Get to Know: Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Piques Eddy

Sandra Piques Eddy rehearses at The Atlanta Opera Center for the upcoming production of The Italian Girl in Algiers.
Sandra Piques Eddy was last seen on the Atlanta Opera stage
in 2008’s The Marriage of Figaro.  She returns to Atlanta to sing the role of
Isabella in the Opera’s upcoming premiere production of The Italian Girl in Algiers
We sat down with Sandra to learn more about her, her love of Pinterest,
and who she has dance parties with while listening to ABBA!
Where do you live when you’re
not traveling?  
My husband,
daughter and I recently moved into our first house in Dedham, Massachusetts, a
small city outside the Boston area.  I grew up near Boston and went to
school there too, and we both have family in Massachusetts.
What was your first opera
My first
opera experience was at Boston Conservatory.  I was a music education
major and I was dating a voice major (my husband, Bill) who was in the chorus
of the Opera Department’s production of Purcell’s
Dido and Aeneas.  Originally, I was
attending the opera to see and tease Bill about being in a toga, but I got
so much more out of the experience than I bargained for!

Why did you choose to be a singer?  
I love
losing myself in the music and the drama of an opera.  My love of
music and drama started when I was a teenager and I was obsessed with musicals
West Side Story, Les Miserables and Hello Dolly.  I didn’t decide to
become a singer until much later.  I didn’t realize I could actually
earn a living singing, playing make believe and dress up until I started
getting roles and performance opportunities outside of college.
What’s the best thing about
this profession?  What’s the worst thing?
The music
itself is really the best thing.  I get goose bumps even in
rehearsals or practicing.  When music hits you in a visceral and
intense way, it is just incredible.  I love communicating through
music and drama to the audience.  The worst thing is missing
family and sometimes missing important life events like weddings, graduations,
etc.  Luckily, my family has been supportive since day one.   I
try to get as much family time in when I can.

What has been the biggest
challenge in your performance career? 
changes all the time.
 One of my goals is to get
completely into the character in order to have the freedom to take
risks on stage.   I also strive to react to circumstances
and characters as if it is the first time I’ve ever heard or done the scene
before in order to keep the action, reaction and text fresh and alive and
Do you still get nervous when
you have to perform? 
Yes, but I
believe this is an indication that I really love what I do and I want to serve
the music as best as I can.  Also, I try not to say “nervous”, I
like saying “excited” instead.  This sounds more positive

What do you like to do when
you’re not singing?
I like
catching up with family and friends.  I love hosting brunches!
 Since we just bought a house two months ago, I love decorating and
organizing our new home and spending too much time on Pinterest!! 
If you were not a singer, what would you be?  
I used to
be an elementary and middle school music teacher for three years
in Needham, Massachusetts before getting my masters in voice performance
at Boston University.  I also love teaching master classes to young
singers.  I’ve done about ten in the last three years.   I
enjoy seeing the light bulbs go off and I love seeing the sense of pride in
singer’s faces.
Obviously you travel extensively in this profession. What
has been your best travel experience? What has been the worst?
The best
travel experience was singing in Hawaii in February of 2008.  I had a
great role in Gounod’s
Romeo et Juliette.  I sang
Stefano, the page boy.  He had one fabulous aria, an intense sword
fight and sang in some of the most beautiful chorus music in opera…and that
was it!  I had so much time to explore and experience
Hawaii.  My cast mates and I became very close there.  It
was an incredible experience and we still have a strong bond.  
The worst
travel experience was actually the last time I was here in Atlanta!  
I had sharp shooting pains on my right side while I was on the plane and could
hardly sit up straight.   The lovely opera patron, Sara, who picked
me up that afternoon at the airport had to take me to the ER right away
from the airport.  I was in so much pain at that point I actually
started crying.  There was a woman there with a patient who saw
how much pain I was in and she started talking with me.  I know this
sounds a bit dramatic but she was truly like an angel!   She was
there with a man who had a sport’s injury.  I was there until 2 a.m. and
it turned out I had a kidney stone.  Those are not fun.  BUT the
silver lining is I met lovely Sara, who stayed with me the entire
time, and the couple who was there in the ER and I are still in touch
since then.  They attended the dress rehearsal of
The Marriage of Figaro and I recently emailed
them about
The Italian Girl in Algiers, so I may see them
again.  So, something very positive came out of the most negative travel
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three
albums would you want on your iPod?
Oooh I
don’t think I could possibly narrow this down.  This would change
all the time!  My three-year-old daughter and I have dance parties in her
room all the time so we’d have to have some Michael Jackson, ABBA and Bob
Marley on there.  Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the artists Glen
Hansard and Marketa Irglova.  I’m dying to see the musical
Once on Broadway.  I loved the movie.   But, my
goose bump music is Handel and Mozart.  So I’d have a very eclectic
iPod mix, I think….

Sandra Piques Eddy will be singing the role of Isabella
April 27, 30 and May 2 and 5, 2013 in the Atlanta Opera’s production of The
Italian Girl in Algiers. 
for more information and to purchase tickets.
Sandra Piques Eddy works with director Helena Binder and assistant stage manager Gregory Boyle.

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