Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Ryan Opera Center Spotlight: Tracy Cantin

Soprano Tracy Cantin just completed her third and final year in the Ryan Opera Center, wrapping up with a stellar 2014-15 season. Read on to hear about some of her most memorable Lyric moments and where this Canadian native finds a taste of home in Chicago.

Soprano Tracy Cantin just completed her third and final year in the Ryan Opera Center, wrapping up with a stellar 2014-15 season. Some of her mainstage appearances at Lyric have included roles in Elektra and Rigoletto in the 2012-13 season, Bertha in The Barber of Seville in 2013-14, and a spectacular mid-performance replacement as the title role in Anna Bolena in January 2015.

Read on to hear about some of her most memorable Lyric moments and where this Canadian native finds a taste of home in Chicago.

Name: Tracy Cantin
Age: 29
Voice: Soprano
Year in ROC: Alumna, graduated at end of 2014-15 season
Hometown: Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Dream Role: Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth

When did you start singing? When did you know you wanted to be a singer?

I started singing at a very early age, and began private voice studies at the age of 11. Music had always been a large part of my life, singing in my high school jazz bands, and various ensembles in my hometown, but it wasn't really until my senior year of high school that I realized I could actually study music in university and actively pursue it as a career. Initially I thought that perhaps I would like to be a music teacher, but I quickly realized that performing is where my heart and soul were drawn, and so I began my journey! 

Did you ever consider a career other than singing? And if you had to imagine an alternative career now, what would it be?

My mom would tell you that I always wanted to be a singer, but to tell you the truth, I wanted to be a hair stylist! An alternate career at this point is almost unimaginable, but I could see myself being a music therapist, or perhaps a speech pathologist—somehow incorporating my love of music into helping others would certainly be a fulfilling alternate career!

What was the most memorable performance you've been in at this point in your career?

Singing on the stage at Lyric is always such an enormous privilege, but I think to date my favorite production was my first: Elektra. What a thrilling experience from beginning to end, from the magnificent cast to the brilliant production and direction, I cannot imagine a better way to have made my professional debut! 

 
Cantin in Elektra (l) and relaxing backstage in costume (r)

What was your experience like stepping in for Sondra Radvanovsky for the last performance of Anna Bolena?

It's quite hard to describe in words to be honest…exhilarating certainly, and somewhat terrifying, but most of all it felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be! I have trained for so many years now, and have come to the end of my apprenticeship with the Ryan Opera Center, and I just felt like my whole life led up to that moment. A great moment! I could not have felt more supported by every single person in the theater that night, whether onstage with me, behind the scenes, or in the audience, and I am so grateful to have had that opportunity. It is a night that I will never forget! 

What are some of your favorite places in Chicago? 

Chicago is such a vibrant city, and I have had a GREAT time exploring it these past few years! I know that there are even more places for me to discover though, and I look forward to having the time this summer to really enjoy this great city. If I really had to choose, Hopleaf  in Andersonville is absolutely my favorite restaurant/bar in town, perhaps because it reminds me a bit of Montreal! Try the CB&J Sandwich. Yum!

Photo credits:

  • Tracy Cantin portrait credit Devon Cass
  • Lyric Opera of Chicago production photos credit Dan Rest and Robert Kusel
  • Elektra backstage photo courtesy Tracy Cantin
Subjects:

Lyric Libations: CAROUSEL

Get into the Carousel spirit—pun intended!—with these delightful cocktails inspired by your favorite characters and songs. These are the perfect drinks to have when the children are asleep. And no matter what Dr. Seldon says, it probably would be best to walk alone (and not drive alone) after having a few of these.

Get into the Carousel spirit—pun intended!—with these delightful cocktails inspired by your favorite characters and songs. These are the perfect drinks to have when the children are asleep. And no matter what Dr. Seldon says, it probably would be best to walk alone (and not drive alone) after having a few of these. Don't know which one is best for you? Take our "Which Carousel song are you?" quiz  to find out! 

Gin Is Bustin' Out All Over 

This summery drink will have you singing along with Nettie in no time. Fresh and alive and gay and young, this drink ​is a love song, sweetly sung. Perfect for your next clambake!

  • 1.5 oz honey
  • 9 oz gin
  • 9 oz dry reisling
  • 4.5 oz pineapple juice
  • 6 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 oz soda water
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices
  • 20 mint leaves

In a bowl, mix honey with 1.5 oz water until fully incorporated to make honey syrup. In a pitcher stir honey syrup and remaining ingredients until combined. Serve over ice.  (Recipe courtesy Self.com)

Jigger's Ginger Beer Brew 

You can sail away on the high seas like Jigger Craigin and his whaling friends with this rum-based cocktail. The apple juice makes you think it's not that dangerous, but like Mrs. Mullin says, watch out for Mr. Craigin. All of his friends seem to end up in jail…or worse.

  • 1.5 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz ginger beer
  • 3/4 oz apple juice
  • Ice 

Fill a rocks glass with ice. In a shaker, add ice, Makers Mark, ginger beer and apple juice. Shake and strain into the glass. (Recipe courtesy sailingworld.com

The Billy Bigelow 

What does an out-of-work carousel barker drink after staying out all night with his no-good buddies? Another drink, of course! This beer-based cocktail wakes you up with lime and spice, with just enough of hair of the dog to cure any hangover.

  • 7oz beer 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 oz  Clamato juice
  • 2-3 key limes, juiced and wedges for garnish
  • 1-2 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 sliver of fresh jalapeno to float in the drink
  • Dash of Worchestershire
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • Phillips seafood seasoning to rim glass

Rim a tall drink glass with lime and seafood seasoning, fill with ice and slowly pour some beer (little or no foam), add some of the Clamato juice and other ingredients + an additional pinch of seafood seasoning. Stir and top off with more beer and juice. (Recipe courtesy Food52.com)

Geraniums in the Winder 

Enoch Snow and Carrie Pipperidge are an ideal couple with big dreams. You can just imagine them sipping on this fragrant floral cocktail as they relax on the porch, admiring their beautiful geraniums while the (many, many) children are asleep. 

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz rose geranium sugar syrup (recipe below directions) 
  • 5 large, freshly picked rose-scented geranium leaves 

Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker.  Add ice cubes, shake well, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a tiny rose geranium leaf. (Recipe courtesy Gardendesign.com)

Rose Geranium Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
 
In a small saucepan, bring the water and the sugar to a boil, constantly stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat; add 5 large, freshly picked rose geranium leaves, and stir until they wilt. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove the leaves. 

If I Loved You Lemonade 

This drink is sweet with a hint of tang, just like Julie and Billy's romance. Now that Carousel's star-crossed couple has a baby on the way, this "mocktail" is the perfect thing for the new Mrs. Bigelow. (It can also​ easily be made boozy by adding your desired amount of gin or vodka—you know Billy's going to add a shot or two!)

  • 1 can of pink lemonade
  • 1 lb of strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 small handful of basil
  • Ice as needed

Prepare lemonade according to instructions on the can. Blend strawberries in a blender or food processor. Finely chop basil and add it to the mix. Stir strawberry mixture and lemon slices into the lemonade. Add lots of ice and enjoy! (Recipe courtesy Natashaskitchen.com)

Carnival Blonde 

Mrs. Mullin runs a carousel all day and dances in dream ballets all night. Sometimes she just needs to relax. This drink is the perfect way to finish a long day. Just don't think about what dear, departed Mr. Mullin would say if he saw you drinking this! 

  • 2 oz rye
  • 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
  • 1/4 oz ginger liqueur
  • 2 orange slices, about 1/8″ thick each
  • 1 lemon slice, about 1/8″ thick
  • 2 dashes bitters

In a shaker glass muddle the orange and lemon slices.  Add 5-6 ice cubes and the remaining ingredients.  Stir thoroughly to chill and mix.  Strain into a large cocktail glass (I used my 6 oz glasses) and garnish with a flamed orange peel. (Recipe courtesy Twilightlounge.wordpress.com)

Photo credits:

  • Carousel at Lyric Opera of Chicago production photos credit Todd Rosenberg

 

 

Which CAROUSEL song are you?

Are you a swaggering sailor who dances a merry jig to "Blow High, Blow Low" all day long? Do you spontaneously exclaim that "June Is Bustin' Out All Over"? Or would you rather cry one single tear while belting out "You'll Never Walk Alone"? Find out which Carousel song best fits your personality with our brand-new quiz.

Are you a swaggering sailor who dances a merry jig to "Blow High, Blow Low" all day long? Do you spontaneously exclaim that "June Is Bustin' Out All Over"? Or would you rather cry one single tear while belting out "You'll Never Walk Alone"? Find out which Carousel  song best fits your personality with our brand-new quiz. You can only hear these great songs being performed at Lyric through May 3, so purchase your ticket today!

 

 

Photo credits:

  • Carousel at Lyric Opera of Chicago production photos credit Todd Rosenberg and Robert Kusel

 

Audiences are crazy for CAROUSEL

You've read the great reviews. You've seen our fabulous stars on TV. Now hear directly from Carousel  fans just like you why this amazing new production is the theater event of the season. Don't delay and see this show before it closes on May 3.

You've read the great reviews. You've seen our fabulous stars on TV. Now hear directly from Carousel  fans just like you why this amazing new production is the theater event of the season. Don't delay - the show must close May 3!

 

And if that's not enough, here's just a sampling of some of the social media chatter. Carousel is lighting up the Twitterverse and beyond, especially from some die-hard fans that want to see this great production come to Broadway. Plus, don't forget to check out our online collection of Stage Door Selfies, a look at our fabulous stars posing with some of their biggest fans after each performance. 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:

  • Carousel at Lyric Opera of Chicago photos credit Todd Rosenberg

 

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