Euridice Artist Interview: Elyse Kakacek

Get to know the cast of Euridice

Elyse Kakacek, soprano, portrays Dafne in Caccini's Euridice on February 23 - 25, 2018 at The Alchemical Studios.  

Get your tickets today!

Elyse, sum up the character of Dafne in a few words. 

Nurturing, strong, empathetic, stubborn, fiery

Ok, we're hooked. Tell us more! 

Some context in a nutshell: Dafne is a self-sworn virgin who wants to devote her life to protecting and exploring the forest and water. Her father the river god fights with her endlessly because he wants her to give him grandchildren- but she refuses because she does not want to be tied to a man. The god Apollo becomes enamored with Dafne and will not stop chasing her- to the point where she begs her father for help. Her father's reaction is to transform her into a laurel tree for all eternity. Rather than preserve her liberated feminine energy in human form, he chooses to trap her in a tree that is unable to move- which Apollo later chooses to make evergreen...

In today's political climate, a woman's right to make choices about her own body are being called into question regularly. The #metoo movement is a testament to how many women feel trapped and unable to express their femininity without being objectified or assaulted. Studying this character has been very emotional for me as a woman during this time in our country, because Dafne is exactly that. 

Director Bea Goodwin's staging incorporates elements of traditional Greek theater. What role do those elements play in telling the story of Euridice? 

So far, I have found the Greek theater traditions to be very helpful and emotionally driving in this production. A beautiful thing about this opera is, while many of us are named characters, we all operate from within one group of people experiencing tragedy and mystery- which Bea is treating as a greek chorus. Greek choruses were fashioned to express reactions to the conflict in efforts to liberate the audience- giving them the unspoken permission to feel and experience the story with more abandon. This mentality is essential to the ensemble work we are doing both with our voices and with Bea's concept of movement in this piece. It makes each of our individual journeys much more meaningful. 

Enough about the show - Elyse, tell us more about yourself!

Sharing music with people is my favorite thing to do- I love the sense of belonging that washes over everything when people come together to create and experience it, and I am grateful that I get to participate so actively in that! I have an unhealthy obsession with sunshine, baking (and eating) cookies, and I get ridiculously happy when my bitty piano students are successful at interval recognition (yes, I am a theory nerd). I am passionate about hot yoga and love to bring people to practice with me (seriously, reach out if you want to come with me!), I enjoy painting, I have an adorable cat named Lyla and an equally adorable boyfriend. 

What about living in NYC makes you smile? 

People living loudly and joyfully; whether it be a woman walking down the sidewalk with three cats attached to her, someone singing their heart out on the subway, or showtime (what time is it?!). Also- how often it is that you run into people you know!!! It really can be a small town :)