Conversation with Kristopher Irmiter

Performing as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, or Le Nozze di Figaro, Kristopher Irmiter will take the Belk Theater stage for the second time in just six months. Last fall, he was the title character in Opera Carolina's presentation of Don Giovanni -- now he comes back as the scheming, beloved Figaro in one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's most famous operas. A bass-baritone, Kristopher graduated from nearby Winthrop University, and after years of traveling all over North America, he has come back to live in the Charlotte area. He'll be performing, along with the rest of Opera Carolina's talented cast, on March 7, 8, and 12.



Why opera?
I always knew I wanted to be a performer; I'd been singing since I was probably ten. My first experience was in a barbershop quartet with my father and a couple of my brothers. I actually thought I'd be the next Billy Joel of the world. But I'd always had an interest in acting in dramas, too. When I did my first performance, I realized I was very comfortable getting in front of people and singing, but not talking. When it's music and drama together, that's when it's interesting to me.

What was your 2007 GRAMMY nomination for?
There was the American [revival] of an opera called The Mines of Sulphur. We did the commercial recording for the opera. It was a great experience to be nominated for a GRAMMY, and my fifteen-year-old thought his dad was the coolest person ever. But I was actually working somewhere else and had to miss the show. I hope it happens again so I can go.

Have you performed as Figaro before?
This will be the sixth production of this show that I've done, which is interesting because last season it was the first time I was Don Giovanni. I love coming to Charlotte, and come as often as I can. And Opera Carolina is always really great to work with.

You travel a lot to be in different operas. Where have you performed?
I'm basically a private contractor. I've worked in all fifty states and Canada.

All fifty? How did you ever end up singing in Alaska?
Both Alaska and Hawaii were interesting. I was singing the title role in The Flying Dutchmen in Alaska. It wasn't until I was there when I started reviewing, and I thought, "Holy smokes, this is the fiftieth state."

What kind of language training do you need to perform opera?
A lot. Easily 90 percent [of opera] is in Italian, German, and French. Ideally, you'd like to be conversational in these languages. I'm not. My French is pretty good, one on one. They're not going to hire me as a translator at the UN or anything. You also develop a great vocabulary. Of course, you have to be able to speak, but you also have to understand what's being said to you. For me, it's a lot of work, but I love that, because that's when the acting comes to life. When you understand what's being said and can reply. And I keep working on it. I'd like to become better in Italian, because I really do admire the language.

More »Related Stories

Songwriter Supreme

With critics comparing Josh Ritter to Dylan and Springsteen, it wasn't easy to compose a follow-up to his previous acclaimed albums. The thirty-three-year-old, who plays McGlohon Theatre May 12, struggled until a love story between an archaeologist and a mummy sparked his creative fires.

Dramatic Homecoming

Charlotte native Jonathan Hadley will bring a taste of the Shore to the Queen City as part of the Jersey Boys national tour.

An Early Spring

The national touring cast of Spring Awakening includes Matt Shingledecker, who is from Charleston and graduated from Elon.

Conversation with Paul Zuckerman

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by siging up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Blogs »


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Nom-nom at Nan's

It's a great time to test out the menu at 5Church's sister restaurant ...

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Hooray, Beer!

The Charlotte City Council opens the door for a new craft brewery wave. When will the beer bubble burst?

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte: The Jazz Room, Phish, Seinfeld, & More

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Kids Cook with Heart

Six groups of kids competed Saturday morning in a delicious fajita faceoff

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Salud Beer Shop plans expansion, nanobrewery

Will feature beers from Carolina Brewmasters, other guest brewers

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Art Pope and the Threat to N.C. Higher Ed

A thorough Washington Post profile explores Art Pope and his attempts to bring N.C. universities to heel.

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Talking Trellising

This technique works well to maximize space and add interest

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Fire in the City: It's back!

Luca Annunziata of Passion8 Bistro and Clark Barlowe of Heirloom kick off Charlotte's second round of competition dining

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

The Weekday Roundup: Dave Matthews Band, Maria Bamford, and Mary Poppins

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Bob Rucho's Idea of 'Local Control'

The Senate is considering a bill that would keep MeckCo voters from deciding on a sales tax hike. So much for the virtues of local control.

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Painting Pointers

A local designer helps us broaden our palette

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Try This!

From Indian delicacies to Mexican cheese-smothered chicken, go out and taste all that Charlotte's restaurants have to offer

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Lenny Boy Brewing Company celebrates flagship beer release

North Carolina's first certified organic brewery will now be open on Fridays

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

How Pat McCrory Undermines His Own Good Ideas On Education

The governor has some decent ideas about school reform--but he keeps lying about nonexistent 'teachers' unions.'

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Which tomato do I want?

Take a taste this Saturday in Matthews

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

The Gray Classic Weekend, Martini and a Makeover, Cirque de Whisky, Daytime Summer Parties, and More - July 17-20

It’s another eventful span of four days in Charlotte, and several of these events are fundraisers, which means you can feel good while you're feeling good.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Getting Greeky

I ditched Food Truck Friday for a taste of Greece - flaming cheese and all.

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte: Discovery Place, KISS, and MattyB

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Foul

Pat McCrory bypassed the N.C. Arts Council in naming a state Poet Laureate. We respond with a 'Howl' of protest.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Smashburger Fires Up for Grand Opening

A portion of opening month proceeds benefitting local charity and a free burger giveaway on opening day

Comments