Bops and bonbons with Metropolitan Opera star Golda Schultz
Soprano Golda Schultz told us early on in our interview that she chose to be a musician partially to discover more about herself.
"I'm trying to find out why I do what I do," she said.
And with her role as Adina in the Met's production of Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore" this year, she seems to have made considerable progress towards her goal.
"I learned with Adina that I am surprisingly brave," she said.
Through all of the role's challenges, she said some of that bravery actually came from her ability to embrace goodness over imperfection.
"Good doesn't mean it's perfect. Good means it's filled with love. Good means it's filled with care, and that's not always perfect because goodness comes from being an imperfect person," she said.
She also said she resonated with Adina's personality - she's an independent, thoughtful leading lady not easily influenced, even by her suitor Nemorino's "love potion."
"The women that speak to me are women who are very smart, are very curious and require time to think and process and do things," Schultz said.
"I will walk away from this experience a better human being for having met Adina."
Schultz grew up in South Africa, and she's always been singing.
She remembers singing along as her dad played music on the drive to kindergarten.
Mondays were special, she said, because she'd perform the songs she'd learned in Sunday school the day before.
She's kept up the habit of listening to music on her commute, with what sounds like little more dancing these days.
She said she fell in love with "L'Elisir d'Amore" listening to the opera's quartet between characters Adina, Nemorino, Dr. Dulcamara and Giannetta.
"I was listening to it on my headphones, and I was bopping on the street like I was listening to a pop song ... dancing up and down the street," she said.
"I was like, 'Okay, Donizetti! I thought Mozart could write a tune, but no, you did! You wrote a bop!'"
She said she also loves that "L'Elisir d'Amore" gives opera singers the rare chance to try their hand at comedy.
"Finding the funny in anything is such a gift, and what Donizetti has done. He's given opera and he’s given everyone a real gift ... It's just a gem. It's a bonbon. It's just all delicious and sweet," she said.
Asked about what she hoped audiences would take away from "L'Elisir," Schultz said the opera's biggest lesson is to stay true to yourself.
“Who you are as a person is enough to be cherished, and you shouldn't change yourself to make someone love you."
Emily Duncan Wilson produced this episode of Studio A.
Kacie Brown is IPR's digital content manager.