Wednesday, 12 March 2014

SOMETHING NEW: Soprano Ana Strachan talks changes, challenges, and flying solo

FINELY TUNED: "I have a passion for everything in the arts, but mostly music."

Ana Strachan's haunting renditions of Caccini's "Ave Maria" and "Poor Wandering One" from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, at Musical Delights on the weekend, drew on her melismatic vocal acrobatics and magnetic personality to produce a performance that elicited extended applause from the huge UWI Chapel audience.

Though her voice is as captivating as ever, like so many of us, this lavishly gifted young coloratura soprano has been subject to her share of life-altering experiences.

All grown up, the Jamaican Junior Theatre alum recently joined the faculty of the Jamaica Theological Seminary, located off Constant Spring Road. "I teach private voice lessons," she informs TALLAWAH, looking stunning in a deep-blue figure-hugging dress, her face and lustrous mane gorgeously done up. "They're developing a music programme there called The Music and the Media programme. So I'm in the music department, where I also teach Music Appreciation and Air Training."

For those who do not know, Strachan studied at North America's Ithaca College, where she starred in such main stage opera productions as Mozart's The Magic Flute, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, and Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortileges. "I was a racoon," she recalls, laughing. That was in my first year."

Now she's back home. Permanently? Only time will tell, she points out. "I've decided to stay a bit. I'm not quite sure for how long," she admits, before making mention of a death in the family that still feels fresh. "I miss my daddy. He died last May, so it hasn't been a full year yet, and that's why I'm not really rushing off to do anything," she confesses.

So what keeps her going? "I still have a voice and I can still sing!" she responds incredulously, her doe eyes widening. "I have a passion for everything in the arts, but mostly music."

As for her dating life, she's faithfully mum on the subject. The same goes for her age. Asked if she's thinking of laying down some tracks for an album, she says, "I'd like that. Somebody should help me out with that. Adding, "I'm not restricted to classical music either, but it's my first love. And until I can't sing anymore, I don't see the need to do anything else."

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