Every so often MT poses 60 questions to a local or visiting artist in Toronto who has made our classical music community that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers.
Mezzo, Wallis Giunta, is an example of a new generation of Canadian singers catching everyone by surprise. She has performed with the COC, The MET, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Oper Frankfurt, Oper Leipzig, Fort Worth Opera, to name just a few. In Mozart’s Sesto for the Canadian Opera Company, she was praised celebrated as a “remarkable in its combination of intelligence and beauty”. Wallis recently made her Opera Atelier debut in the title role in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas. (You can find our review here.)
Default drink of choice?
Single Malt Scotch, neat
Your favourite sound?
The wind rustling through the trees at my family’s summer camp, Red Pine Camp
Your least favourite sound?
Fire truck sirens!
Your favourite smell?
Freshly washed sheets that have been hung out to dry on a sunny day
Your least favourite smell?
First thing that comes to your mind when you think about Toronto
The amazing food
The historical personalities, both good and bad, that fascinate you the most?
Good: Charles Dickens, Anaïs Nin – Bad: Vlad the Impaler (Dracula!), Kim Jong-il
What are the three things you’d like to change about Toronto?
More safe bike lanes. Catch up with BC in terms of legalizing marijuana. Halt the construction of all new condo towers…we have enough!
If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you?
Leipzig, to my nice little apartment and my tomato plants which need watering.
The strangest place you’ve ever been to?
The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years?
Dune, A Tale of Two Cities, and all of Sherlock Holmes.
Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?
For work: Toronto – For pleasure: Ottawa
What is your biggest phobia?
Where did you go to school?
Ottawa (JK to 2nd-year Undergrad), Toronto (3rd-year Undergrad to Artist Diploma), and New York (second Artist Diploma!)
What did you major in as an undergraduate?
Singing…sorry, nothing terribly shocking about that 😉
The strangest talent that you possess?
I can move my eyelids completely independently from one another
Shoe of choice?
Vegan leather combat boots
Italian, Irish, & Scottish
Television show that you could tolerate re-runs of?
Under what circumstances would you join the army?
If they were exclusively helping with disaster relief.
Your major character flaw?
I can’t stop vacuuming. If there’s a vacuum, I’m using it.
The relatively normal piece of clothing that you believe you’d look the most ridiculous in?
Running shoes. Just can’t do it.
The talent that you wish you possessed?
Incredible archery skills.
What musical instrument do you secretly long to play?
What sport did you give up and why?
Rugby. Chances of broken nose affecting singing: HIGH.
What is the game that you’re best at?
Settlers of Catan.
What is the one animal that scares you the most?
If you had a motto, what would it be?
Better out than in.
Have you ever fired a gun? If so, what were the circumstances?
Yes, on stage with blanks, many times. In the country, target practice with cans. Does a paintball gun count?
Your favourite word?
Your least favourite word?
I know it’s cliché: Moist.
The thing that makes you the happiest?
Being with the ones I love.
The thing that makes you the angriest?
Violence against any helpless creature.
Three things of no monetary value that you own and will keep dearly until you die?
My baby blanket. A fur clipping from my darling bunny rabbit, Hazel. Photographs.
Your first memory?
Age 3, playing air guitar on a tennis racket to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
The first three things that you do every morning?
Neti pot, tongue scraping, drink a big glass of water.
The best way to die?
In the arms of the one you love most, at a ripe old age, on a beautiful day.