For the first time since merging with CAPA in 2011, Opera Columbus will be filling the stage of a production with local talent.
For the first time since merging with CAPA in 2011, Opera Columbus will be filling the stage of a production with local talent. Their "Madama Butterfly," which hits the Southern Theatre on Nov. 22 and 24, features two Columbus singers in principal roles alongside a 35-person chorus that's half Ohio State students. We asked one of the opera's local stars, German Village resident Olga Perez Flora (she'll play Butterfly's maid, Suzuki), how she preps for a premiere. operacolumbus.com
EIGHT MONTHS BEFORE: I dive into the score, watching videos of three to five full productions. Then I look at the libretto in both English and [its original language], and I'll do my own word-for-word translation into English above the text-knowing exactly what I'm saying helps me add color and emotion.
A FEW MONTHS BEFORE: I'll go see one of my vocal coaches twice to go through the entire score to make sure I've memorized the role before we start rehearsal. I'll also start doing daily vocal exercise plus yoga and Spinning. When rehearsal starts, we meet six days a week for six hours a day.
ONE WEEK BEFORE: I try to sleep in until 9 or 10. I'll cease all phone calls and extracurricular talking. I don't do full vocal rest, though there are singers who do. I'll do a little more texting and Facebook chat to keep in touch instead. I won't drink any alcohol while I'm performing, and I'll also drink a little less coffee.
THE MORNING OF: I have some coffee and a little breakfast. Then I'll go do an hour of exercise-that gets me to drink more water-and take a look at the score again. Later in the afternoon, I'll have a large meal and head out. I'll make sure to have water with me, my score, a PowerBar and an apple in case I get hungry during intermission.
AN HOUR BEFORE: I like to get to the theater early-usually half an hour before makeup call. I have the opera playing lightly on my iPhone when I'm in my dressing room to get inspired and focused. Then I'll do a little stretching before going into makeup and wardrobe. Right before I go on, I'm typically humming my part.
ONE HOUR AFTER: As soon as the run of the show is over, I'm ready to have a glass of wine.