Soprano Caitlin Wood has had a great couple of years, starring in operas across Canada and winning the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s 2016 Emerging Artist award. Now, she’s back in Edmonton to perform the role of Clorinda in our upcoming production of Rossini’s Cinderella. Cait gets to explore her mean side as one of Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters, all while sporting more than a few extravagant high fashion costumes. What could be better?!
Tell us all about growing up in St. Albert and deciding to pursue a career as an opera singer. What have been your challenges during this journey?
I loved growing up in St. Albert as it was a really nurturing place to develop my love of music. My parents put me in local choirs when I was young and later I got my first real solo chance at performing in my high school’s music theater productions. After graduating high school I moved away to Winnipeg and later Toronto to pursue university schooling in opera and I really missed home.
Working in opera can be a tough business because you are frequently away from family and loved ones. Luckily this business is also filled with some pretty exceptional people who are all dealing with similar things and therefore you can create a family on the road. I count myself as lucky to say that I have dear friends all over Canada. I’ve also learned a lot about the joys of technology that can keep me connected to my family in Edmonton. Thank you WhatsApp and Skype!!!!
How does it feel to be performing for your ‘home crowd’ here in Edmonton?
I’m thrilled to be performing for my home crowd!! I haven’t had the chance to perform in Edmonton for a long time and I am so grateful for the opportunity. Being able to share what I do with my family, childhood friends, and mentors at home is going to be exhilarating. Something that I am really excited about is that my high school music teacher is bringing some of her current students to see the show. It feels like yesterday I was in the music room at Bellerose Composite High dreaming about having a career as a singer. Now many years later it is something really special to show her and her current students that that dream is possible.
What do you love about Cinderella?
I love how pure, kind, and honest Cinderella is compared to all the other characters in the show. Every other character is hiding their true identity behind a disguise, inebriation, or in the case of the wicked sisters some pretty fantastic clothing. With Cinderella, what you see is what you get.
Are you excited to play a mean girl?
The fact that Clorinda is a mean girl very much appeals to me as an actress because it means she is complex. I don’t believe that Clorinda is bad to bone, instead I think her actions are just a reaction to the pressure she feels from society, her sister, and of course her awful father. Her outlandishly bad behaviour is fantastically fun to play as there is nothing subtle about her. Only onstage as a character could I get away with throwing a full on hissy fit, pouting like a toddler, and being a complete brat! I’m also really enjoying exploring what it is like to be an older sibling. In real life I am the younger one and I am certain I annoyed my brother by following him around and wanting to copy his every move. As Clorinda it is a lot of fun reacting to this annoyance in an especially catty way.
What can the audience look forward to?
This is a pretty exciting show so I think there are many things the audience will enjoy. I won’t give any spoilers away but this show is chalk full of high energy, comedy-filled, ridiculous scenes. Many of these are the big ensemble numbers that not only delight with their visual madness but also with Rossini’s music. Hearing the singers patter in Italian as the orchestra plays at break neck speed will most definitely be a highlight.What message can the audience take away from Cinderella?
Cinderella’s moral of ‘good prevails over evil’ is a theme that I definitely think today’s audience will respond to. Although this saying borders on cliché, with all the horrible things happening in the world right now it may be comforting to be reminded of this fairy tale’s theme. In this version I absolutely love that by the end the wicked stepsisters are so touched by Cinderella’s kindness that they themselves become kind. I hope that audiences take from this that one small act of kindness in their lives can impact another person in a positive way.
To see Caitlin Wood throw tantrums on stage in fabulous costumes, make sure you attend our high fashion production of Cinderella on February 4, 7 and 9 at the Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start from $40!