Opera Grand Rapids Board Member Spotlight
Meet Madelaine Lane, Opera Grand Rapids’ newest Board of Trustees member – Attorney, Partner, at Warner Norcross + Judd LLP and professional opera artist whose roots run deep in the Grand Rapids opera community.
Where are you originally from?: Grand Rapids, Michigan
What do you do for a living?: Attorney. Partner (White Collar Criminal Defense and Commercial Litigation) at Warner Norcross + Judd LLP.
Hobbies?: Opera (soprano) and travel
Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?: I am lucky that I get to travel for many of my singing engagements. My favorite place to travel and to sing is New York City. I love everything about the City: the rich culture, wonderful food, and the incredible diversity. Without fail, my favorite moments of any trip to New York is when I find myself walking thru Central Park after a coaching or rehearsal. There is something magical about finding stillness and beauty in the middle of such a busy City.
What/Who got you involved with OGR? (Past and Current): I have been singing with OGR (chorus member, comprimario (“Cousin” in Madama Butterfly), and soloist (soprano in Rossini Stabat Mater)), since 2012. I auditioned for then Artistic Director, Maestro Robert Lyall, and the then Chorus Master, Duane Davis. I have been singing with OGR ever since.
What do you like about Opera?: I love the beauty of the music, the athleticism of the sport (singing), and the incredible hard work that goes into bringing a production together. From the set, the costumes, stage direction, and musical preparation, it is truly a team effort. As a singer, I am always excited about opportunity that each new opera affords me to improve my technique and to explore a new role not just from a musical perspective, but from a dramatic one as well.
Who/what brought you into the world of Opera?: I have always been drawn to opera, but I have to thank my mentor, teacher, and coach, Nicholas Loren, for working with me over the past six years, to help me realize my dream of singing professionally. His dedication to his students, and to the West Michigan opera community, is a treasure to all of us.
What is your favorite form/piece of art? (symphony, opera, painting, book, etc.) Why?: Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. The love duet at the end of Act One is one of my favorite musical moments in all of opera. Its soaring melodies and passionate lines illustrate the love shared by these characters, and help the audience to understand Cio-Cio San’s devastation at the end of Act Three. In addition to the gorgeous music and heart-breaking story, the role of Cio-Cio San requires incredible stamina and dramatic commitment. I have always admired the sopranos who decide to tackle this marathon role.
Why do you think it is important to have an Opera company in our community?: Opera is a unique art form. It brings together music, art, and drama, to weave together a story that reaches across the centuries and grabs people’s attention and hearts 100, 200, or 300 years later. As a singer, it is an incredible opportunity to learn not only a new language (music and diction), but to be a part of something greater than yourself. When you are singing, you are a vessel for that composer’s creation to take life. And, you are just one of the many people necessary for that expression to take place—the singer, the composer, the instrumentalists, and the audience, are all necessary players. It is a shared experience.