I have to run, but I wanted to thanks everyone for the INCREDIBLE questions! If you want to purchase tickets, click here. Hope to see you there!


Hey Reddit! My name's Gabriella Reyes, I'm a soprano with New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. So excited for my first AMA!

In three weeks, I'll be kicking off the Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival with Branford Marsalis in San Diego, CA, which will take place between September 11-18. It's a five-concert orchestral festival bringing members of the world's top orchestras together, on one stage.

Opening Night will commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, presented in collaboration with the National Conflict Resolution Center. Concerts begin at $49 per four person pod. Opening Night will be live streamed! Click here for Opening Night details.

CEO Nancy Laturno will also be available to answer any questions that arise re: logistics, COVID testing protocols, etc.

Check out photos of the events by clicking this sentence.

Click here to learn more about the festival.

Click here to view the All-Star Orchestra full roster.

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/bGqKW6K

Comments: 51 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

MrNoMoniker5 karma

Would you encourage young people to try to pursue operatic singing as a career these days? Or would success be too unlikely?

MainlyMozartSD9 karma

I would encourage young artists who want to pursue opera as a career to do so, but to also be expansive in their approach to what “successful” actually means. When you remove the expectation that there is only one avenue to be successful, you open up so many possibilities to simply create magic! I have friends who went to college with me and used to sing, who are now the most amazing opera directors that I love working with. It takes so many people to put on just one show, the singing is only one route :) I hope to get into other avenues myself someday other than just singing.

galacticphoto665 karma

Have you ever or would you ever record vocals for a film/television score/soundtrack?

MainlyMozartSD5 karma

Yes! I just did my first one this summer! I can’t say what show it is yet, bit it was the COOLEST experience being on set and recording vocals in the studio! I’m excited to it more in the future. :)

RamsesThePigeon5 karma

Most vocalists have at least one story about being forced to improvise or adapt in some sort of memorable (and possibly comical) way. What tale comes to mind for you?

MainlyMozartSD11 karma

Oh this is a good one! I was asked to sing jump in to sing Musetta in La Boheme on 3 days notice for rehearsals for the Santa Fe Opera! I learned the role, memorized it on the plane, and showed up ready for rehearsals Monday morning when our lovely director asked if I could rollerblade. I’m always up for a challenge, so I did all of Act 2 on rollerblades! 😂🛼💖

that-dudes-shorts5 karma

Do you get lightheaded when you sing in head voice the really high notes ? That used to happen to me.

Also what is the most beautiful piece ever written in your opinion ?

MainlyMozartSD6 karma

Hahah! Great question!! Sometimes I do because of the energy and focus that it takes to sustain it!! But I think it might be the rush of adrenaline. 😅

Best piece ever written I would have to say is the Méditation from Thaïs by Massenet!!! 😍

DeadBothan4 karma

If you could change anything about the opera business, what would it be?

MainlyMozartSD13 karma

What a great question. If I could change anything, it would be diversifying the stories that are told. For too long, it has been predominately centered around Eurocentric stories. I believe it can be an enormous vehicle for stories that represent the BIPOC experience.

lipiti3 karma

What makes an opera an opera? Is Jesus Christ Superstar an opera (usually referred to as a rock opera)? Hamilton? Does it have to have operatic music in it?

MainlyMozartSD4 karma

In my opinion, opera is a language, a method of expression and storytelling that can include a wide range of art forms in collaboration. I would think the main difference in those other works & Opera works is the style of singing. The composers are all using the same notes in progressions, in their own unique ways of course. As opera singers we spend countless hours perfecting our technique to be able to make our voices sound the way they do, and project through the house without any amplification :)

sommerfugl3 karma

How much of an influence does the opera director have over your artistic interpretation of a role? In other words, how much does your performance of Mimi change from one company's production to the next?

MainlyMozartSD5 karma

There is a level of preparation I like to do first before even arriving to day one of rehearsals. I love having my own character back story, doing my research and having a general idea of the story I want to tell, but really the joy of it all is that it’s all malleable. That’s what makes this art form so special. You’ll never create the same character twice which to me is beautiful. It’s a true collaboration with the director and I would even go so far as to say a collaboration with my colleagues, with each orchestra member, the conductor and even set, lighting and costume designers. For me everyone’s unique perspectives inform what ultimately becomes of Mimi, or whichever role I get the privilege to revisit. :)

CypripediumCalceolus3 karma

What is the preparation like before a big event?

MainlyMozartSD2 karma

Loads of sleep, lots of self care, some exercise, tons of water, prayer, mediation! These are all necessary for me to feel my best! 🙏🏼🧘🏻‍♀️✨

AMillionMonkeys3 karma

This might not be your department, but what's the audience for opera like these days? Is it aging out?
I've never found opera that I can get into, so I'm not sure when you're supposed to.

MainlyMozartSD5 karma

I think it varies depending on the location, but I will say that there is definitely a huge shift right now of opera houses expanding their audience to become more inclusive of all ages & demographics. I would say a great place to start would be checking out if your local parks have any upcoming outdoor concerts... (if you're in the San Diego you can check out the Mainly Mozart festival, I’ll be singing Sept 11th! 😉)

number9muses3 karma

Which opera do you wish would be performed more often?

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

Hmmm.... I would say Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catán! The music is pure MAGIC! ✨

astroargie2 karma

I may be too late for the questions, but apart from the Met, what's your favorite venue to perform at?

MainlyMozartSD4 karma

The Hollywood Bowl was such an amazing experience to sing in for the first time earlier this year. 😍

CarelessShop2 karma

This could get heated, but best pizza in NYC?

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

Oops I’m Vegan. 🤭 😂 but before I was vegan, any 99¢ slice at 2 am. 😂

Virtual-Owl-20202 karma

Favorite musical?

MainlyMozartSD2 karma

Oooo for sure In the Heights by Lin Manuel Miranda! I would LOVE to be in it one day. 🤩

OppositeBid2 karma

What's your go to karaoke jam?

MainlyMozartSD2 karma

Amor Prohibido by Selena ✨💃🏻 😍

DigiMagic2 karma

There is a lot of text and melody (and possibly dance, acting, etc) in a stage play. How do you manage to remember everything? How long does it take to learn everything regarding a completely new opera and could you briefly explain how it's done?

MainlyMozartSD5 karma

I agree, there is definitely a lot of multitasking that goes into performing live. Everyone has different methods for how they prepare for their own performances. When I get a new role to dive into, I’ll give it a listen first, do some research, background information in the composer/ librettist, find out information on the source material, then I’ll start with text, translating it all from whatever language it’s in to English, then to Spanish (that way it’s really ingrained in my brain 🙃) then I’ll speak through rhythms, and I’ll add the notes slowly. When all of that’s done, then I’ll bring it to coaches and voice teachers. It’s a process but necessary so that I have the confidence during the rehearsal process to really let go and create something magical with everyone. Depending on the length or the difficulty it can take me anywhere from a few days to months to put something up. 😊

Bosir2 karma

What are your favorite roles?

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

Thanks for your question!! 🤗 My favorite roles to sing are Mimi because of her resilience, Contessa because of her compassion and Liu because of how heart wrenching her music is!

StrangeCaptain1 karma

What's you favorite era of the Grateful Dead?

MainlyMozartSD4 karma

I’ve never actually heard any of the music from the Grateful Dead so I will have to get back to you in that answer!! 😅😂

courtney22221 karma

At what age did you begin singing, and when did you realize you wanted to make a career out of it?

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

Hi Courtney2222! I started singing before I can even remember in my father’s church, but classically, it wasn’t until I was in college that I decided to sing operatically. I actually started out as a saxophone and tuba player first. 😂😂