Monday, February 24, 2014

Living in the Moments w/ Opera Singer La Toya Lewis

I can't say I know of too many Opera singers from Brooklyn {yes, you are the only Opera singer I know, lol} when was that "Light bulb moment" that you knew you wanted to be an Opera singer? 

LL // Ha! This is so funny because I've been trying to tell other opera singers that even though there are a few of us from Brooklyn, the vast majority of the world doesn't know who we are! I'm glad to be the only opera singer you know! There wasn't really a light-bulb moment, I quite literally "fell into" singing opera. I went to college as an undecided major and went to check out the Choir one day. Turns out, this was the opera chorus and I immediately fell in love with the sounds the singers were making all around me. I had to "try this opera thing out", like that would be easy or something. I've been singing it ever since. { Have a look + listen}

You recently had been touring the U.S with Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, who you call a friend of yours, what's that been like? 

LL // The tour was incredible, really impossible to  find the words to describe how incomparable that experience was. Mainly because I was surrounded by excellent musicians 24/7 for weeks. I got to sit on stage while Wynton and the Band improvised parts of the mass we were singing so that the show was never really the same from night to night. Just to see them in action and to be among singers from all different genres day in and day out was the type of immersion that singers dream of. 

You've met some pretty amazing  people, Glenn Close, Laurence Fishbourne and I saw a photo of you with Tony Danza, have you two performed together? Is there anyone you are dreaming will be in your audience?

LL // I didn't perform with Tony, he and I are actually on the volunteer faculty at a not for profit called All Stars Project Inc. on 42nd street. We teach inner city children performance techniques and I'm in charge of the voice portion. So I've been around for his classes and he's been around for mine and I know him in that capacity, as a teacher. But he has heard me sing and has a lot of respect for my talent. I do hope that Tony comes to my concert one of these days! He's an amazing man. 

Your cat Isis is gorgeous, can she sense when you are off to tour, or perform?

LL // Thanks!! I got her as a Christmas present back in 2007 from a Cattery in New Jersey. She's a pure bred Silver Bengal and a ridiculously intelligent animal. She always knows when I'm heading off somewhere because she'll start circling my luggage or sitting on top of my clothes just to jam me up! I often times feel really bad when I leave her for a long time. 

Where are your favorite spots to "Live in the moment" here in NYC?

LL // You can't go to Brooklyn without grabbing pizza from Smiling Pizza on 7th Avenue and 9th Street in Park Slope. Great hole in the wall place, amazing zeppoles, and oily garlic knots! So Brooklyn. You also need to take in the scenic views from the Promenade/Brooklyn Bridge Park or go for a walk around the lake at Prospect Park. The Museum of Moving Image in Astoria is definitely one of my favorite places. If you ever thought museums were boring, a visit here would quickly change that. Chelsea Market is only a new favorite dig of mine but I can't get enough of the seafood market {for their steamed lobsters and succulent shrimp}.

 I'm curious, what are you listening to right now? 

LL // Right now I'm revisiting all the albums I liked last year (Daft Punk, JT, Beyonce, TGT etc) and am listening to a bunch of different things. But I'm almost always listening to Radiohead's entire catalog or various musicals, namely Jesus Christ Superstar. 

I've seen you use the hashtag #realnerdsdonerdthings, what makes you a REAL nerd?   

LL // Haha, that hashtag is a play on a line from a Notorious BIG song, and I think someone might've said that once and I ran with it. I'd say I'm an real nerd because I have a genuine interest in learning about very specific subjects. When I've decided I like something I'm just immersed in it.  I think that's the real definition of a nerd - a thirst for knowledge on a particular subject and subsequent mastery of that subject. And I love math for no reason in particular. I'll just go do math challenges online sometimes for fun. I'll wear Harry Potter t-shirts and hang out at the library. Not to be ironic but because I love Harry Potter and I love libraries. Real nerds do nerd things!

Describe yourself in One word: 

LL // Vivacious.

On Instagram your followers get a peek at your fun & colorful beauty product choices, what's going on in that makeup bag of yours? 

LL // So I very recently got the nerve to start wearing bright lipstick colors and doing other eyes beside just some shade of brown on my eyelid. I got a Look Book from e.l.f's Disney Villain promotion and am trying a lot of bold eye colors with that. The matte I'm wearing right now is by Revlon and it's called Shameless (which is a deep purple). There's a lot of drug store brands that I mix and match to look fabulous on a budget. Gotta fake it til you make it! Recently I discovered Essie's Encrusted Collection which I'm freaking out over.

FILL IN THE BLANKS                 

LL // Today I will          plan to make my tomorrow better.
        This week I will        reflect on the blessings of this past year.
        This month I will        have started new regimens that help me reach my goals.
        This year I will        improve upon the previous year.
         Next year I Will        astound myself.

Anything you'd like us to know that most people don't know about you?

LL // I love rap music! I'm an old school hip hop head and know a whole lot about rap in general. I also love the television show LOST even though it's been off for years. And my favorite color is red, not pink! 

Follow La Toya //   
                               Instagram // Sopranovixen
                               Facebook // La Toya Lewis, Soprano
                               Twitter // @Latoyalewis



  1. Thank you so much for this amazing post and making me feel like a cool person!

    1. No, thank you bunches La Toya, you are a cool person and are living your life in the moments and with purpose and that needs to be celebrated! Xo



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