The Operadarling

By ANNETTE S.

It all started with a hum. That hum turned into sing-song. Sing-song turned into arias. Those arias brought me to some of the most beautiful stages around the world. Within and around those stages, I was witness to some of the best art in the world. Visually. Audibly. Tangibly. Through taste, sight, sound and felt I was propelled into an atmosphere that I want to write about.

My name is Annette S. but many know me by my moniker, Operadarling. Just as the name implies, I sing Opera. I had my first professional debut over 25 years ago as Cherubino in "The Marriage of Figaro." My foray into Opera was purely by chance and I’ve enjoyed the opportunities that I’ve had and continue to have. Although I do not grace the stage as I once did and miss it, I look for other ways to be involved.

I always liked to sing. In fact my mother said I was singing before I was talking and one of the classes that I couldn’t wait for in elementary school was music class. I can remember those classes like yesterday. My teacher was Mrs. Williams. How I adored Mrs. Williams. She had so much encouragement for me and revealed to my parents that she thought I was musically gifted. When I made the leap to middle school I was happy to see that Mrs. Williams did as well. I joined the Cougar Chorus and loved being a part of it. But this was all for fun, my focus, even early in my life was in history and politics and law (daddy being a former police officer was probably part of the draw). It was in 7th grade when the bug hit. The school musical "Scrooge" and I played the Ghost of Christmas Past. From the moment that I got on that stage I was euphoric. The standing ovation afterward – ethereal.

Fast forward to college where I auditioned for my undergrad school’s college chorale and I then find myself taking music classes. I also found myself working as an extra at the Peoria Civic Opera, then singing there, then Chicago, New York, Nashville, Canada, Boulder, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Louisville and Europe.

Along the way I have grown a deep appreciation for dance, theatre, visual, opera, orchestra, ballet, instrumental. From the three year old who made her first finger painting in pre-school to the multi-talent that one finds in Broadway musicals, I like it all. 

I have fancied myself an advocate of the arts and am a product of how important the arts are to the schools and to the community at large.

If you will allow me, I’d like to take you on some journeys into the arts world that you may not get the opportunity to see very often. I’ll tell you about the devotion and talent that it takes to be an artist. And I hope along the way that we will all find a new appreciation for the arts that surround us each and every day.

The creations that I have typed this on and that you are reading from came from the minds of Artists. 

So join me under the great umbrella that we call the arts.