Shop Talk: Othalie Graham

Readers, if you’re like the folks on our Opera Canada team, you have a running list of questions that you’d love to ask your favourite Canadian operatic artists. So, we’re asking. In our series of interviews, called Shop Talk, we’re checking in with Canada’s singers, directors, conductors, and more, to ask them some of our most pressing curiosities. Next up: Shop Talk with Canadian-American soprano Othalie Graham.


What’s an onstage memory that you’ll have forever?

“Singing Aida in Sicily in the arena with Marcello Giordani. I was scared out of my wits especially before ‘O Patria Mia’. When I finished, there was dead silence! Just as I was about to panic the audience erupted into loud cheering and I immediately teared up. At the end of the night the roar of the audience for me was so overwhelming!  Marcello kissed my hand and I burst into tears. Best memory of my career.”

What would you consider a great opera for someone’s first time seeing one?

Turandot.”

Othalie Graham in Nashville Opera's Turandot
L-R: Soprano Othalie Graham with tenor Jonathan Burton in Nashville Opera’s Turandot, 2015. Photo: Reed Hummell

If you could do any other job in opera – singer, conductor, director, stage manager, designer, etc. – which would it be?

“Definitely conductor, so I could collaborate with incredible musicians and really shape an opera.”

Who’s on your opera roles bucket list?

“Isolde.”

What’s something tricky about singing in English that non-singers might not think of?

“Diphthongs.”


Readers, which Canadian artists do you want to see featured in our Shop Talk interview series? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch at outreach@operacanada.ca

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