Lyric soprano Kathleen Echols has been breaking ground with international debut performances in the roles of Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Micaëla (Carmen) and First Lady (Die Zauberflöte).
Share with us a unique experience for you in the opera world. How did it inspire you and what did you learn from it?
The preparation and performance of the title role in Suor Angelica was incredible for me. Every time I work with my acting coach, my brain changes and I feel more alive. At one moment, I was overcome with emotion, as my actor’s mind led me to believe and truly feel that the Zia Principessa was actually there in the room with me. To be completely 360° in another person’s mind is such an inspiring goal to achieve with every character I am so lucky to portray. It inspires me to have language and technique embedded in my musician’s mind so I can be intentional with everything that I sing. Meaningful art and moving performances are possible with this artistic work.
Do you think opera should be accessible to everyone? How do you think this could be done?
Wonderful things have been happening in opera. Outreach programs entertain and inspire children through storytelling. Opera companies big and small are connecting to audiences by staging stories in modern settings, different cultures, and interesting eras. Informational sessions are being offered, virtually and in-person. As long as we have driven artists and creative spirits in our midst, live theater is here to stay!
Do you feel that your work as an opera singer helps you to use your creativity to serve your community? What do you enjoy the most about it?
I have been a music teacher for twelve years, and my more recent opera study has certainly rounded me as a musician. The study that goes into performing operatic repertoire is so deeply intricate. I have learned and developed vocal techniques that impart to my students. I feel a confidence about leading sectionals with my Symphony Chorus. My ability to connect with the community through this skillset is invaluable to me.