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Kirstin Chávez London is a wonderful, fairytale land, says the Albuquerque-born star mezzo-soprano W


elcome to London, Kirstin! What does it mean to you to


play in the UK as a solo artist? For me, singing at Cadogan Hall is


truly a dream come true. I have long been an ardent fan of British culture and tradition (having grown up in a former British colony!) and came to visit many times from the age of 10. I was blessed to make my UK opera début at the Royal Opera House in 2014, and now I will make my UK concert début in the gorgeous home of the Royal Philharmonic. I am so


Kirstin Chavez in her signature role, Carmen. Painting by Bill Wilson


looking forward to basking in this beautiful space that has a sacred and beautiful history of its own. And, the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells will be such a joy to perform in, especially after its recent renovation! I cannot wait to have my concerts in the greater London area, as this is a great personal and professional mile- stone for me. What can audiences expect? I believe that our audience mem-


bers can expect to have their hearts warmed and enlivened by this con- cert, ‘A World of Love.’ In my life, I have learned that the greatest gift that we can give and the greatest that we can receive is Love, and I can think of no finer way to celebrate Love than with these marvelous melodies from around the world. Each of the com- posers expresses his thoughts about Love in distinctly different ways; ways that often reflect their own unique cultures, or cultures that they admire from afar. And the poets who have been featured each have a tre- mendous gift for bringing color and bright imagery to their texts, thus fur- ther enhancing our listeners’ sensory experiences. I hope that every person who comes to this concert will feel that they have been embraced and moved by the many facets of Love that our world has to offer. What inspired your selection of


50 The American


songs? Selfishly, I selected some of my


most favorite composers and melo- dies; songs I felt that I could truly invest myself in; songs that I wanted to offer as a gift to my listeners. I believe that, now more than ever before in our history, we need to be inspired to believe that Love matters, and matters above all else. As an American who’s spent a lot of time abroad, how has living away from the US affected your life? I cannot imagine how my life


would be now if I had simply grown up in the US, like so many of my fel- low countrymen, but I can see clearly that, because of my childhood in a foreign land, my life is infinitely richer and more colorful than it might have otherwise been. Having experienced so many other cultures at such a young age has surely made me much more accepting and tolerant of all things different, and I find delight in learning about the wonderful things that make each of us so unique. I am always eager to encounter new peo- ple and new places and to experi- ence different ways of doing things and I have no doubt that this has con- tributed enormously to my growth as a person and as an artist. Has music always been an


important part of your life, and what brought you to Opera?


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