Orlando Artist Interviews: Allison Gish

Get to know members of our amazing Orlando cast!

Mezzo Allison Gish sings Medoro on Sunday, Feb 19th - get your tickets today!

How did you get into singing?

I've always loved to sing and pretend and perform! I started taking lessons after I sang a solo at church and my parents realized I had a talent for it. 😊

If you weren't pursuing singing, what would you be doing instead?

Kitty and Leo!

Kitty and Leo!

I would be a pet care professional (which I already do part-time - I'm a dog walker!). The only thing that makes me happier than making music is being with dogs and cats!

Do you have any pets? And what is the best pet name you've ever come across?

I have 2 cats, called Kitty and Leo. My parents have a French bulldog named Yoda, which is pretty great.

 

What’s your character’s backstory?

Medoro (Allison Gish) and Angelica (Marisa Karchin) in rehearsal for Orlando. February 2017.

Medoro (Allison Gish) and Angelica (Marisa Karchin) in rehearsal for Orlando. February 2017.

In our reading of Orlando, I imagine Medoro as an intelligent young woman (in the original libretto Medoro is a man) dealing with severe social anxiety and depression affecting her sense of self worth and value. She knows Dorinda from prior to their hospitalization and they basically helped each other survive the worst of their respective mental illnesses, but doesn't return her romantic intentions. Although I genuinely love Angelica, there is also an element of unhealthy codependency going on there.

How has your understanding or approach to your character changed during the rehearsal process?

Setting our Orlando in a modern day mental institution certainly changed my interpretation of Medoro. It makes some of the deficiencies of this character make much more sense! My initial impression of Medoro was "here's a guy who is wishy-washy and kind of a jerk toward Dorinda and Angelica. He lets Angelica walk all over him." Now I see Medoro as a person with social anxiety and paralyzing fear of not being liked. In Angelica, Medoro finds love and safety (and fun!) for the first time.

What's next for you after Orlando?

I'm finishing up my last semester of my professional studies diploma at Mannes, and I'm giving a chamber recital of Baroque and contemporary works on March 30 at St James Basilica Cathedral in downtown Brooklyn. I'm collaborating with John Austin Clark of Bourbon Baroque and small period instrument ensemble. The program will feature Bach Cantata 170 Vergnugte Ruh, Monteclair's cantata La mort de Didon, and a world premiere of my husband Nicholas Gish's setting of Langston Hughes' poem Democracy

Please visit Allison's website at www.allisongish.com for updates and news.