Three Minutes, Three Questions

Soprano Danielle Talamantes

3×3</p><p>Three Minutes, Three Questions</p><p>Soprano Danielle Talamantes

Any lover of American musical theater knows the story of Puccini’s masterpiece “La Boheme.” Marcello and Rodolfo, the starving artist and poet; Colline, a philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician; Mimi, a pretty neighbor whose candle has gone out; and Benoit, the landlord who comes to collect the “Rent.”

For its final concert of the season, the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas takes fans of classical music and “Bohemia” back to the original Italian with a concert performance of the first act of “La Boheme.” The featured soprano singing the role of Mimi is Danielle Talamantes, who made her Carnegie Hall debut in a sold-out solo recital in 2007 and has appeared with orchestras from Phoenix to Berlin and Peru to Paris.

Appearing with Talamantes will be tenor Kyle Tomlin as Rodolfo; baritone Jesse Stock as Marcello; bass-baritone Alexander Adams-Leytes as Benoit; baritone Thomas Gunther as Schaunard; and bass Benjamin LeClair singing the part of Colline.

Here, Talamantes answers three questions for The Free Weekly before her May 5 performance at the Walton Arts Center.

Q. What piece of music so captivated you that you knew you wanted to become a singer?

A. As my mother is an organist, I’ve been surrounded by classical music my entire life. It’s really quite difficult to choose a single piece of music so I’ll pick two of my favorites that cover sacred music and art song: Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” — I performed this when I was only 13 years old and it has stayed with me my entire life — [and] Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” — so beautiful it’s almost painful while also encompassing familiar nostalgia.

Q. What is it about “La Boheme” that makes it worth traveling to sing with SoNA?

A. There is a character in “La Boheme” that practically every person can relate to. It’s literally the people’s opera! Comedy, romance, drama; it has everything! Bringing the sheer joy of “La Boheme” to any audience is worth traveling for.

Q. Do you have a favorite role? If so, what is it?

A. It’s usually the role I’m currently singing! I love completely immersing myself in a role; Fiordilgi in “Così fan tutte” was my most recent, and I thrilled at the very challenging writing Mozart created. As I’m now stepping back into Mimì’s shoes, I’m quite sure I’ll fall in love with her all over again, and she’ll be my favorite!

“Come be a part of something exciting and unusual,” adds Paul Haas, SoNA’s maestro. “After intermission, we’ll turn to the gargantuan ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ – a [German tone poem] that is alternately lush, beautiful, tragic, complex and overpowering.”

— Becca Martin-Brown




Symphony of NWA:

Masterworks III

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. May 5

WHERE — Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville

COST — $30-$52

INFO — 443-5600

BONUS — Prior to the concert, ticket holders are invited to attend a pre-show Creative Conversation with Maestro Paul Haas at 6:30 p.m.

Categories: Entertainment, Music