This month, Cassidy Smith joins the Opera Colorado family as the mezzo-soprano in our quintet of Young Artists. Cassidy is a Colorado native, receiving her Performance Certificate and Bachelor of Music degree from Denver University’s Lamont School of Music.
OC: When did you first know you wanted to be an opera singer?
I have always known that singing would be a big part of my life, but I didn't know that I would be singing opera until half way through college. I studied abroad in Vienna as a Junior in college, and during that four- month span I went to the opera 26 times (I saw 2 operas twice, and only missed 1 opera in their fall season). The Standing Room at the Vienna Staatsoper is €4, and so I went as often as I could. I was also living with 6 other singers in one apartment (sharing one bathroom!), and we all fed off of each others' enthusiasm. I absolutely fell in love with opera during that time, and I've been working hard to make opera my career ever since.
OC: Who or what most influenced you?
Those few months in Vienna definitely had the most influence on my development as a singer. But long before my time in Vienna, while I was deciding which engineering college applications I should fill out, my voice teacher, Kate Emerich, encouraged me to just make an audition CD to send to a couple of music schools and see what happened. Her gentle nudge helped me to realize that I wanted to make a career out of singing.
OC: If you couldn’t be an opera singer, what would you be?
I would be an astrophysicist.
OC: What are you the most excited about as an Opera Colorado Young Artist?
I am excited to bring two operas that I love (Carmen and The Barber of Seville) to young audiences in Denver and beyond. I’m also excited to stay in Denver for another year – it’s one of my favorite places on Earth!
OC: If you could sing any role, what would it be?
Violetta from La Traviata. She is an incredibly complex character that I would love to dive into and try to understand. And the music she gets to sing is breathtaking; from the Act 1 show-stopper of "Sempre Libera" to the heart-wrenching "Addio, del passato bei sogni ridenti" in Act 3, Verdi's music adds incredible depth to her character. Unfortunately I can only dream of a high E-flat, so that role will continue to only be sung in my dreams.
OC: Do you prefer comedic or dramatic operas?
I prefer performing in comedic operas because I enjoy making people laugh, and I've always felt that comedic acting came more easily to me than drama. However, I prefer watching a dramatic opera. The music adds so much depth and feeling to the story, and a dramatic opera really has the power to move my soul.
OC: What is something people would be suprised to learn about you?
People might be surprised to find out that I was a ski racer for 9 years, and that I Nordic Jumped for a couple of years as well. And if they already knew that, they’d probably be surprised that I was also a Girl Scout for 13 years.
As an Opera Colorado Young Artist, Cassidy will sing the title role in Carmen and the role of Rosina in The Barber of Seville in abridged, English-language versions that will be performed in schools and communities throughout Colorado and southern Wyoming, as well as the trouser role of Stephano in the student matinee performance of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and a role in the main stage, world premiere production of Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter.