About the artist(s)
Kristine Dandavino
dramatic mezzo-soprano

A divorced mother of an Aquarius Child, Mezzo, Pianist, Director, Activist, Aspiring Politician, Writer, Indigenous, Owner of Tim The Yorkie. I am not going to write anything serious here. Google me, if you must but, really, take my word for it, I am just a human being who happens to be very loud!

Artist Interview

When did you first encounter the 24 Italian Songs & Arias? And how did you feel about them then and now?

I believe I was 15 when I first heard them. I was training as a collaborative pianist to gain experience for University. I sang. Nobody knew. I just sang for myself. It was not until I was older, healing from a hand injury, and taking lessons that I discovered the scope of these songs. They were brutally hard. Some were too high, too low, too fast, too light, there were all too many. Yet, I always would come back to them. To check if I still knew how to sing. Even after a full day in the studio coaching rock, pop, musical theatre, classical, I can still sing these. I sing them my way sometimes, it can be fun!

I tire of some songs. Not these. Never. When I hear one of the opera stars sing them, I know they are being vulnerable. It is brutally hard to sing these without thinking “Argh, this person has the ultimate version, what do I bring to them?” I know I bring humor to them!

What do you remember about yourself when you first sang them?

How different my voice was, and still is, from a lot of singers I know. “It’s too dark Kristine. You will ruin your voice.” My voice is still healthy, still in good shape despite everyone telling me it is too dark. Hmm. Maybe that is just the way my voice is wired? Just a thought.

Seriously, I have nightmares of ever having to sing “Le Violette.” It is sublime but, not for a heavy voice. However, I could listen to it all day long, it is so gentle and sweet. As a young singer, I think we all could not wait to sing the real repertoire. So grateful, for my teachers and coaches who said “Wagner can wait. This is the focus, for now.” Seriously!

What have you learned about yourself on your journey with singing?

The paycheck means nothing. That much I know. I sing for everyone, and anyone, who will take the time to listen, and share with me this art form. We communicate through song: we share stories. Some stories are real, some are totally fake. Yet, we share. A very famous singer, and friend, reminded me that there “are no levels”, we are just singers. We all are unique, we all have our own story and purpose.

Singing was always there. We can sing anywhere. Now, I often sing with my dog Tim, when we go for walks. I could care less if anyone listens to me, or not. If I “forget” to sing, I get migraines. I rarely get migraines, perhaps, my body needs the constant breath flow. Not sure. When I studied for my Master’s in Counselling Psychology, I used to laugh at all the “studies” on the benefits of singing. I could not believe researchers actually studied this!