Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Piques Eddy has been praised by the Boston Globe as “a charismatic mezzo with future star written all over her,” with a voice possessed of “extraordinary richness of timbre and expressiveness.” Sandra Piques Eddy will perform in Opera Colorado’s upcoming Ellie Celebration Concert on September 19. We recently caught up with her about her career and favorite pastimes.
Having sung the role of Carmen with Opera Colorado in 2014, can you describe your experience singing in Denver with Opera Colorado?
I absolutely loved my experience at Opera Colorado. I think it was only about two days into rehearsal before I asked if I could come back again! The staff, young artists, and volunteers in the opera made us feel welcome and seemed to really love coming to work and the process of collaborating every day. I also must say how much I LOVED meeting Ms. Ellie Caulkins during our Carmen rehearsals. I remember the first time I met her we were staging the duet scene in act 2 and she was so interested and excited about how we put the dancing and castanets and fighting together. What an awesome cheerleader!
What is your advice for fellow artists in coping with the altitude?
The best advice I can give is start drinking more water even before the travel day. Two or three days before you even get on the flight, start chugging your H2O. Try to rest as much as you can and give yourself a couple days to adjust. I sang Rosina in a fun and physical production at Crested Butte, CO the summer before my Opera Colorado debut, so I had a little experience with high altitude singing. To be completely honest, each time I’ve sung in high altitudes it takes me about four or five days to feel completely grounded and in control my breath. The flip side? Coming off high altitude singing will make you feel super confident in your long singing phrases for about a week after you leave!
What singer(s) has had the greatest influence on you? Why have they been so important?
I’m constantly inspired by my colleagues. I get energy from their talent and they motivate me to challenge and stretch my limits. If I had to pick an all-time favorite singer it would be the late mezzo-soprano, Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson. She was a beautiful singer, a committed artist and honest communicator.
If you could sing any non-tenor role (male or female) what would you like to sing? Why?
Sometimes I wish I could sing Senza Mamma from Suor Angelica, but I think it would be too difficult to keep from weeping uncontrollably! I think my lower register would make me a stellar Count in Marriage of Figaro. Haha!!! Also, my first love is musical theater. So if you catch me at home, I’ll be singing musicals while cleaning the house, vacuuming, doing the laundry etc….
How do you spend your time when not traveling and performing? Favorite pastimes or hobbies?
I am the proud mother of a sweet, creative, vivacious six year old girl named Beatrice. So my time is usually spent drawing, going to the playground, playing dress up and make believe, blowing bubbles, reading stories, and basically trying to keep up with her energetic personality!
What is coming up next in your performance schedule? Anything you are particularly excited about?
I’m a bit giddy about singing one of my all time dream roles in my home town this season. Charlotte from Massenet’s Werther has been on my wish list for years and I’m so happy to sing this role debut with Boston Lyric Opera. It’s a phenomenal cast and team. I love the fact that I’ve worked with almost everyone on this production before and I also love that my family and friends will be cheering me on in the audience. I’m also returning to Opera Omaha, the Metropolitan Opera and Atlanta Opera this season! It is such a wonderful feeling when a company invites me to come back again.