Behind every man is a woman with a story to tell, and this May that story is TESEO:MEDEA. Katherine Doe makes her CantantiPROJECT debut as Arcane in a production that has women center stage and ready to shine.
Get to know Katherine in the interview below.
Music by Handel, libretto by Haym
May 11th @ 7:00pm
May 12th @ 3:30pm
Underground Theater at the Abrons Art Center
466 Grand St, New York, NY 10002
Part of the @Abrons Series Program and the 2019 New York Opera Fest.
Please introduce yourself: your name, where you’re from, what role you’re singing, and the first three things that come to mind when you think “Handel”.
I’m Katherine Doe - I also go by Katy - and I was born and raised just outside Poughkeepsie, but I’ve lived in and around NYC for almost five years. When I think “Handel” I think creativity, royalty, sexuality.
"Sexuality"? Can you expand on that, please?
This music sounds to me very earthy, passionate, and flirtatious.
What was the biggest change you had to adjust to when you moved to NYC?
My biggest adjustment to moving here was the driving. I have a small car and work between Queens, Manhattan and Westchester, so I had to quickly learn how to drive more aggressively. Now it’s second nature to me!
Our production of TESEO:MEDEA emphasizes the fact that women play very important roles in this opera. How has this influenced your character’s trajectory in the plot?
My character is historically portrayed as male, but I have been given license to play with Arcane’s masculine and feminine traits, and to not portray him as a stereotypical brave warrior. His masculinity is not cut-and-dry; he is adventurous, impulsive, bold in the face of danger, but he is also extremely sensitive, tender, easily attached to his loved ones, and deferential to superiors to the point of being submissive. He rules on the battlefield, but in his private life he gladly yields control to the woman he loves. That is far more interesting to me than having him be like “I is man! I is brave and strong! Here woman, let me save you from danger!”
If Arcane could have a theme song, what would it be?
You Really Got a Hold On Me:
What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made while preparing for TESEO:MEDEA?
I’m simultaneously learning the title role in Handel’s Rinaldo to perform this July. Rinaldo and Teseo are extremely similar in plot and musical material - which makes sense, as they were basically written back-to-back. It can get confusing!
Favorite Rinaldo aria?
My favorite Rinaldo aria is “Venti turbini”, and I also love his duet “Fermati”:
And if you could have a mythological superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation - because driving is stressful and the trains don’t really work.
(You’re the second cast member to choose teleportation!)
When you're not in rehearsals for this opera, what are you usually up to?
When I’m not in rehearsals for Teseo:Medea, I’m usually working on finishing my Masters in Vocal Performance at Queens College, teaching at the Miredo Yamaha Music School in Flushing, or playing with my cat Simon.
One of the goals of this project is to showcase women in the arts - we have an all-female cast and a majority-female production team. What has this experience been like for you so far?
It has been awesome so far; each woman in the project is inspiring to me, they’re all so talented and smart and strong! I notice that communication and the voicing of ideas and opinions about character and musical ideas is very open and productive for us. There is free expression of ideas and risk-taking with staging and acting that seems unfettered by ego and fear. I feel like I can try new things with my portrayal and I will be supported, even if I make a creative choice that falls flat in that moment.
We hope TESEO:MEDEA inspires other female/female-identifying artists and audience members. What do you hope they’ll take away after seeing this production?
I hope that the audience enjoys hearing all of the different colors of the female voice that are showcased in this production. I mean that in the sense of the actual vocals, which are varied and beautiful, and also the different perspectives and inner lives of each character, be they female or male or indeterminate.