Thursday, May 11, 2017

Spotlight On...Kimberley Bechtold

Name:  Kimberley Bechtold

Hometown:  Menominee, Michigan (the Upper Peninsula for those of you who have heard of it). Yes, I am a Yooper!

Education: I recently graduated with a Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. My undergrad degree was also in Vocal Performance, from Georgia State University.

Select Credits:  Most recently I performed the role of Brigitta in Iolanta with the New York Opera Theater. While at Brooklyn College, I performed the roles of Adele in Die Fledermaus, Gilda in Rigoletto (scenes), Mary in G Train the Musical, Tchervyakov’s Wife (and 4 other characters!) in Death of an Underling, and Hillary Hickory in the children’s opera Mambo. Recently, I participated in an Italian immersion opera program called Si Parla, Si Canta in Urbana, Italy. While there, I performed the roles of Sandrina in La finta giardiniera, Beatrice in Beatrice di Tenda, Eternit√† in La Calisto, and Jouvenot in Adriana Lecouvreur (scenes).

Why theater?: A few years ago, I attempted to get a “real job,” and let’s just say that didn’t last…. There is this longing inside of me that has to be expressed. I grew up taking piano lessons and acting in community theater productions. Then I went home and enjoyed singing along and acting out every song and scene in The Sound of Music. I like to pretend that Julie Andrews taught me how to sing.

Who do you play in Giovanni the Fearless?: I play Columbina, the eldest of two daughters in the Bombasto family. Columbina dreams of love, and she finds it with Giovanni.

Tell us about Giovanni the Fearless: Giovanni the Fearless is a silly, funny, and witty story about a family of traveling performers (actors, singers, musicians, acrobats) referencing the Commedia dell’arte form of theater. This is a show will take you on an adventure to a haunted castle, will absolutely makes you laugh (there is literally a song about pasta), and also will invoke feelings both of romantic love, but also love of family, and of course the love of theater!

What is it like being a part of Giovanni the Fearless?: Every day is an adventure! Seriously… Our director has thought about every detail of this show and each character. We are all reaching deep within ourselves to make this show as exciting as possible. In what other show could I sing, tango, play the trombone, and dance with pasta??!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I have always been drawn first to those with a beautiful mastery of vocal technique.  Beyond that, I am drawn to those who have a mastery of comedy, especially those who use this mastery in a creative way. As far as a mastery of vocal technique, and expressing emotion through this, my teacher, Anna Skibinsky, inspires me the most. She has such an effortless, beautiful tone, and the most gorgeous high pianissimo notes you have ever heard! As far as comedy, my inspiration is absolutely Carol Burnett. Who else can sing alongside opera singers such as Beverly Sills, and then produce elaborate music scenes that make you roll on the floor laughing? She is truly one of a kind.

Any roles you are king to play?: Honestly, Cunegonde in Candide. Also, I have to play Maria in The Sound of Music before I die.

What is your favorite showtune?: I literally can not pick just one… I grew up singing The Sound of Music, so that song holds a special place in my heart. The music in West Side Story is so unbelievable though. Literally every song in that show… I also occasionally geek out to The Last Five Years and Les Miserables. I told you I couldn’t pick just one show tune.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I think I would want to meet and work with Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews. I have difficulty choosing just one…

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The actress would be Amy Adams, and I feel like it was already made… Have you heard of "Enchanted"? I feel like a movie about me would feature me singing every word (instead of speaking) in an operatic way, and then everyone else would just start at me awkwardly.

If you could go back in time and see any play or music you missed, what would it be?: I wish I could go back and see/hear Julie Andrews sing while she was in good vocal health.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Which friends?

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I think one of my favorite things to do in life is sing all of the parts to “One Day More” from Les Miserables.

What’s up next?: I produced and performed in 10 singing variety shows called Les Chanteuses. We are currently working on the 11th, which should debut this summer in Brooklyn. Details coming…