- Private Lessons
- Honorary Doctorates from California State University, Fullerton, Smith College, and University of South Carolina
- The Metropolitan Opera
- Vienna Stattsoper
- San Francisco Opera
AWARDS AND DISTINCTIONS
- Grammy Award, Best Opera Recording, Les Troyens 1996
- Grammy Award, Best Opera Recording, The Ring 2013
- Opera News Award, 2007
- Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 2002
What is your hometown?
Des Plaines, IL
What is your favorite recording?
There are too many too list! They range from opera, to country, to The Carpenters. I loved Karen Carpenter!
What are you passionate about outside of music?
My home! I'm a "nester."
Who were your major teachers?
Jane Paul Hummel, Ruth Falcon, and David Jones.
What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?
"Stay in the moment!"
What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?
"Am I prepared to give my entire life, my passion, and my joy to singing?"
What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?
I always knew I would pursue music, in one way or another. I knew I would find my way when I was invited to be a part of San Francisco's training programs.
What was a turning point in your career?
There have been many. Deciding to join the SFCM faculty is a new turning point!
If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?
A psychiatric therapist.
What is your daily practice routine?
When I'm performing it's easier because I HAVE to be practicing all the time. So, when I'm "off," I tend to be "off" vocally! I look forward to working with my students because THEY will inspire ME to practice!
If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Wagner! His music is so rich and his characters so complex, he would keep me busy for my entire life. Actually… he HAS!
From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?
The Romantic era; late 18th to early 20th centuries. Vienna, Bayreuth.
What are your most important collaborations?
Performing Brünnhilde in the Metropolitan Opera’s Robert LePage Ring Cycle; Performing recitals around the world with my pianist and coach, Brian Zeger; Recording "Wagner Duets" with Placido Domingo.
What is your unrealized project?
Doing a musical on Broadway!