I’ve heard it said more than once that we have a lot of “characters” on staff at Opera Colorado. It got me thinking. How well do you, our patrons, know us? Somewhat? A little? Not at all?
Well then, I’m going to do what I can do change that. I am, after all, the Director of Education, so it’s time I “educate” you about us. Too corny? For my blog post this week I decided to delve in and see what I could find out about my colleagues and then share it with you. We all like a little dirt now and then, don’t we? I wanted to connect it to opera since that’s why we’re all here, so I posed this question to them, “What opera character are you most like and why?” I found out quite a lot, maybe more than I wanted to.
Here are their responses:
Katie, our Assistant Ticket Services Manager, was the first to respond. “What opera character is pregnant? That would be me.” (For those of you wondering, yes, Katie is expecting.) We racked our brains for the better part of a day and we couldn’t think of one, well at least not one with a happy ending and we didn’t want to go there... So Katie decided on Carmen. Why? “Because I beat to my own drum, and for a while moved around the country like a gypsy. Not to mention working in Rock n’ Roll for 9 years. Although so far, knock on wood, my life has not ended in tragedy. Did I mention I am sassy too?”
Felicia, our grant consultant, was also quick to reply. “Oh, that is so easy for me. Mimi in Boheme because she and I go on about everything. She’s also why we named one of our new pups 'Mimi' . . . she always looks so pitiful and needy and helpless. But, she really isn’t.”
Hally, our Production Manager also had animals in mind when choosing her character. “I loved Jezibaba when we did Rusalka. I swore that when I got a second horse, that would be their name.” I know you’re wondering if that came true. Sadly, no. Hally’s second horse came already named so there’s no pony prancing about to the name of Jezibaba; at least not that I’m aware of.
After about a day, this became a topic of conversation in the office. Who were we? Who did others think we were? Some of the characters were easy to figure out. Julie, our Staff Accountant chose Carmen too and we all agreed. I think women view Carmen differently than men... Why Carmen? Julie said, “Because she’s fiery and sassy but not slutty.” Did I mention that Julie is a red-head?
Meghan, our Manager of Education chose Flora from La Traviata, “Because I’m a good friend and I love to throw a party!” I can’t argue with that one. I’ve seen her in action – mad hostess skills.
Now Greg, our General Director, is a thoughtful man. He gave this topic some consideration. His answer? “Being a highly creative person I would choose the character of Spalanzani (the inventor of the Doll) in Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. Spalanzani uses his creative genius to invent a doll that appears to be human.” Well said, don’t you think?
Dan, our Director of Development is new to opera, so we had a think-tank. Don’t laugh. This is serious business. You have to pick just the right character. I mean, this is going in a blog after all. For Dan we chose Dandini from La Cenerentola. He's lively, charming, funny and always up for a challenge. He can also really sell an idea and is a faithful and devoted servant...umm, I mean friend.
Laura, our Box Office Manager, threw me a curve ball. She said she was a mix between Michaela, in Carmen and the Queen of the Night, from The Magic Flute. That’s quite a combo. Laura elaborated, “Micaela has a good heart and tries her best to help people make good decisions. She goes above and beyond to do the right things, even when it’s hard for her. Queen of the Night... because she’s a witch and I love Halloween!” Okie dokie.
The topic was really gaining steam in the office now. People were asking, “Who did you choose?” We were talking about it in groups at lunch. Even our Chief Financial Officer, Darrel, got into the spirit. He chose Mephistopheles from Faust. I asked why, a little uncertain that I wanted to know the answer given that this character is the devil. Darrel responded, “Because I like doing favors for people in return for their souls.” Darrel is a nice man, I promise.
Brad, our Director of Artistic Operations, came into the conversation late and had only this to say, “Wow. I cannot even imagine. I should have gotten my Masters and this could have been my dissertation…”
Erin, our Marketing and Promotions Coordinator, took the longest to respond. She put some serious thought into her choice, even doing some research. So, who did she select? “Violetta from La Traviata, because I love a good party, I never seem to have enough money, and I hate being sick.” Don’t we all?
As for me, after helping everyone else figure out who they were, I couldn’t choose for myself. I asked my colleagues to pick a character for me. Funnily enough, they chose a character from my favorite Rossini opera; Angelina from La Cenerentola. Why? “Because no matter what gets thrown at you, you go at it head on. You have a big heart and lots and lots of patience.” A sappy one, I’ll grant you, but I love it!
Now it’s your turn readers. What character are you and why? Come on! We want to get to know you. We want responses. Let’s make this blog go viral!
Cherity Koepke, Director of Education and Community Programs