Soprano Kathryn Lewek returns to Charlotte this season after audiences went wild for her last year as the lead in Lucia di Lammermoor. This time, she’s the leading lady in The Barber of Seville.
- As Charlotte audiences were falling for Lewek last year, she was falling for her co-star. She and Zach Borichevsky, a tenor, were engaged this summer and plan to wed in Maine next July.
- Singing Lucia had been on her “bucket list.”
- She started her career as a mezzo-soprano at the Eastman School of Music and went back and forth for a bit while she was there, but officially made the switch to soprano after her summer at Music Academy of the West in 2009. “When I was in Berlin beginning my international career five years ago, I was only singing soprano roles,” she said. “Berta is actually a soprano role in the original score [of The Barber of Seville], but it’s sung by a mezzo when there is a soprano Rosina. But when I sang Berta, it was as a soprano – because our Rosina in Berlin was a mezzo!”
- She describes Rosina as “funny and feisty” and said it’s not a stretch for her to play the character; she’s been described the same way.
- She’s become associated with The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, as that’s the role she’s been cast in the most. She loves it and hopes to continue to play it. But she said, “It’s a 12-minute role. I prefer the feeling I had after playing Lucia. It’s filled with drama, you do it for three hours, and it’s exhausting. But that’s how I like it.”
- Lewek is a talented photographer who spent part of her summer at a National Geographic photography workshop in Santa Fe. “This is my other identity,” she said. “It was nice to take a step back and view the world in a different way.”
- She always takes her camera on the road with her and said she’s grateful she has a mobile hobby: “I know opera singers who are also jewelry designers and woodworkers, and they have to leave their hobby behind when they’re on the road.”
- She finds The Barber of Seville to be “laugh-out loud funny” and loves the opportunity the opera gives her and her co-stars to be in cahoots with the audience. “You can sort of give a sideways glance to the audience,” she said. They’re in on the joke.
- Lewek’s favorite cartoon as a child was Road Runner: “That’s an appropriate cartoon character for a coloratura soprano to like. We both use speed to our advantage.”