Meet the Artist: Karin Wolverton

Seven years ago, renowned soprano and Roseville, Minnesota, native Karin Wolverton originated the role of courageous opera singer Anna Sørensen in the world premiere of Silent Night. This season, she returns to the Ordway stage to reprise the role she made famous. Recently, she sat down with us to talk about stepping back into Anna’s shoes and her favorite things about spending the holidays in Minnesota.

Describe Anna Sørensen in 3 words.

Strong, passionate, determined.

You originated the role of Anna Sørensen here at MN Opera in 2011. What has you most excited about returning to the role?

I’m excited to find new facets to the role. Every time I repeat a role, it’s exciting to discover how new colleagues and new ideas and interpretations inform my character. After seven years away from the role, I know I am a slightly different person and this will undoubtedly change my perception of Anna.

What are some of the joys and challenges of performing this role?

I love that Anna is a strong character. She doesn’t wait around for decisions to be made for her and is the epitome of “if there is a will, there is a way.” One of the hardest moments for me is not crying during the beautiful sleep chorus. Kevin writes in such a way that cuts right to the heart of a person, but it’s really hard to sing when you are sniffling!

Since its debut, Silent Night has been performed in opera houses around the world. What is it about this piece that resonates with so many audiences?

It is so important that we remind ourselves of our common humanity. That we reach out and make these fundamental human connections with those who appear to be on the other side of the trenches. It is so easy to cut ourselves off and disconnect, but when we reach our hand out in peace and goodwill it changes a person and it changes the world.

Silent Night is returning home to Minnesota just in time for the holidays. Having grown up in Roseville, what are your favorite things about spending the holidays in Minnesota?

I love the lights and the festive cheer. I love the cold and the snow and the dark cozy nights snuggling inside. I love being with friends and family and those traditions new and old surrounding the holidays. But more than anything, I love the music. I love the silly kids’ songs and the carols and the thousand and one holiday concerts. There is nothing that can get me into the holiday spirit quicker than a simple Noel.

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