Mezzo-soprano Carla López-Speziale plays Rosa, the titular Dreamer in I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. We caught up with Carla during rehearsals and talked to her about her character, yoga, and more.
Q: If you had to swap roles with another member of the production, who would you want to swap with and why?
I think I would like to swap with Singa, because in a way, culturally, she may be seen as the most distant character from Rosa, but at the same time, they are both very similar. On one hand, they come from countries geographically far away, with different traditions and lifestyles. On the other hand, they are both immigrants who came to the United States as young girls, in search for a better life, torn away from their home countries which they loved, and they both made their best efforts to fit into a different society. They grew up in the same country, and we learn of each other’s difficulties and how their lives got shaped differently due to different circumstances. But, intrinsically, are their hearts and souls really that far apart from each other?
In fact, all the characters in this opera are very intricate in themselves. It is hard to pick one over the other. They all have grown in different situations and act according to their diverse backgrounds and upbringing. As moving as Singa’s or Rosa’s stories are, it is equally intense to discover the Gangster’s reasons why she became a gangster or the Mother’s despair in convincing her daughter that they will find a better life elsewhere.
I must say that the story is very well constructed, in a way that there are no loose ends, every word is carefully conceived so as to give us a true depiction of each character and their situations.
Q: What non-musical activity do you enjoy doing on your downtime?
I love practicing yoga. I have been practicing Bikram yoga for almost ten years, and I have found it very interesting to try different styles while being in Boston. I think you can attempt to understand yourself and the world around you better if you manage to find the peace within you. Plus the feeling of well being after a yoga class is hard to beat.
Q: The cast of Dreamer is entirely female. Mother and daughter bonds, as well as strong female friendships, are portrayed. How does this resonate with you?
The idea of having women portraying all the roles is brilliant. This opera shows different aspects of a woman’s life: the daughter, the mother, the immigrant, the friend, the scary one, the frightened one, the sympathetic one, the antagonist, always portraying everyone with different nuances. We all perform different roles in real life, men and women, but I feel that sometimes all the roles a woman performs may be overseen or taken for granted. In this story, not only do we see many of these roles, but also how different situations make a different role bloom, like the initial encounter between Singa and Rosa, and how this develops into a strong friendship. I myself feel reflected in several of these roles, and I am pretty sure the audience will too.