I am an American living in Germany. I grew up in southern Minnesota. My family wasn’t especially musical. My mother sang in a choir when I was really young and my grandfather had sung often at events until he was in a car crash that crushed his larynx but music wasn’t something that was much of a topic. When she started working again after we kids were a little older and there was more money available, my mother insisted that I and my younger brother take piano lessons. I pretty much hated it. But I loved music and singing. We had a great Music Teacher in grade school, Eugene Dunlap and he instilled in me the joy of music that has guided me my whole life. I was madly in love with “The Sound of Music” when it came out as a film and I “produced” a version for my 6th Grade Class where we sang or lip-synced to the record with costumes and “scenery” that we all painted and that I mostly made – at least that is how I remember it. I was in choir and the theater group in high school and started taking singing lessons at 16 in part so that I could stop taking piano lessons. I applied to music school without really knowing what I would do with it. I saw and heard my first opera as a senior in high school – Turandot in the Met touring production (yes, the Met toured back then). I was transported and transformed in that performances. I had never heard anything so amazing in my whole life. After that, singing opera was all I wanted to do. Several years later, I found out that the tenor I heard in the lead part was Franco Corelli, that may have had something to do with it!
After 7 years of college and two degrees I moved to Washington, D.C. to study with a woman. who was recommended by a friend. She was unfortunately very ill at the time and hadn’t told me. Two of the worst years of my life. At the end of them to culminate the horror, my father died and as soon as I could organize it, I moved to New York City, something he had not wanted me to do. I lived 10 years in New York working at different jobs and doing my best to get better as a singer. Near the end of those 10 years, I started to get more work in the States and then I got my first job in Germany from an audition in New York. I moved here in 1995.
I met my husband the next year and we have lived together ever since. He is German and grew up in Frankfurt am Main and so we have settled there. I have been privileged to sing wonderful roles of the dramatic soprano repertoire in regional German theaters as well as Paris, Rome and Verona (not in the Arena but still cool) as well as other European countries. The highlight of my career was 11 standing ovations in Oldenburg for my Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.
We now live just outside of Frankfurt in a hilly area called “the Taunus”. We own a house at the end of a street 1 minute from the woods and spend some of every day enjoying nature, usually with our dog, Alja.