Renowned Mormon opera singer Erin Morley will be performing the role of Olympia at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City this fall. The play, titled “Les Contes d’Hoffmann,” was written by Jacques Offenbach and tells the story of a man who falls in love—on four separate occasions. Olympia is the star of Act I and the first love interest of the opera’s protagonist, Hoffmann. The opera will be performed beginning September 26th, 2017.
Ken Noda, an administrator and vocal coach at the Met, describes Morley’s importance: “Erin is probably the top coloratura soprano in the world — meaning she sings the highest soprano with the highest high notes with a spectacular agility,” Noda said. “Her repertoire is very showy because she is an extremely high soprano. There are a lot of acrobatics and real fireworks in her kind of roles and characters she sings.”
Erin Morley hasn’t slowed down her performance schedule since she graduated from Julliard. She is now married to a Yale professor and has two daughters, a six-year-old and a seven-month-old. Somehow she still makes time for all three of them, even with a two-hour morning train ride to work from her home in Connecticut. And you can’t forget the two hours back.
“We always eat dinner together, if at all possible, and we are very strict about nanny hours,” Morley said. “We don’t have a 24-hour nanny. We have a nanny who travels with us and lives with us, but she works a nine-to-five job. We have to put boundaries on our time, and I will turn down a lot of work if it doesn’t work for my children. I toss it out the window.”
Her devotion to her family at a time when her popularity continues to shoot upward is impressive. About motherhood, she said, “It’s my greatest joy and it always will be. I love being a mother.”
So what about her career?
“I feel like having both things as a part of my life is what brings me balance as a person,” she said. “If we can navigate our tangled web of moving parts correctly, the two occupations of motherhood and career complement each other very beautifully.”
Morley recognizes her faith as the keystone in her life. About her and a performance done in Provo, Ken Noda said “The unity, the love and the support that was in the auditorium that night — it was full of her family, friends and former classmates — I had never felt something like that before,” Noda said. “I am Japanese by birth, yet having grown up in America my whole life, the only times I had felt that kind of unity were the rare occasions I used to go back to Japan as a child. I realized how Erin’s faith has so much to do with the core she has as a human being.” He continues, “Her artistry is so completely inseparable from her humanity,” Noda said. “I believe that’s where the greatness of her artistry comes from, and I believe it has to do with her religion.”
So if you’re going to be in New York this fall season, don’t forget to go hear one of the world’s greatest opera singers perform at the Met! It will surely be an unforgettable experience.