As a follow-up to OperaWire’s recent interview with Irish soprano Ava Dodd, we thought it would be a bit of fun to ask her a few light-hearted questions that might shed a bit of light on other aspects of her career and personality.
OperaWire: What was the first opera you attended?
Ava Dodd: “Die Zauberflöte.”
OW: What was the last opera in which you performed before the Wexford Festival Opera?
AD: Second Niece in “Peter Grimes” at ENO
OW: What is your next scheduled performance?
AD: I will play Madame de Latour in “La Postillon de Lonjumeau” by Adam at the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl.
OW: What is your favorite opera?
AD: “La Boheme.”
OW: What role would you most like to sing?
AD: Violetta in “La Traviata.”
OW: Which character that you have met on stage have you most disliked?
AD: The Queen of the Night in “Die Zauberflöte.”
OW: Name three people, at least one of which must have a connection with opera, that you would like to invite to a dinner party.
AD: Musetta, Don Giovanni, and Oscar.
OW: What qualities do you most appreciate in a director?
AD: Clarity about what they want, but also open to the singers’ interpretation.
OW: What is your favorite film?
AD: “Notting Hill.”
OW: What is your favorite piece of non-classical music?
AD: “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon.
OW: Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
AD: Nick Sears, the Head of Vocal at Royal College of Music.
OW: What was the last book you read?
AD: A biography of Renée Fleming.
OW: Which role would you like to perform but will never be able to?
OW: If you had not been a singer, what career would you have liked to have pursued?
AD: A radio presenter or a talk show host.
OW: If you had been a talk show host, who would you have most liked to interview?
AD: Maria Callas.
OW: What do you like most about being a singer?
AD: Getting to spend my day listening to great music.
OW: What do you dislike most about being a singer?
AD: The stress you experience when you are unwell. The implications for the job are huge.
OW: You have just spent a year working at Klagenfurt Opera. Name something that you prefer about Austria compared to Ireland.
AD: The fact that in Austria live classical music is a normal activity. Opera is so accessible. Although there are now big improvements in Ireland on this front, as in the cases of Wexford Festival Opera and Irish National Opera for example.
OW: What are the necessary qualities you must have to become a successful singer?
AD: Ambition, dedication, and self-awareness.
OW: Name two adjectives that sum up your experience of working at the Wexford Festival Opera.
AD: Exciting and rewarding.