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FWO INSIDER: Interview with Efrain Solis, Schaunard from 'La Bohème'

See Efrain Solis take on the role of Schaunard in our production of La Bohème, April 17 & 19 at Bass Performance Hall.

Efrain Solis
Efrain Solís as Dandini, Maria Valdes as Clorinda, and Zanda Švēde in Cinderella; Cory Weaver, San Francisco Opera
Q: You previously portrayed Schaunard in San Francisco Opera’s 2014 production of La Bohème. What aspects of Puccini’s score and this loveable character’s emotional arc are you looking forward to most as you revisit the role this spring?

A: Puccini has a magical way of combining comedy and drama and everything in between and allowing us to feel a full range of emotions. That’s the wonderful thing about these characters. They go on this incredible journey that so many artists experience throughout our lives. We all have to struggle for our art, so it’s not that far removed from what we’ve lived in many cases. It’s a great score to perform. His orchestration is so luscious, his melodies are wonderful.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in opera?
Efrain Solis
Efrain Solis Photo by Valentina Sadiul

A: I decided to pursue a career in opera when I was in high school. I was singing lots of auditions for competitions, performing in theater and choir. I had an amazing music teacher who really encouraged me to pursue my dream, which was opera. I didn’t think that I was good enough to perform on stage and make a career out of this. Thankfully, I had the right people behind me and they encouraged me to follow my aspirations.

Q: As a former Adler Fellow, what advice do you have for young singers who are looking to carve out a career in the opera world?

A: Acting is equally important as voice lessons. The more one can draw from emotions and life experiences and be able to easily access those feelings, it becomes that much more exciting to watch a singer on stage. I really enjoy that part of the rehearsal process and discovering characters and seeing what makes them tick, putting a bit of myself into each character. That is the point of acting. To draw from your own personal life and use your imagination for what is far removed from what you know and have experienced.

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