Interview: Angel Blue: On the Metropolitan Opera, Porgy & Bess, La Bohème, Berlin Philharmonic + How She Got Her Start

Photographer: Tashi Palmer

Soprano opera singer, Angel Joy Blue, began singing at a young age, thanks to her father’s love of music.

Angel Blue as Mimi and Dmytro Popov as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

She’s had lead roles and been a featured soloist at Walt Disney Opera Hall, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Royce Hall, and Frankfurt Opera, to name a few. Angel discusses her most memorable role, some of her operatic influences, how she stays healthy, her favorite places to travel, her advice for women wanting to follow in her footsteps, and much more. Read on to find out more about one of the best opera singers of her generation.

Dmytro Popov as Rodolfo and Angel Blue as Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

GLITTER: Where are you originally from?

ANGEL: Apple Valley, California.

GLITTER: How did you get your start in the opera world?

ANGEL: My Dad loved opera and studied classical music, so I got my start from him.

GLITTER: Your resume is simply outstanding. Can you tell us what has been your most memorable role?

ANGEL: My most memorable role has been helping others. Singing is great, and I love to sing, but the real payoff comes when I get to see that I’ve helped others. My most memorable singing role was singing “La Traviata” at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.

GLITTER: Are there other opera singers that you’d love to perform with, and why?

ANGEL: Yes, there are many, actually too many to name. Most of the singers who I want to sing with are people who I really admire. It would be awesome to sing Liu to Christine Goerke’s Turandot or La Traviata with Stefan Pop.

GLITTER: Who would you consider were some of the most important operatic influences on you, and why?

ANGEL: Leontyne Price is one of my biggest operatic influences. She was such a hard worker and also achieved greatness at a difficult time in history for America.

Eric Owens as Porgy and Angel Blue as Bess in the Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess.” Photo: Paola Kudacki / Met Opera

GLITTER: Is there a moment or moments in your career that you would consider have had a strong emotional impact on both you and your audience?

ANGEL: This is a tough question for me. When my Dad passed away suddenly in 2006, I burned a lot of my music and said that I wouldn’t sing again. I found this German art song called “Hat dich die Liebe beruhrt” (Has love touched you). I didn’t burn that piece of music because I was learning it when my Dad died. When I sang it on a recital in 2008, it was at the end of a set, and no one clapped. I could hear sniffing, and I noticed that some of the audience had been crying. I recognized that as a moment of silence for my Dad.

GLITTER: What have been some of your greatest achievements?

ANGEL: Achievements like beauty are in the eye of the beholder, I think. To me, some of my greatest achievements are working with nonprofit organizations and encouraging students who live in the inner city through Sylvia’s Kids Foundation.

Angel Blue as Bess in the Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess.” Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera

GLITTER: What’s a day like for you from morning to night?

ANGEL: It varies depending on if I’m in a show or not. If I’m at home and not working on a show then I wake up around 5 am to do my morning devotional and meditation, take my stepson to school, come home make coffee for my husband and me, go workout, come home, shower and usually study music for 3 – 4 hours. Around 3 pm, I pick up my stepson from school, and we have a snack, then do homework. My husband is an amazing cook!! He is usually making dinner while we’re doing homework. We sit at the table and eat, or we’ll watch a Netflix movie with our TV dinner stands in the living room. After that, we play a game of UNO or Trouble while listening to Alexi Murdoch or the Head and the Heart. (We love those bands). After that, it’s bedtime, so we say our prayers and look forward to the next day. 🙂 Pretty simple.

GLITTER: How do you stay healthy with such a high paced career?

ANGEL: So, I’m not going to lie; it’s hard. Honestly, staying on a workout schedule is so difficult for me because I travel a lot, and to be totally frank, I JUST started exercising again. Last year was the most hectic year I’ve ever had for traveling. I was in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Australia, and Abu Dhabi. I’ve found that having access to programs like Beachbody, Leslie Sansone, and any at-home workout has really worked for me. Right now, I’m learning about nutrition and what foods best fuel and help my body.

GLITTER: What advancements do you hope to see for women of color in your industry in the future?

ANGEL: I hope that it continues to go in the direction that it is going. Casting directors and opera companies are paying more attention to the talent and the ability of the performer. Women of color do need to know that there are opportunities out there for them. It is important for all women to know that no one should ever discriminate against you because of your sex, your body, your background, etc. Talent speaks for itself. If you have that talent, the wherewithal to hone your skills, and the grit to keep striving for what you want, then you are unstoppable.

GLITTER: What words of advice do you have for women wanting to follow in your footsteps?

ANGEL: Keep yourself encouraged in your journey. Never stop learning, be diligent in your work, and give grace to others, but also to yourself. Give yourself time, be patient, and do the work happily. Be thankful for the ups and the downs, that builds character. When you see others succeed really be happy for them, that’s a good seed sewn for you.

GLITTER: How have you embraced your height, and what has inspired your confidence throughout life?

ANGEL: If I wasn’t supposed to be 5’11.5 then I wouldn’t be :). I’m thankful to be my height, my size, and to have this body. This body works for me. It has seen me through so much, and I’m thankful for my body. Confidence comes from having an assurance in something. I’m confident because in my heart, I want to do right by people. I’m convinced that the Golden Rule is true; I’m confident that if I live my life this way, then I’m sewing good seeds and will reap a harvest of joy, plenty, and happiness.

GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign, and we want to know, what’s self-love mean to you?

ANGEL: Self-Love is giving grace to yourself, being kind to yourself, not speaking self-defeat, but encouraging self-awareness and esteem inside of your spirit.

GLITTER: What’s on your playlist right now?

ANGEL: Everything

GLITTER: Favorite places to travel?

ANGEL: I love London. Oman, Australia, and India.

GLITTER: Coffee or Tea?

ANGEL: COFFEE!!! 

To read Angel’s full interview in our latest issue, download our Glitter app on iTunes now, jammed packed with over 30 celebrity interviews.