Opera Warhorses | November 5, 2014
Wm: My custom is to ask each artist what their earliest memories of music were. What are yours?
MM: I was involved in church music and singing in front the congregation. I had no introduction to classical music until high school.
Wm: What was your introduction to classical music?
MM: My family moved from Memphis to Houston, where I auditioned for the Kingwood High School choir.
At my audition, the head of the choir asked me to stay after school and gave me music for the Texas All-State Choir. I became the second chair in choir.
Then I was asked to audition for a scholarship at Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge. That was my first time that I learned anything about opera.
Wm: How did you relate to opera?
MM: My love of opera started at the LSU library. I would “lock myself” in the library to watch operas.
Wm: But how did you become interested in vocal performance?
MM: As an undergraduate student in Baton Rouge, I began to study the art form, but did not understand how one could sing and make a career of it. I tried to figure out whether one could participate in the art form in a different capacity than singing.
LSU’s opera department had a link with a local opera company in Baton Rouge. I was a backstage manager, I did lighting cues and set up props. Then I sang Bianca in Benjamin Britten’s opera “The Rape of Lucretia” and wanted to do more.
I enrolled in Loyola University in New Orleans to finish my degree in music. At my audition, I was told that I must bcome a voice major. At Loyola, baritone Philip Frohnmayer became my teacher.
Unfortunately, at that point my father died suddenly and tragically, and I took four years off from college to assist my family.
Then I followed a partner to Kent Sate University, where I enrolled and took lessons from James Mismas.
Click here to read the entire interview.