Posts Tagged 'Rachelle Durkin'

For Lesenger, whittling 800 to 26 comes down to voice

For Lesenger, whittling 800 to 26 comes down to voice

The 26 young singers filling the stage during Chautauqua Opera Company productions were once part of a pool of 800.

Months of work from General and Artistic Director Jay Lesenger and Music Administrator Carol Rausch precede what the Chautauqua Opera Young Artists do to stage operas. The Chautauquan Daily sat down with Lesenger to discuss opera auditions, modern expectations for singers and the casting process.

Artistic/general director’s production presents three-dimensional tragedy in ‘Lucia’

Artistic/general director’s production presents three-dimensional tragedy in ‘Lucia’

Rachelle Durkin might have gone too far when she licked the bloody knife during rehearsal.

As the title character in Chautauqua Opera Company’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Durkin descends into insanity before killing her new husband. She has never considered herself a method actress — accessing the thoughts and emotions of the character as if the actor’s own — but Lucia’s extreme persona brought out in Durkin a tendency to become the mad murderess.

“It changes every time, I never do the same thing twice,” Durkin said. “I look in the mirror and see myself with my wig on and blood all over my dress, and try to imagine that I murdered someone. To do it properly, I must conjure up some sort of emotional feedback, but since I’ve never murdered anyone, I have to go on what I’ve seen in movies, or what I’ve seen on ‘60 Minutes’ when they interview criminals. I end up pacing the floor.”