Next month, the hot ticket is the Sing for Siteman concert, an annual event that benefits research projects through Siteman Cancer Center's Discovery Fund. The Monday, June 15, show begins at 7:30 p.m. at John Burroughs’ Performing Arts Center. In addition to performances from a lineup of acclaimed Opera Theatre artists and renowned pianist Carol Wong, attendees will be treated to a wine-and-dessert reception following the show. Guests also will have an opportunity to mingle with the artists. What to talk about? Get to know them in a unique way, below:
Beyer is from Chicago and is currently based in New York. If he wasn’t a singer, he says he’d be a figure-skating commentator. His celebrity crush is Chris Pratt. If his house were on fire, he would save his art. Before a performance, his routine includes lots of sleep, a nasal rinse, a hot shower and watching The Mindy Project or Archer.
Kalil, from Goshen, Indiana, is currently in New York. He went through the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. If he wasn’t a singer, he would be a painter. His celebrity crush is Scarlett Johansson. If his house were on fire, he would save his family photos. Before a performance, his routine includes eating gummy bears.
Biller is from Georgetown, Tennessee, and says her current base is her Tumi/Samonsite suitcase. If she wasn’t singing, she’d be teaching. Her celebrity crushes are Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine and Patrick Stewart. If her house were on fire, she would save her computer backup, a painting done by a family friend and “my handsome husband.” Before a performance, her routine includes drinking bottles of Gatorade and water, resting as much as possible, catching up on emails and phone calls, and making dinner for intermission.
Mancasola, originally from Redding, California, currently calls Philadelphia home. If she wasn’t a singer, she would love to open a school and participate in education reform. Her celebrity crush is Russell Brand. If her house were on fire, she would have a different type of response than some of the others: Becoming a nomadic opera singer has caused me to be fairly detached from material objects; but in my imaginary life, where I have an adorable little chaumière in the south of France, I would probably save my exotic house plants and of course, I would have to make sure Russell would get out safely, too. Before a performance, her routine includes sleeping in as late as possible, doing some stretching, and listening to Leontyne Price sing Trovatore to get pumped up.
Tiesi is from Chicago and currently resides in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Juliard and Curtis. If he wasn’t a singer, he would love to play soccer professionally. He says he has never had a celebrity crush. If his house were on fire, he would save his family. Before a performance, his routine includes eating a huge lunch.
Winters is from Frederick, Maryland and is currently based in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and the Academy of Vocal Arts. If she wasn’t a singer, she would love to be a nutritionist or psychologist. Her celebrity crush is Javier Bardem. If her house were on fire, she would save her iPhone, bicycle and journal. Before a performance, her routine includes coffee, food, vocal warm-up and reading inspiring quotes – “in that order!”
Fons, from Milwaukee, is currently based in Westfield, New Jersey. If she wasn’t a singer, she would love to work in animal rescue or wildlife rehabilitation. Though she wouldn’t call it a celebrity crush, she says she’d love to meet Alan Alda because she’s read all of his books. If her house were on fire, she says she wouldn’t be worried about materials. “I would make sure my dog was with me, because the rest is just stuff.” Before a performance, her routine includes doing yoga or going for a run, phone calls to family members, and flipping through the whole score to envision her staging.
El-Khoury is from Ottawa, Ontario and, like Biller, says her current base is her suitcase. She is a graduate of University of Ottawa and the Academy of Vocal Arts. If she wasn’t a singer, she would study medicine. Her celebrity crushes are Jeffrey D. Morgan and Johnny Depp. If her house were on fire, she wouldn’t worry about saving anything because “everything I need to survive is in my head.” Before a performance, her routine includes going running and eating throughout the day.
Cedel is from Charleston, South Carolina, and is currently based in New York. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. If he wasn’t singing, he would be doing something in the real estate world. His celebrity crushes are Patrick Dempsey and Benjamin McKenzie. If his house were on fire, he would save his scores that have all his notes and translations, his phone and iPad, and Jonathan Beyer. Before a performance, his routine includes getting a good night’s sleep, going out for coffee/meal, coming home for a nap/Netflix, and going to the theater.
For tickets to Sing for Siteman, call Opera Theatre's box office at 961-0644 or visit singforsiteman.org.