Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Opera Diva Not All Talk

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Opera Diva Not All Talk

Article excerpt

Byline: By Gordon Barr

Forget any notions of female opera singers being big-built, stuffy divas. Showbusiness Reporter Gordon Barr meets one who is anything but ...

New Yorkers are known for their zaniness. And they don't come much zanier than Christianne Tisdale ( in a nice way, of course.

She arrives in Newcastle for the first time today with Opera North and has already been brushing up on the local dialect.

"I love England, I love the fact that each region has its endearments. So you have Yorkshire which is `luv', the one up in Newcastle I understand is `pet'. And these endearments are for strangers. We don't have those in New York, we don't talk to strangers unless they're looking for directions," she says in her broad Big Apple drawl.

"It's really funny, we don't do that despite the fact that I think New York is one of the friendliest places in the world and there is not a more helpful group of people in the world."

Christianne, who spent Easter back home in the USA, is playing the role of Molly in Opera North's working of the Broadway musical One Touch of Venus.

But she's suffering somewhat on the day we speak. "I've got a terrible cold. I never get sick because, if I do, it's the throat, and I got sick last Monday in New York and we had a performance in Norwich Thursday and all I could think of was `what if they cancel now?'. I travelled 17 out of 24 hours to do this show in Norwich and it came off like a dream. Came off like a dream, went home next day, sick as a dog again. Adrenaline is a wondrous thing."

This is Christianne's first time with Opera North, which is at the Theatre Royal this week. "What a great group of people, so talented, so adventurous, it's great.

"I had heard about Opera North for years but I hadn't sung opera in over 10 years. My role is certainly not operatic ( I actually feel I offend with some of the sounds I am making. But Opera North has a great reputation for doing what I'm going to call edgy work. …

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