BEHIND THE SCENES: Interview with Elizabeth Popa
Our reporter in the field, Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff, asks the artists what it is like to perform video game symphony music live!
ELIZABETH POPA, ELMHURST COLLEGE CHOIR
CLAUDIA: Where are you from originally?
ELIZABETH: Chicago, IL
CLAUDIA: When did you start singing and taking lessons?
ELIZABETH: I have been singing in church and school choirs since I was a young girl. Also, during elementary school I had the opportunity to be a part of the Northeastern Chicago children's Choir. I began voice lessons my freshman year of college at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. I continued taking lessons when I transferred to Elmhurst College during my junior year.
CLAUDIA: How many Final Fantasy video symphony concerts have you performed?
ELIZABETH: The performance on December 12, 2009 was my first Final Fantasy video symphony concert.
CLAUDIA: Are you or is anyone in your family a gamer?
ELIZABETH: My younger brother, who is 13 years old, enjoys playing video games during most of his free time.
CLAUDIA: Who influenced you most in your interest in singing?
ELIZABETH: The biggest influence on my singing career is my mother. She always sang in church when I was younger and it was because of her love and passion for music that I decided to pursue singing myself. Classical music is probably my first passion but I also enjoy singing jazz and musical theater. I mainly listen to jazz, classical, gospel and some pop. My favorite classical singer is Renee Fleming and my favorite jazz singer is Sarah Vaughan.
CLAUDIA: Have you attended any music festivals or choir tours?
ELIZABETH: Chicago is such a great city because it is home to so many music festivals. I make it a requirement to attend the jazz festival, gospel festival and classical performances every year. I am constantly looking for solo opportunities in choir and around the Chicago land area.
CLAUDIA: What do you remember most about the rehearsals and concert?
ELIZABETH: My favorite part of this experience was putting everything together during the first rehearsal. Hearing the choir with the orchestra was breathtaking. The concert atmosphere was absolutely unbelievable as well. It's so amazing and heartwarming how music can touch so many people's lives in different ways. Music truly is a universal language.
CLAUDIA: Did you like the music by Nobuo Uematsu?
ELIZABETH: The music itself was incredible and you can tell that the composer paid attention to every single little detail. My favorite piece of the whole program was Distant Worlds.
CLAUDIA: Have you ever seen an audience show such enthusiasm for a living composer at an orchestral concert?
ELIZABETH: I have never seen so much enthusiasm from an audience for a living composer at an orchestral concert ever before in my life. It was truly unbelievable and reassuring to see that people still appreciate this type of music. This was an absolutely amazing experience and I feel privileged to have been apart of it.