Artist Q&A with Trista Moldovan from The Phantom of the Opera

Trista Moldovan will take the stage during the triumphant return of The Phantom of the Opera December 4-15, 2019 as Carlotta. While this is her first tour at the Fox Cities P.A.C., it’s not her first performance, having previewed Finding Neverland during The Reveal Event. Now, she’s ready to get back to the Fox Cities with this beautiful production and tells us what she is most looking forward to in this Artist Q&A.

Tell us a little about yourself! Where are you from/where do you call home?
Hi, thanks for having me! Well, I originally hail from a few different cities (we moved around quite a bit when I was a child) but I proudly call Cleveland, Ohio my hometown.

When did you know you were going to be a performer?
Making my parents suffer through countless puppet shows when I was very little is probably when the seed started to germinate. Funny enough, it wasn't until I was rejected from every college musical theater program for which I auditioned that I thought "I don't care. I'm going to do this one way or another." I think that's when my fate was sealed. 

 What kind of training did you pursue to follow your dreams?
I reauditioned for a fantastic musical theater program my sophomore year at Baldwin Wallace University. I was accepted and switched majors. The head of the program, Victoria Bussert, is a genius at preparing students to be professional actors. Everything from how to present yourself in a room, put together an audition book, get an agent was covered. We even took an audition "bootcamp" class where she'd create crazy audition scenarios (the director is on their cellphone, you've run five blocks and are out of breath, they ask you to do the sides like a monkey)! And guess what? The people behind the table have in fact been on their cellphones before. Not to say I don't get nervous but thanks to Vicky very little phases me in an audition room.

What is advice you would give to your younger self about where you are now?
Keep going. There's no deadline to your dreams. And it's ok to wait tables in the meantime! 

You’ve played different roles in Phantom of the Opera including the 10,000th performance as Christine on Broadway. What role has been your favorite? Which has been the most challenging?
I really don't have a definitive answer as to which is my favorite. I equate playing Christine to running a marathon- you have to pace the workload for two and a half hours. Carlotta is more like a CrossFit workout in that there's heavy lifting in small bursts. Thematically there are things that I relate to in both characters. I do know that I'm the luckiest soprano in the world to have done both.

What do you think people would be surprised to learn about this production?
Look everywhere while the action unfolds. Everyone from the principals to the ensemble to each corps de ballet member has such a rich storyline.

Finish the sentence…

If you weren’t a performer, your full-time job would be… The proprietor of the hippest doggy daycare in town. 

I can’t travel without my… Nespresso mini. 

The first thing I do in a new city is… Find a cool local coffee shop.

The song stuck in my head after the show is… Whichever one I catch exiting audience members hum as I walk to my car. 

If I could switch roles with any cast member it would be… Madame Giry. She's incredibly intriguing and I hope one day to complete the female Phantom trifecta. 

When they told us we were going to Appleton, my first thought was… Two words: cheese curds. A few years ago I sang a song from FINDING NEVERLAND at the Fox Cities P.A.C. season launch. We went for dinner after the event and I had my very first cheese curd. I've been thinking about that cheese curd ever since. 

Here’s your chance to say something to the audience – I would love audiences to know…
Cheese curds aside, what impressed me during my brief visit to the Fox Cities P.A.C. in Appleton was the enthusiastic and robust subscriber base. It's a sheer pleasure to share this beautiful story in a city where the arts are thriving. I can't wait to make my official Appleton debut!

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