The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Interview with Ailyn Perez about her work, Dallas debut

 

The Daily Campus: You’ve performed some of the most sought after female roles in opera, what has been your favorite?

Perez: Debuting here in Dallas is really exciting. One of my career highlights was playing Violetta in the Royal Opera House’s production of “La Traviata” in Tokyo. I also really enjoyed performing with Placido Domingo in “Simon Boccanegra” at La Scala in Milan.

The Daily Campus: Did you ever think your career would take you as far as it has?

Perez: I never believed that this would happen to me. This career combines all of the things I’ve always loved – traveling, languages and singing.

The Daily Campus: Was Zerlina on your list of roles you wanted to play?

Perez: She is so much fun to play. The roles I sing tend to be die-hard heroines. It’s fun to play the ingénue who doesn’t die in the end.

The Daily Campus: What has been your experience working with the cast of “Don Giovanni”?

Perez: The cast is a lot younger than most and every artist in the cast is more open and more willing to play the lines a new way. This makes the story more intimate and more a part of our modern culture. Ben Wagger (Masetto) and I went to school together in Philadelphia, so we have Chemistry, which is really important.

The Daily Campus: At its core what would you say this opera is about?

Perez: I think that this opera explores the themes of the faithfulness of women, men behaving badly and what liberty means.  It’s updated setting shows that the idea of sex and sexism and the power struggles that are created because of this- this is so relevant today. Yet only Mozart could take the brutality of these themes and lighten them up in such a way that they are easy to watch. “Don Giovanni” walks the fine line of satire and is able to take the emotions that arrive and work through them.

The Daily Campus: What is the setting of “Don Giovanni”?

Perez:  It’s set in a 1940’s fascist environment, and Giovanni is in some ways a fascist dictator. Don uses power over everyone until the result is ultimately death. This allows the concept of freedom to fully be explored.

The Daily Campus: What advice would you give college opera students?

Perez: Welcome to a very interesting life. If you love music, language and traveling then you’re in the right place. Find a good voice coach and be willing to work on it. It’s really important to know what you love and that you want to do it, but also to have the right people around you, because you are going to need a lot of encouragement. 

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