Renowned soprano Alexandra LoBianco returns to the Department of Music on November 17 to give a master class to UNC voice students. Prior to the master class, Ms. LoBianco can be seen in performance with North Carolina Opera at Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio on Sunday, November 14 at 2:00 pm.
Alexandra LoBianco has been hailed for her “steely yet pliant dramatic soprano” and has also garnered much critical acclaim for dramatic skills. Aside from her illustrious operatic career, Ms. LoBianco teaches voice lessons and advocates for music education in Chicago. She also serves as a board member for Sharing Notes, a local Chicago organization dedicated to improving the lives of hospital patients through live performance.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. LoBianco about her upcoming master class, some of her favorite roles, and a few things you may not learn about her from the typical opera interview. See what she had to say about why she keeps coming back to UNC Music.
UNC Music: Everyone is looking forward to your upcoming master class with the voice students! This isn’t your first time giving a master class at UNC – what keeps you coming back?
Alexandra LoBianco: First, I have a huge passion for education and making sure I pass on the gift of technique that was given to me. Second, when your dear friend is Marc Callahan, you can’t say no. We go back to the beginning of my career together. He was/is one of the kindest and most open artists I know. Also, the students are always so willing to try something new or be given a different idea to play with.
UNC: As a professional singer, what does it mean to you to come to colleges and give master classes?
AL: Well, I hope one of the things I can do is provide a conduit between passion and dreams to questions, answers, and reality. I hope that perhaps there is someone like me, who was the underdog, who gains some confidence to know they can do it. To inspire a student to a new level of growth would be thrilling. But, mostly, I love teaching.
UNC: What’s your favorite role and, similarly, who’s your favorite composer (to sing or listen to)?
AL: Favorite role to sing – Minnie in La Fanciulla del West by Puccini. Favorite role – Scarpia -who doesn’t love the bad guy also, best entrance ever! I might be biased based on how many times I’ve sung Tosca to some INCREDIBLE Scarpia’s.
Favorite composer is harder, but it’s really Sondheim… I could listen to a different [Sondheim] musical a day and always find something new.
UNC: What’s the biggest piece of advice you wish someone had given you as a college student aspiring to be a professional musician?
AL: Well, I was told a lot that if I could do something else and be just as happy, I should go do that. I wish someone had said, you can have multiple loves and should. Living a balanced life is so incredibly important.
UNC: What’s a fun fact (outside of music) that people might not expect of you?
AL: Aside from music, hmmm… Well, I’m a huge Marvel, DC, and Star Wars fan and I will watch any baking show I can. Also, I’m obsessed with Forged in Fire.
UNC: What music are you listening to right now?
AL: Right now mainly Fidelio as that’s the production I’m working on for North Carolina Opera. But, aside from opera, it’s usually 80s, musical theater, and Metal.