...that started at the MET...
"I had a lovely time at the MET; I ADORED the MET!"
"...the voice renders you vulnerable to a point... that
there's a kind of child-likeness about singers."
is one of the world's most beloved opera singers, and this series of
video clips of excerpts from a FanFaire interview with mezzo-soprano
FREDERICA VON STADE (or FLICKA as she prefers to be called) and frequent
collaborator, composer JAKE HEGGIE will show why: the consummate artist
is also a genuine human being - kind, gracious, warm, spontaneous, big-hearted,
and-unlike what one is led to expect of a diva-totally unself-conscious
and completely unself-absorbed, AND verrry funny, especially when she's
laughing at herself. JAKE HEGGIE said it best: "FLICKA
makes the world a better place just by being there." Need
it be said that we came away from the interview that afternoon feeling
that the world has indeed become a better place.
In this video clip, FLICKA who has performed most all of the mezzo-soprano
roles in the repertoire to international acclaim, takes us first to
her roots, on to the beginning and then up to the high points of what
— contrary to her own expectations — turned out to be a
long and glorious career. She talks quite extensively about her
career at the METROPOLITAN OPERA which
began in 1969, toward the final years at the MET of its patrician General
Manager, SIR RUDOLF BING. These days Flicka, a Bay Area resident,
performs more frequently at West Coast venues such as SAN FRANCISCO
OPERA and LOS ANGELES OPERA, and wherever her well-known artistic collaboration
with composer JAKE HEGGIE takes her - such as HOUSTON GRAND OPERA which
in February 2008 world-premiered Last Acts (later renamed
Three Decembers)a chamber opera written by HEGGIE for
This interview was held following rehearsals for a Spring 2008 recital
of Lieder, art songs, and Broadway tunes, presented by the
LONG BEACH OPERA at the LONG BEACH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, and very
enthusiastically received by the audience.