A member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus since 2010, soprano Amanda Compton LoPresti is from Belleville, Ill. She holds a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master of music in voice from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
What work(s) this season are you are most looking forward to performing, and why?
My husband is my biggest fan and most consistent audience member, and his favorite choral piece is the Ravel Daphnis et Chloe (April 5-7 and 10). So I am really looking forward to being a part of that beautiful work and sharing it with him.
Currently I’m reading/watching/listening to:
Right now I’m reading a Thornton Wilder play called “Youth,” and I’m listening to Brad Mehldau and Chris Thile’s piano/mandolin album. It is jam-packed with gems, but my favorite on the album is probably “I Cover the Waterfront.” The beauty and intimacy with which they play and improvise together stops me in my tracks.
Do you play another instrument or perform in non-classical vocal style or setting? Please tell us a bit about it and why you enjoy it.
Yes! I dance and sing professionally with many musical theater companies in Chicago, regionally and internationally. Last year I did “Bye Bye Birdie” with Drury Lane Oakbrook, Candide in Toulouse and Bordeaux, France, and next I will be doing Candide with L.A. Opera. I love dancing because you have to engage your whole body, which then engages your mind. I feel very lucky to be able to connect with music in this way; feeling a phrase in my entire body helps me to sing it more fully.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to learn more about classical music?
Aside from attending live performances, I would highly recommend the radio show “Exploring Music” with Bill McGlaughlin (weeknights at 7 p.m. on WFMT-FM). He does an amazing job of making music history and theory relatable, and he always picks interesting music and topics to focus on during his shows.