Article Written by Stephen Bell – Marketing/Development @coffeescreative
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At Coffeeshop Creative we are not only passionate about designing and developing a unique web presence for our clients, but also sharing their stories. We are super excited to share another story in our series of blogs – Grabbing Coffee. Today’s feature – soprano & producer Rachel Krehm. As we are designing the upcoming launch of her custom website, we recently caught up with Rachel at Toronto’s Danforth coffee spot, Broadview Espresso. So grab your favourite cup of java and get to know a little about this exciting operatic artist!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Toronto. I live with my husband, Evan Mitchell, in the house that I lived in from when I was brought home as a baby until I was 12. I grew up in a really musical family. My great aunt was a concert pianist, Ida Krehm. My father plays clarinet. My mother plays piano (both jazz and classical) and recorder. My little sister, Liz, played piano, violin and steel drum. For a while as a kid, we had two pianos at home, a harpsichord and a steel drum (and of course a violin and like fifteen clarinets.) So I was exposed to classical music and opera as a very young child and it was never a strange thing in my household. Not much has changed now, except my husband is a conductor and what he calls “a recovering percussionist.” So it is just a few different instruments around the house: a piano, marimba, all sorts of percussion gear hidden in various spots, and a theremin! So I guess it would have been very difficult for me to not have been bitten by the music bug!
Rachel as Rosalinde with Michael Barrett as Eisenstein- Die Fledermaus- Opera 5.
Being an artist, singer, and producer, what inspires you with the genre of opera?
Opera 5 Members: Aria Umezawa, Maikai Nash & Rachel Krehm
How can opera reach new audiences in Canada?
Well, this is something that I have been concerned with since creating Opera 5 about 5 years ago. I think that more intimate and relevant opera is key to attracting new audiences of the next generation. But what does this mean? Well, at Opera 5, we like to include elements in our productions that aren’t necessarily traditional to opera. We have done a show with a fully interactive party, addressed feminism, included hip hop elements, paired operas with food, and more. All of these efforts keep our guests interested and engaged, but we continue to include the operatic ideas which may be more familiar, so we can engage both traditional and modern audiences. On top of this, we perform in small halls to audiences of 100-200 people. This provides a closeness to the artists that one cannot achieve in a big house, which I think can intensify the experience for someone who doesn’t already love opera. That is what we do, but there is a core group of amazing independent opera companies in Toronto who are all trying to address reaching new audiences in different ways. You can check out the whole Indie Opera T.O crew here.
Rachel in Opera 5’s production of La Voix Humaine
What’s coming up next for you?
And most importantly… favourite type or style of coffee?
I know this is sacrilegious, but I am more of a tea drinker thank a coffee drinker. Shame…That said, I do enjoy a good latte. I also have fond memories of coffee growing up. My dad is a HUGE coffee drinker and every evening after work, he would make himself a large Turkish coffee, drink it, have a nap and then be up most of the night. I still love the smell of the boiling Turkish coffee and sugar mingling together.