Meet the Figaros
You’re invited to the wedding of the year when The Marriage of Figaro opens on November 11. With seven performances of Mozart’s masterpiece coming up, we’re lucky to have two accomplished singers, Richard Ollarsaba (left) and Donovan Singletary (right), tackling the iconic role of Figaro. Both were kind enough to sit down with us to answer a few of our burning questions:
Where were you born and raised?
RO: I was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona.
DS: I was born in raised in Crestview, Florida in the northern most part of the panhandle.
If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
RO: If I weren’t a singer, I would most likely go into something still involving the arts. When I was a kid I was so obsessed with animals and dinosaurs my mom was convinced I would be a zoologist or archaeologist.
DS: If I didn’t sing, I would have gone into psychology or medicine. I studied psychology briefly.
What was the first opera you were ever in?
RO: It was Le rossignol by Stravinsky. I played the Bonze. At the time it was the hardest role I ever learned. It was literally only three lines—perspective is everything!
DS: The first full opera I performed in was The Merry Wives of Windsor.
What is your favorite opera?
RO: My favorite opera has to be Robert Ward’s The Crucible. It’s obscure, I know. I had the pleasure of performing Reverend John Hale in a production. I’ve been in love with the story ever since I was in middle-school. In my opinion, it’s really an under-appreciated gem of an opera.
DS: I’m a big fan of Verdi. I’d say my favorite opera at the moment is Rigoletto.
Why should everyone see The Marriage of Figaro?
RO: The opera is timeless, not only because of the political or social aspects of the story, but because it is a story that is universal. Love and how we express love as humans are often very confusing and convoluted, which is something with which we can all identify.
DS: Everyone should check out The Marriage of Figaro because it’s an easy opera to get into. The music and story aren’t too serious or complex to understand. It’s fun with lots of music and songs that are memorable ear-worms that you might be humming or singing all week. Also, it’s a comedy so there are many lighthearted elements to make you and your family laugh and smile. It’s an overall good time that teaches us important life lessons and reminds us to enjoy what we have, be grateful for what we’re given, and live life to the fullest.
What do you like to binge-watch?
RO: I’ve always been a huge cartoon fanatic and my current obsession is Steven Universe.
DS: If I binge watch a show, it’s normally Japanese anime. I just binged on Dragon Ball Z Super, Attack on Titan, and American Gods (which isn’t anime).
What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
RO: Abraham Lincoln, Edith Piaf, Igor Stravinsky, and Dr. Seuss.
DS: Barack Obama, Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates.
What is your favorite wedding dance song?
RO: “Everlasting Love” as performed by Carl Carlton.
DS: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John.
Catch Richard Ollarsaba in The Marriage of Figaro on November 11, 14, 16, 18, and 19. Donovan Singletary takes the stage on November 12 and 17. For tickets, please visit the Figaro show page here!