Today, we kick off our Tender Land Tuesday Artist Features. We will be showcasing members of our cast for Copland's The Tender Land on June 2 & 4 at the Aetna Theater at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art both during our regular Spotlight Sunday features and on Tuesdays. Baritone Thomas Laskowski and soprano Alyson Sheehan are up first! Remember if you want to see Tom & Alyson on stage in The Tender Land, tickets go on sale THIS SUNDAY and will be available through our website.
Baritone Thomas Laskowski currently studies Voice Performance at the Hartt School in West Hartford, CT. A native of Floral Park, New York, he has been praised as “a quick-change artist, taking on many characters, each with a distinct personality” by the Queens Chronicle. His previous operatic roles have included the Gamekeeper in The Cunning Little Vixen, the Maestro in Prima la musica e poi le parole, Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mars in Orpheus in the Underworld, Sylvester in Ned Rorem’s Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters, and Toby in The Medium. Thomas is a student of Dr. Robert Barefield.
Alyson is incredibly excited to be performing with Hartford Opera Theater once again. This season, she had the honor of singing the role of Christa in scenes from Verlorene Heimat, as part of Hartford Opera Theater's New in November. Last season, she sang her debut with the company as Ruth Putnam in The Crucible. Alyson is a recent graduate of the Hartt School of Music and is currently studying voice under soprano, Maureen O'Flynn. She has participated in several productions at the Hartt School including The Magic Flute, Orpheus and the Underworld, The Devil and Daniel Webster and The Cunning Little Vixen. Alyson's favorite role that she has performed is Lucy, in Menotti's The Telephone. In addition, she has sung in the chorus of Opera Connecticut productions such as Pagliacci and Tosca. Alyson would like to thank the entire staff of Hartford Opera Theater for being so kind and welcoming to her, as well as all of the incredibly talented members of the cast.
We asked Tom and Alyson for their thoughts on opera without borders and here is what they had to say -
Tom - To me, “opera without borders” means that no matter what makes someone different should not prohibit them from enjoying all that opera, or any art form for that matter, has to offer. That is why theatrical art is so amazing to me because so many artistic mediums come together to create one whole and multifaceted product. If you take away one element, it is still able to relay a message. By taking different peoples into consideration and how they might individually experience things, an “opera without borders” goes the extra mile to make sure that everyone is able fully interpret and take part in this art form.
Alyson - In order to truly have “opera without borders” we must tear down the stigmas surrounding opera that prevent members of today’s society from having an interest in it. What people do not realize is that opera is not antiquated, but rather an ever-changing art form that is constantly adapting to appeal to a greater audience. New operas are being written by contemporary composers, classic operas are being modernized and re-set by contemporary directors, foreign operas are being translated into English, new sets are being built, and new singers are coming to the stage every single day. What could possibly be antiquated about that?
Check back on Sunday to get your tickets and see who our next artist feature will be!