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Some Dreams Need Special Dreamers Meet Susan Tsagkaris Susan Tsagkaris is that special dreamer, a woman who has dedicated her life to fulfilling her dream. Susan is in love with the music of Wagner, R. Strauss, Verdi, and Puccini, but Wagner moves her soul. Her special dream is singing Wagner - the ultimate challenge in opera, on stage globally. Through passion and persistence, having just sung her USA debut as Puccini’s Turandot and most recently having coached complete Wagner and Strauss operas with the best Wagner/Strauss experts in the world, Susan is well along the path to achieving this dream.

Best told in Susan’s words … ”There is an emotional depth Wagner achieves in his music that stirs up the audience. When I am on stage, I feel those larger than life emotions and channel them to the audience, hopefully providing catharsis. Live performances can create drama, an experience of unpredictability you wouldn’t get on the internet. You can’t replicate the totality of the live experience. Early in my career as a young singer with a large voice, I was not ready t o sing this repertoire for which I was destined, although I was aware of the vocal direction I would someday go. I didn’t have the emotional depth nor the muscular development vocally. It took me until I was 40 to develop true vocal maturity. My voice category, or Fach, is now hoch dramatische- a rare category. It requires a huge range in voice, hi to lo, considerable sound-and much stamina. The operas I sing have huge orchestrations which my voice must soar over. There is no substitute for life experience. I raised four children as an artist with my husband, Ted. I had miscarriages, serious car accidents, dealt with serious illness with my husband but always got back on the stage. Luckily I was able to see that there is humour in tragedy. The women I portray are very strong characters with a passion for life. As an artist, being vulnerable is essential, it helps not only convey honest feelings and emotions but serves to relax the muscles in the body to achieve emotional depth. Stage represents freedom and communicationthe exhilaration of expression. When I am on stage I feel at home. Family and friends have been the source of much support.. My husband Ted, a passionate Greek from the island of Kalymnos, is very supportive. His philosophy is, ‘what you do is not who you are…we are all created equal’. Having lived here for over 25 years, I’m addicted to this Greektown neighbourhood. I love that it is an international community, home to different people from all over the world. I can walk everywhere, everything one needs is here; great food and shops, a safe and vibrant neighbourhood. This neighbourhood has embraced my family and helped foster my creativity. It has encouraged me to keep dreaming in my never ending quest to live life to the fullest!“ On behalf of, I thank Susan Tsagkaris for talking with us and wish Susan and her family all the best.

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