10 Questions with Alissa Anderson

We're excited to have Alissa Anderson back in San Diego! Alissa first joined us for Rossini's La Cenerentola (2016) and since then she's kept busy  with Opera in the Heights, Utah Opera, Arizona Opera, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Santa Barbara. Before she sings Maddalena for us in Rigoletto, Ms. Anderson was kind enough to answer some casual questions for us to get to know her better!

1. What was your last gig before coming to San Diego?
A one woman show with Mercury Chamber Orchestra in Houston called Flowers of Evil. Before that it was The Witch in Into the Woods with Utah Festival Opera.

2. How do you relate to/feel about your character (Maddalena) in Rigoletto?
Maddalena is a strong woman and a survivor who uses her skills and grit to survive...that being said, her career path isn't one I would aspire to personally ;)

3. Are there any dream roles that you would love to sing and why? And since we're dreaming it doesn't even need to be in your fach.
I would LOVE to sing Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Absolutely a bucket list role.

4. What was your introduction to opera and how did you decide this was the path you wanted to pursue?
My first experience with live opera singers I ever had was seeing Thomas Hampson and Jerry Hadley in concert when I was 15 but I was raised being exposed to classical music. My parents encouraged music study from a young age and I played piano and violin before starting voice lessons. The more I studied voice, the more I realized that classical voice was something that spoke to me. I never grew up thinking I would be a professional musician but I always say it found me when I was ready.

5. Name a singer you loved working with in the last year.
I got to do one of my favorite shows, Puccini's Suor Angelica, with my friend Eleni Calenos which was such a fulfilling experience. I have to say that this year won't be topped though because I get to do not one but TWO shows with my husband, Kyle Albertson starting here in San Diego!

6. What are your hobbies that keep you busy outside of music?
I love to cook. It is definitely a creative outlet for me off the stage.

7. Fill in the blank: "If I was not an opera singer, I would be ____.”  
Probably something in the area of psychology. I've always said that when I retire I would like to buy some land and create a sanctuary for rescue animals so that's a long term future goal.

8. If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why? 
Anyone who gets paid to travel and write about the places they visit.

9. Name three artists, bands, or composers on a current playlist that aren't opera related. 
Bruno Mars, Beyonce, and dozens of podcast subscriptions.

10. What are you most looking forward to doing in San Diego while you’re in town?
Spending time with my good friend Sarah-Nicole Carter (Giovanna in Rigoletto). We met singing together this year and have become great pals. Also, exploring San Diego with my husband.

(Bonus) 11.What’s next for you after your gig in San Diego?
Marthe in Faust at San Antonio Opera (with Kyle) and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and The Bird Woman/Miss Andrews - Mary Poppins at Utah Festival Opera.


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