In Opera, the mezzo-soprano is often stuck with the kind of roles Italians call “seconda donna” – second woman parts. You know, mostly the soprano’s servant or the “other girl”- the one who doesn’t get the boy… or the ugly witch or the kind old soul…
But, if you are a pretty mezzo-soprano and have a voice to match your looks, there’s this other world that opens up: all those wonderful “pants roles” – Octavian, Cherubino…all those Rossini leads – Cenerentola, Rosina, Isabella…all those French Romantic heroines – Charlotte…Mignon…
Mezzo-soprano Sofia Selowsky (www.sofiaselowsky.com) graduated with a Master’s degree from CCM in 2014. In the brief space of two years she has moved rapidly in her career, transforming herself from promising young singer into a very busy up and coming artist.
When we first heard Sofia in a CCM production of Chabrier’s L’étoile in February of 2014 we raved in our review for www.SeenandHeard-International: “Sofia Selowsky, a regional finalist now on her way to the Metropolitan Opera’s national auditions, is the ideal singer for the dugazon part of Lazuli, her supple voice with just the right balance of mezzo richness at the low end of the compass and a glistening upper-range. Boyishly beautiful, Selowsky was never better than in the lovely ‘O ma petite étoile,’ a bedtime serenade to her beneficent star sung so as to melt the hardest of royal hearts.”
Sofia’s transformation owes as much to her natural talents as to her work ethic. On two occasions she sang for Music for All Seasons, a concert series which we run in Cincinnati. She distinguished herself as a recitalist, stylishly singing by memory music by Montsalvatge, Donizetti, Beethoven and Schubert in flawless Spanish and Italian.
Then followed the tricky transition that all singers have to confront after graduation…
Sofia won the district and regional MET auditions and made it all the way to the national finals. She landed a two-year contract as a Studio artist at the Houston Grand Opera.
Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, the Fox in The Little Prince, and Nell Gwynn in the world premier of Carlisle Floyd’s new opera, Prince of Players came as plum assignments on the main stage.
At present, Sofia is preparing for a recital at Houston’s famous Menil Collection, where she will be performing de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares in conjunction with the museum’s Picasso art exhibit.
Her engagement calendar continues to fill up with the help of her management, L2 Artists.com.
In December she will be performing Handel’s Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra. Later in the season there’s Mozart Requiem with the Sarasota Orchestra, de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat with the Houston Symphony, and a return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis this coming summer.
Here’s hoping that the Cincinnati Musical Powers can find a way to bring Sofia back to the Queen City very soon.
They will be thrilled with the results.
Rafael de Acha