New Jersey-born mezzo soprano Eve Orenstein was born into alternative culture: Her mother is a composer and her father an artist and designer who's known for creating the first inflatable furniture back in the '60s. But her own cultural love in life turned out to be opera, a classical genre she champions as a living art that's still growing and changing in the 21st century. To that end, she spearheaded Colorado's chapter of Opera on Tap, wherein opera singers let loose monthly for casual audiences in bars, breweries and other beer-friendly performance spaces, but she still also performs in the real thing, both here and back on the East Coast.
In her spare time? Orenstein addresses her other love -- local foodie culture -- through her other project, the food-swap club Mile High Swappers. We're amazed that a woman this busy even had time to sit down with the 100CC questionnaire, but she did, and her insights follow, with gusto.
Eve Orenstein: That's easy -- Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya and their whole scene. Berlin, Paris and New York in the '20s and '30s, working with Brecht and the Gershwins and Langston Hughes, bringing dark, absurdist cabaret to Broadway, blurring lines between classical and popular genres and just being brilliant and talented and politically dissident. I would do anything to be there/then and work with them.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's just so passionate, so in love with the esoteric thing he's into that he makes something as decidedly unsexy to most people as astrophysics incredibly compelling. I have known he is clever like that for a while now, but the more he is established as the public face of science, the more I like him. Has anyone done that since Carl Sagan?Continue reading for more from Eve Orenstein.