Q&A with Michelle DeYoung

Michelle DeYoung with her dog, Tibbett
What is it like to work with Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony?  
I adore working with Jaap, because he is such an incredible musician, and a perfectionist... he strives to make the music incredible...and he succeeds!  I love to be part of that.  That is what it is about for me.  The Dallas symphony is one of my favorite orchestras to work with. They are very supportive, lovely people...but also play so incredibly...both as soli and an orchestra.  

When did you first work with the Dallas Symphony? 
The first thing I did with both Jaap and the Dallas Symphony was Judith in Bluebeard's Castle [in 2014], which was a BLAST.  It was incredible to sing it in the Meyerson Symphony Center, and everyone was so wonderful in the piece.  It was also so exciting to work with a conductor who was so devoted to the music that he encouraged and demanded us to bring the music to life the best we could, and it worked.  

What are you doing to prepare for Die Walküre?
I read through the words a lot... I of course sing through it to get it into my voice.  I have done the role many times, but I still like to double check pitches and the music to make sure I haven't picked up a bad habit.  

Tell us about singing this piece.  
Sieglinde is one of my favorite roles to sing.  Vocally it is so incredibly satisfying and exciting, and the character has so many sides... a vulnerable women in a bad situation,  then a woman in love but also very frightened, to a courageous heroine.

Beethoven’s Ninth is an exciting concert for the DSO as it will be the last performance with Jaap van Zweden as our Music Director. What are you looking forward to most about that performance?  
I am madly in love with Beethoven symphonies, so I always love singing Beethoven 9.... It is also nice to have lighter songs mixed in with the very demanding music I often sing.  

What do you enjoy about coming to Dallas?
I find it such a friendly, accessible city. Plus, the hotel [where I normally stay]  is wonderful and they not only accept my poodle, but they welcome him and give him presents.  The area around the Meyerson is so interesting in every direction...lots of great restaurants and shops.  And the weather is often very lovely.  

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