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Theater

Q&A: Glen Ellyn woman to perform in opera 'La Traviata'

‘La Traviata’ performances to take place Jan. 27 and 28 at McAninch Arts Center

Glen Ellyn resident Karen Archbold will play the part of Flora Bervoix in Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" on Jan. 27 and 28 at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn.
Glen Ellyn resident Karen Archbold will play the part of Flora Bervoix in Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" on Jan. 27 and 28 at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn.

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn resident Karen Archbold loves sharing her musical talents with other people.

The mezzo-soprano will play the part of Flora Bervoix in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “La Traviata” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 and 3 p.m. Jan. 28 at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn.

The New Philharmonic Orchestra will present the production.

Tickets are available online at atthemac.org or through the box office at 630-942-4000.

Suburban Life reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Archbold about the upcoming show. The interview has been edited for length and style.

Schelkopf: Why did you want to be part of this production?

Archbold: I absolutely love Verdi. It’s amazing music, and it is fantastic to sing and to be a part of.

Schelkopf: What do you like about the music and this production in particular?

Archbold: Verdi just pays amazing detail to allowing the singer to really express musically what’s going on. I feel that Verdi just does a beautiful job of creating these theatrical moments musically. ... As a performer, we can really have something to express. And with this production, I absolutely love what our stage director and musical director have all done to really allow us to do that, to pay attention to what Verdi put in the music and really allow that to breathe and come alive.

Schelkopf: You play Flora in the production. What do you like about the role?

Archbold: She’s a really fun character. She wears amazing costumes and really gets to enjoy the whole party aspect of the opera.

Schelkopf: Kirk Muspratt is New Philharmonic Orchestra’s artistic director and conductor. What do you like about working with him?

Archbold: He’s just fantastic about knowing the score and really helping us to stick to what Verdi wrote. I really appreciate that.

Schelkopf: I understand you are involved in other music projects in the area.

Archbold: I sing quite a bit of chamber music and do smaller ensemble things. My husband is a cellist, and I’ve done quite a few concerts with his string quartet, Grant Street String Quartet. ... I also did sing with the other orchestra that Kirk conducts, the Northwest Indiana Symphony. I also sing with the Belle Ensemble in Racine, Wis.

Schelkopf: As far as performing in general, why do you like to perform?

Archbold: I love making music. I grew up in a really musical family. We have the ability when we’re making music to connect with other people – both the people on the stage with us, but also the audience. It is a rare and special gift. ... When I’m singing, I really feel like there’s something deeper happening. And it’s really profound for me to get to share that with other people. ... I also love the connection that I feel with other people who have sung these roles or sung these works and also the composers who wrote them.

Schelkopf: Is “La Traviata” a production that anybody could enjoy, whether you are a fan of the opera or not?

Archbold: Absolutely. This is a fantastic sort of introduction to opera. ... I feel like it’s a fairly uncomplicated plot, and the music is easy to understand and follow. It’s a really young and vibrant cast, and it is also really believable, I think.

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If you go

WHAT: Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “La Traviata”

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 and 3 p.m. Jan. 28

WHERE: McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

COST: $10 to $55

INFO: atthemac.org or 630-942-4000

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