On May 9th an internationally acclaimed production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola (directed by Joan Font) opens at the Washington National Opera. Famous for its colorful sets and costumes, sharp characterizations and a surprising finale, it will be bought to life by a stellar cast including American mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, Russian belcanto tenor Maxim Mironov and Italian bass-baritone Simone Alberghini.
Last week I had the opportunity to interview Isabel Leonard, who will be making her WNO debut in the title role. One of the most highly sought after artists in opera today, winner of the 2013 Richard Tucker Award and a 2013 Grammy Award for the Best Recording, Isabel shared her thoughts on all things opera as well as her current projects and future operatic engagements.
Mandolin Vision: Isabel, May 9th will mark your WNO debut in the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. In your opinion, what makes this production stand out?
Isabel Leonard: One of the many fun aspects of this production is the costumes! Lovely geometric and almost surreal interpretations of what would have been period costumes. Very fun!
M.V: Nowadays opera singers do not always get to wear traditional costumes. Sometimes the costumes are of a more contemporary style, and sometimes they are simply replaced with street clothes. How important is a costume to you as an artist?
I.L: Every aspect of a performance has its place, weight and importance. The music, storytelling and production, in my opinion, have to work as one to communicate clearly and effectively. So, costumes are also a major part of this.
Read the entire interview here.