FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Emma Sloman

Returning to Auckland Fringe for the first time since their award-winning 2011 show, Opera Factory presents ‘Opera Bites’ – a selection of operatic scenes to feed your soul.  This show will offer a unique opportunity to enjoy a variety of snips including Mozart comedies, Menotti’s dramatic ‘The Consul’, Nicolai’s ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’, Strvinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’ and Rossini’s ‘Barber of Seville’.

Opera Bites’ offers a unique opportunity for everyone to get a slice of opera. We chat to singer Emma Sloman.

Is this your first Auckland Fringe?
This is not our first Fringe Festival, actually! We were involved in 2011 and won the Best Production in the Music category award for performing the dark and gloomy Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten.

How different is an Auckland audience to other audiences?
Opera Factory has always been Auckland based so we know that audiences here are really great at supporting new theatre or performing arts groups and in particular for us, young singers. There is a thriving performing arts scene in Auckland and not just the professional groups -there are a huge amount of independents, amateur music theatre groups and pro-am groups like Opera Factory who all have a fabulous audience base and followers. We feature and provide performance opportunities to a variety of young singers, post-grad singers, professional freelancers so it’s a great to have audience who like to follow the development of young artists.

Describe your show in three words or less…
A vocal feast

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
Well we did the show about ghosts so that was a pretty unique and weird story – but amazing!. Opera Factory has a regular programme of other shows, concerts throughout each year, but we don’t always go into the Fringe. As we are a boutique opera group, our shows tend to be a bit odd or interesting and unique – for example, our youth opera show several years ago was called Help Help the Globolinks – a story about school children in a broken down bus, who are set upon by aliens making electronic music and the children have to call upon their class mates who play orchestral and band instruments to fight them off! For Opera Bites – we are featuring a huge variety of opera and lighter theatre moments which will keep the audiences fascinated about the breadth of opera – its not just 3hr Wagner and high brown tragedy.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Opera Bites of course, Amalia Hall Plays Ysaye (Amalia is the most amazing young violinist and this will be an incredible performance) and Pan is Dead looks really interesting.

Where will we find you during the festival?
We are performing at the Raye Freedman Theatre in Epsom – better parking and we are only doing two shows 4pm and 8pm on Saturday 24 February

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
Pineapple which is good for the voice, Opera Cake which we are serving during interval at the show and probably a nice bottle of wine perfect to follow rehearsals or show days.

Tell us about your spirit animal?
Would have to be some sort of bird since I’m a singer – perhaps a tui or bellbird

Word Association:
Fringe – The Edge
Fridge – Chilly
Auckland – Too humid
Festival – Fun
Lights – Bright
Chocolate – Dark
Winter – Drab
Theatre – Life

Emma Sloman performs in Opera Bites at Raye Freedman Arts Centre Sat 24 February as part of Auckland Fringe Festival. Buy tickets here.