Q&A with Sara Gartland

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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!

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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.

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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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