Q&A with Sara Gartland


Soprano Sara Gartland returns to Indianola, Iowa, for her fourth summer with DMMO, this time singing the titular role in Antonín Dvořák’s haunting Rusalka. Gartland has a long history with the company, beginning as a member of our Apprentice Artist Program in 2008, as well as mainstage roles as in Regina (2008), Romeo and Juliet (2013) and Jenůfa (2015).

In our fourth artist Q&A of the season, the Minnesota native answers questions about her early life in the Midwest, love of the simple things in life and having healing powers!

Gartland as the title role in DMMO’s 2015 production of Jenůfa

Q: Did you come from a musical family/when did you discover opera?
I am NOT from a musical family. I grew up in the Twin Cities. My father was a businessman and my mother a nurse. However, I have always had a flare for the dramatic, and loved to dress up and play make believe. My parents recognized this, and helped me to find many outlets to express my creativity. I danced, sang in choir, took piano lessons and even auditioned for children’s theater and commercials. I am so thankful that they supported me from the very beginning.

Q: What is your favorite part about this role/opera?
I absolutely love the Czech language. This is my second Czech role, JENUFA being my first, which I debuted at DMMO in 2015. But the language fits me like a glove, and it ‘s such a joy for me to express my singing through the Czech words.

Q: What are you most excited for this season?
My 2.5-year-old son is here with me this summer. It’s the first summer festival that he has ever attended with me. I am so thrilled that it is here in Iowa at DMMO, which is like a second home for me.

What is your favorite show/role you’ve ever done?
Truthfully, my favorite project is always the one on which I am currently working. So, RUSALKA!

Q: What is your dream role? Also, if you could sing any role (regardless of fach), what would you most like to sing?
I am so lucky that I have been able to sing a few dream roles like Violetta, Rusalka, and Juliette. I also want to sing Mimí, Floyd’s Susannah and a Manon.

Q: What other career would you have pursued if you weren’t singing?
I would have pursued a degree in Nursing with an emphasis in Neonatology.

Q: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I like to think of myself as a pretty open book. But I’m also pretty boring, or maybe better put, a purist…Vanilla Ice Cream, Filet Mignon and Mashed Potatoes, Chocolate Chip Cookies, BLT…I never deviate from what I know I like. LOL!

Q: If you could have any superpower, which would you choose and why?
I would be a healer.

Gartland as Juliet in DMMO’s 2013 production of Romeo & Juliet

Fast Facts:

Hometown: St Paul, MN
Family: Married to David Lomeli, Director of Artistic Administration at The Dallas Opera, and 2.5 year old son, Tomas
Education/training: UW-Madison, CU Boulder
Favorite composer: Puccini
Favorite opera: La bohème
Favorite book: I haven’t read for myself in forever, but my favorite book to read with my son is Llama, Llama, Red Pajama.
Favorite food: French Silk Pie
Favorite beverage: Ooo, that’s a tie between coffee black or a Vodka Tonic!

Website: saragartland.com
Photo credit for featured photo: Marysol Flores

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