Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Soprano feels need to ‘pay it forward’

By
From page B1 | January 25, 2013 |

FAIRFIELD — North Bay Opera will throw a double bicentennial birthday bash Saturday for two well-known composers, Richard Wagner and Guiseppe Verdi. While their bodies have long been offered back to the dust from whence they came, their revered compositions live on.

In the celebration, longtime North Bay Opera artistic director Phillip Kuttner will accompany several top-tier vocalists in excerpts from “Aida,” “La Traviata,” “Don Carlos” and others on piano.

New Jersey native Soprano Hope Briggs will be a featured vocalist. Briggs has performed all over the world and been the recipient of numerous awards. Before gracing the Downtown Theatre stage at the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, she answered a few questions via telephone.

Did you always know you were going to be an opera singer?

I loved singing, came from a very musical household and I grew up singing in church. But it was not until I went to college that I discovered I had the potential for an operatic career. Right out of college I was hired to do a national tour of “Porgy and Bess” and after doing that, I decided I wanted to experience opera. I went as moral support with a friend who was trying out for North Bay Opera’s “Don Giovanni.” Somehow I ended up singing and they hired me for the role of Donna Elvira.

While I have seen YouTube videos of you singing arias, there are also ones of you singing songs such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hand.”

Opera is my passion, but I do appreciate other genres. I love Broadway. I love spirituals, of course, because of the cultural ties I have with the music. And I love singing contemporary Christian. That was my first love and, in a way, it still is because the message in the music is very important to me. Still, I do believe that I was put here on this Earth to sing classical music.

Do you feel a responsibility to pass on the legacy of African-American opera singers like Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price?

I believe I have a responsibility to “pay it forward” and try to educate children who might not consider classical arts. They should know there is a big world out there and not to close themselves off from it and just go with what is familiar. Sometimes, stepping outside of your comfort zone can be very rewarding. Had I not been open to the possibility of pursuing a career in the classical arts, I would not have had the opportunity to travel all over the world and meet people from various cultures. A lot of opera companies, large and small, are working on that. They have outreach programs that go into schools in inner cities, community centers, senior centers – so I think they are trying to bridge that gap.

Do you still get nervous when you step out on stage?

You always get a little nervous and that’s a good sign. I think the minute you stop getting the jitters shows that you don’t care that much. It’s not a fun feeling, but before you know it, you’re on stage, you’re in the moment and you are transported to a whole new world. It’s your chance to get lost in the music and communicate with the audience and take them on the journey with you. Even Pavarotti said that he would get very nervous but the important thing is that the jitters go away and you are able to breathe and be in the moment.

What is it like to be with North Bay Opera again?

North Bay Opera was the first company with which I had the chance to perform an opera in the original language and it was a wonderful experience. I am so happy that I am able to give back at this time. They are a wonderful organization and I hope they continue to thrive in the community.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at getthelowdown@sbcglobal.net.

North Bay Opera presents

“An Evening of Verdi And Wagner”

  • 8 p.m. Saturday
  • Fairfield Center for Creative Arts
  • 1035 Texas St., Fairfield
  • www.downtowntheatre.com
Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 6 Comments

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
AP sources: Cops’ killer angry at chokehold death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 2 Comments

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics