When did you start singing?
I had my first solo in the 5th grade Christmas Concert, but I became more serious in high school.
Why did you start singing?
Well, it seemed to fit with my first love — dance. I also enjoyed participating in music in any way I could, and I felt I was good at it.
Which singer inspired you most when you were young?
Whitney Houston, and Adam Pascal.
Which singer do you most admire?
So many, for different reasons, but right now, all of my colleagues in Cosi Fan Tutte at the Met.
What’s your favourite role?
What role have you never played but would like to?
Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
What’s your favourite opera to watch?
Tough one… depends on the production. Maybe Tosca, or Salome.
Who is your favourite composer?
Who is your favourite writer?
Rainer Maria Rilke.
Who is your favourite theatre or film director?
Who is your favourite actor?
Emma Thompson, or Tom Hanks.
Who is your favourite dancer?
Dianne Walker, or Sam Weber.
What is your favourite book?
Bossypants by Tina Fey.
What is your favourite film?
Which is your favourite city?
What do you like most about yourself?
I’m an incredibly hard worker.
What do you dislike about yourself?
I’m often anxious, a worrier, and have a tendency to get jealous.
What was your proudest moment?
Making my Met debut under the pressure of the circumstances around me.
When and where were you happiest?
I’ve been the happiest throughout many stages of life, but if I had to pick one, it would be laughing with my childhood friends in between dance classes at the studio I grew up in.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Sam, my husband, and Annie, my stepdaughter.
What is your greatest fear?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would care less about what others think.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Sustaining a successful career while balancing and maintaining a happy personal life.
What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding rings.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Fine dining — Michelin starred restaurants are my weakness.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
None are overrated, some more necessary than others depending on the situation.
On what occasion do you lie?
Very rarely, but only when someone needs a little extra kindness or confidence.
If you hadn’t been a singer what would you have liked to be?
A psychologist or therapist.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What quality do you most value in a friend?
Loyalty, and listening ability.
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Hard working, open-minded, and a positive attitude.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Depending on how historical we’re talking here, either Abraham Lincoln or Oprah Winfrey.
Which living person do you most admire?
What do you most dislike?
Someone spitting on the sidewalk.
What talent would you most like to have?
To be a ballet dancer.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting on our porch, watching the sunset over the lake with my husband, a glass of good wine, and my stepdaughter practicing handstands in the front yard.
How would you like to die?
In my sleep, before my husband.
What is your motto?
Shine your shoes.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.