters in 8 weeks. I will be recreating opera’s most known and loved characters, as well as those who have become my personal favourites throughout the years.
Today, I present to you my adaptation of Carmen, a wild, free-spirited Gypsy, who comes alive through the beautiful melodies written by George Bizet. Carmen, a staple rôle for any mezzo-soprano, is most known for her mesmerizing flirtatious song “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle “.