In our conversation with American Soprano Sydney Mancasola, we talk about everything from soul music to home workouts, nasal lavage, home remedies, how to combat jet lag and those silly voices in your head, how to enter and appreciate the opera world as a newbie to the genre (as an audience member), and why opera singers don't like singing karaoke.
She sent us a very modest bio when we approached her about this interview so below you will find all of her career highlights and glory. Enjoy!
Show notes: Sydney finds inspiration in the music of Aretha Franklin and mentions her first album specifically "Aretha: With the Ray Bryant Combo," (1961).
You can learn more about Sydney on her website
Lauded by Opera News as “enchanting…radiant…glittering,” and as an artist who “owned the place” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, soprano Sydney Mancasola is quickly establishing herself as one of the most engaging singing actresses of her generation. The 2018 – 2019 season sees Ms. Mancasola’s debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Pamina in the Julie Taymor production of The Magic Flute and as Frasquita in Carmen, which is broadcast to theatres around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD program. Ms. Mancasola also returns to Oper Frankfurt to sing Roxana in a new production of Szymanowski’s Król Roger, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and Frasquita in Carmen. Additional appearances include a recital with Elīna Garanča at The Green Space in New York as part of the Classical up Close series.
Ms. Mancasola’s 2017–2018 season saw her return to the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt with roles including Gilda in Rigoletto, the Italian Singer in Capriccio, and a Niece in Peter Grimes. Ms. Mancasola also returned to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for her role debut as Violetta in La traviata, marking the directing debut of Patricia Racette.
Operatic highlights include her European debut with Komische Oper Berlin as the heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Pamina in the Barrie Kosky production of Die Zauberflöte, and Servilia in a concert performance of La clemenza di Tito. At Oper Frankfurt, she has sung Musetta in La bohème, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Onoria in Ezio, and was the soprano soloist in a new production of Betulia liberata. Additional highlights include her role debut as Gilda in the Jonathan Miller production of Rigoletto at English National Opera; her company debut with Des Moines Metro Opera as Comtesse Adèle in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory and return to the company in the title role of Manon; her return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Lisette in Puccini’s La Rondine; her company debut with Palm Beach Opera as Marie in La Fille du régiment and her role debut as Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de perles with Florida Grand Opera.
The concert stage has seen Ms. Mancasola in performance with the San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Santa Fe Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, Eugene Symphony Orchestra for Haydn’s Die Schöpfung conducted by Danail Rachev, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Sun Valley Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, Strauss’s Brentano-Lieder, and Handel’s Messiah with the Santa Fe Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Michael Rossi. She was also featured as a guest soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with the 2012 international music festival Calí de Camara in Colombia.
Honors and awards include a Grand Finals winner of the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a winner of the 2016 Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation Prize from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Top Prize Winner of the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, 2nd Prize and Audience Favorite at the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, and 1st Prize in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition. Ms. Mancasola is an alumna of the Academy of Vocal Arts, Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, where she received the Judith Raskin Memorial Award for Singers, the Gerdine Young Artist program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Brevard Music Center.
Ms. Mancasola began her musical training as a classical violinist in her home state of California and went on to study voice at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in 2011 and was the recipient of the Margot Bos Standler Scholarship.