It seems lyric soprano Amanda Majeski was just meant to sing Countess Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. In 2010, the Gurnee native took to the Lyric Opera of Chicago stage on short notice, when bronchitis sidelined the scheduled star. And last season, she did the same at the Metropolitan Opera when the slated Russian diva dropped out of Richard Eyre's new production. But she did more than step up to the plate; she made the role her own. And she returns to Lyric Opera's Civic Opera House this month to show us just how it's done.
Although fate may have jump-started Majeski's career, pure talent propels it. This year alone, she hit it out of the park with her appearance in Der Rosenkavalier at the Frankfurt Opera, and delivered a nakedly powerful performance as an Auschwitz survivor in Lyric's rendition of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's The Passenger. And while returning to Figaro so soon might seem a less-than-thrilling prospect, it's clear Majeski isn't finished with the countess quite yet.
"The role is always challenging because the arias are so darn hard," she laughs. "And because it's so popular, and everybody has a favorite voice in their ear, there's the pressure to put your own stamp on it. The thing I find so interesting about the countess is that she's so different from other Mozart characters, who are often over-the-top. You could imagine going out and having a coffee with her. She's the most human character I play."