Over the next few months, we'll be profiling each of our current Adler Fellows
here at "Backstage at San Francisco Opera." If you have some questions you'd like to ask them, send us a message via email at email@example.com
or via Facebook or Twitter. Our first Adler Profile is mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm
who you can catch this month starring in the world-premiere of Nolan Gasser's The Secret Garden
as Martha Sowerby.
Laura begins her second year in the Adler Fellowship Program creating the role of Martha Sowerby in The Secret Garden
-- a new adapatation of the beloved children's book of the same name by Bay Area local composer Nolan Gasser and libretto by Carey Harrison. This isn't the first world-premiere Laura has participated in; in fact, she began her first year in the Adler Fellowship Program starring in a new work by Jack Perla called Love/Hate
alongside her other Adler colleagues and has also worked with Jake Heggie on his world-premiere song-cycle "Camille Claudel: Into the Fire" where she covered renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
(Above: Laura Krumm as Countess Ceprano in Verdi's Rigoletto. Photo by Cory Weaver.)
Laura hails from Iowa City, Iowa and made her official SFO debut this past fall season as Countess Ceprano in Verdi's Rigoletto.
We sat down with Laura and asked her a few select questions below:
What experiences or events in your life have propelled you into a career in music?
My parents and grandparents are probably the biggest reasons I'm here today. They're all musicians and always encouraged me by taking me to live theater while I was growing up. I can also cite a summer I spent in a program in Italy as a particilar event that made me want to pursue a career in music. I was voering Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and sitting in that theater for hours each day, I feel in love with music. I really saw opera for what it could be to me for the first time.
What singers have influenced you the most in your training?
Well, Joyce DiDonato is certainly one but my all time favorite is Frederica von Stade -- when I listen to her or watch her, I feel in my bones what a joy it is to sing. Also, my mother is a wonderful singer, so I grew up with a great model.
What are the biggest differences between living in San Francisco versus Iowa (where you're from originally) and Texas (where you completed graduate studies)?
The weather? The food? Each place is so unique! Iowa will always have my heart, but it has not been hard to find things to love in the other places I've lived. But yeah... probably the weather!
What's your favorite place in San Francisco? Favorite restaurant? Neighborhood?
I think the best places in San Francisco are the parks. I love how you can take a bus from the opera house to Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach and feel like you're in a completely difference place at each stop. As for a neighborhood, I really enjoy living in Hayes Valley. There are awesome places to shop and eat (Smitten Ice Cream is a favorite!) and the commute can't be beat...!
What is your most beloved moment of your time at San Francisco Opera thus far?
That's hard to say -- there are too many! I'll name a few... First, I'll never forget standing off stage watching the curtain go up on the first number in the Merola Grand Finale and watching my friends (baritone Mark Diamond and tenor Scott Quinn) realize just how many people were out there in the audience -- it was completely terrifying and thrilling all at once. Second, I was (and still am) so inspired by our master class with Joyce DiDonato this past fall. She said a lot of things I really needed to hear about how to treat yourself as a performer (and as a person!) and how to sing with integrity and commitment in each moment. I try to think about her advice every time I step on stage.
(Above: Laura Krumm in a masterclass with mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato. Photo by Bonita Hagbom.)