Studio Spotlight: Q&A With Monica Dewey
We start off 2018 introducing our resident soprano, Monica Dewey. The Georgia native recently made her San Francisco Opera debut as Poussette in “Manon” in November. She will sing the role of Alice Toklas in Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of Ricky Ian Gordon’s, “27,” presented at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts March 10-11.
Q: What is your favorite opera and why?
A: This is a difficult question, because I feel like my tastes are constantly changing. Opera continually surprises me, and there is always something new to explore. However, I fell in love with opera because of “La bohéme”. I started listening to opera in high school and this piece totally blew my mind. I used to listen to it on repeat when I was doing calculus homework thinking, “I would MUCH rather be doing this…” It was the ultimate motivator.
Q: What has been your favorite performance experience?
A: I loved singing Marie in “Daughter of the Regiment”. I’m a tomboy at heart, so it was fun to explore those elements onstage through the character. We had an awesome cast and creative team and the staging was a blast. I was marching, jumping on my colleague’s back, climbing over huge piles of furniture…I definitely earned my dinner after the show!
Q: What is your dream role?
A: My dream role is Wotan in Wagner’s “Ring Cycle,” because who wouldn’t want to be the king of the Gods?! But since that won’t happen in this lifetime, I’ll have to say Susanna in “Le nozze di Figaro”. It’s some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.
Q: What’s been the best part about being in the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio program?
A: The Michigan Opera Theatre Studio program is unique in that each individual artist is supported in a way that benefits him or her. I have received amazing support and resources to pursue my goals and continue working on my craft. In the past few months I have engaged in fitness, Alexander Technique, acting classes, language study, and private voice lessons, all supported by the Studio program.
Q: What’s the best part about living in Detroit?
A: I’m constantly in awe of this city. It’s full of style, flavor, culture, and variety. I love living downtown because I can literally see the city transforming. I honestly think this is the most exciting time to live in Detroit.
Q: If you weren’t an opera singer, what would you be?
A: It’s hard to imagine myself doing anything else because I’m so invested in this path. I do like playing pool, though!
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I meditate twice a day, every day. I started last summer and it’s been a really important discovery. I have to say, it’s a game changer and a vital part of my process.
Supported by a major grant from the William Davidson Foundation, the MOT Studio is a resident artist training program focused on supporting the next generation of opera singers. For more information, visit Michigan Opera Theatre Studio.
- Voice Type: Soprano
- Age: 27
- Hometown: Stone Mountain, GA
- Training: Master of Music, Voice from Indiana University; Bachelor of Arts in Music and Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky
- Past Roles:
- Pousette, Manon, San Francisco Opera 2017
- Servilia, La clemenza di Tito, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 2017
- Echo cover, Ariadne auf Naxos, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 2016
- Marie, La fille du Régiment, Indiana University Opera Theater 2016
- Rosina, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Indiana University Opera Theater 2015
- Dalinda, Ariodante, Chautauqua Voice Institute 2015
- Morgana, Alcina, Indiana University Opera Theater 2015
- Pamina, Die Zauberflöte, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar 2013
- Rose, Street Scene, Harrower Opera Workshop, 2013
- Current/Future Roles:
- Alice, 27, Michigan Opera Theatre 2018