Interview with Corinne Winters

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Soprano Corinne Winters will be singing the role of Mimi in our production of La Bohème this season. She has been making waves around the world with Opera Hong Kong, the English National Opera and Opera Lyra Ottawa as Violetta in La Traviata. Opera News has praised her for her “passionate lyricism and deep burgundy coloring” and we are beyond thrilled to have her with us this season. As luck would have it, we were able to catch Ms. Winters for a quick phone interview this week. Learn more about Corinne Winters on her web site at http://corinnewinters.com.

Kentucky Opera: When did you first start singing? Has music always been a part of your life?
Corinne Winters: I grew up with music. My dad is musical – he’s an amateur rock musician – and my mom was very much in that world and wanted me to have those experiences. When I expressed an interest in singing they helped me with those opportunities, but I didn’t get into opera until college.

KO: When did you know you wanted to pursue a singing career?
CW: I didn’t even know I could have a career in singing – I mean, I knew about pop stars and that was a dream when I was younger, but it wasn’t until I went to school for music that I realized that there could be a career for me in music and that opera might be a good path.

KO: When did you decide to become a professional singer?
CW: Definitely in college.

KO: Where did you study music?
CW: A lot of places! I studied undergrad at Towson University in Baltimore (where I also studied psychology), then I went to grad school at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and then I did my artist diploma at the Academy of Vocal Arts.

KO: Who is your biggest musical influence?
CW: Oh man, I guess my biggest opera influence would probably be Maria Callas.

KO: What is your favorite role of your career thus far?
CW: Violetta in La Traviata.

KO: What is your favorite opera?
CW: Actually, La Bohème!

KO: What is your dream role?
CW: Probably Madame Butterfly.

KO: Would you say singing opera is as much about acting as it is singing?
CW: Absolutely, especially with these types of roles –– Mimi, Violetta, Butterfly. They require certain dramatic commitments and without that, the true meaning doesn’t come through.

KO: Have you visited Louisville before?
CW: Nope!

KO: What are you looking forward to seeing when you visit Louisville?
CW: I’ve heard it’s a great eating city and I love eating!  I don’t know too much else about it, but I can’t wait to immerse myself in the culture and hang out and learn the city.

KO: Last question. What is a common misconception about operatic artists that you’ve been waiting to dispel?
CW: Well, there are so many! Probably the two biggest ones: first, the opera is becoming more and more like the film and TV world everyday – the voice is always first, but the look, the package is becoming important. Second, that the stereotype that opera singers are elitists is just not true – they like comedies and down home food, regular stuff that people like – they’re not stuffy at all!