Juneau Lyric Opera will hold their second annual “Who’s Your Diva?” fundraiser on Sept. 15, featuring an all-new lineup of local divas.
In preparation for this year’s event, the Empire will present brief interviews with each of the nine divas throughout the month of August. This week’s featured diva is Dawn Wehe.
First memorable public performance:
I remember a few class plays. I loved dancing for sure and remember dancing to “Rock around the Clock” in about the third grade. In high school I was a “princess” for one of our big games and dances. We had to have a talent for our big night and I chose singing. The closer it got to the competition, the more freaked out I became and tried to change my talent to dancing but the director said “No, you have to sing.” I had stage fright so badly that I totally bombed that night and swore I would never sing in public again. And 20 years later — here I am, singing in public!
Three singers (famous or not) who have influenced you throughout your singing career:
Pat Benetar: I always loved rocking out to her music when I was a teen. I liked her even more when I found out that she had training as an opera singer and became a rocker! I just thought that was really cool.
Queen Latifah (Dana Owens): She has that attitude that just says, “here I am and proud of it.” I just love her voice.
Barbara Striesand: I watched her in “A Star is Born” and had the soundtrack that I played to near extinction. She is just such a talented lady.
Three songs you absolutely love to sing:
“Where’ve you been” (Martina McBride), “Queen Bee” (Barbara Streisand), “I Love Rock and Roll” (Joan Jett)
Three songs in heavy rotation on your iPod/CD player right now:
“Beautiful” (Christina Aguilera), “Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jepsen) “Stronger Than Me” (Amy Winehouse).
Three local performers you admire:
Cheryl Crawford: We were in “Beauty and the Beast” and I fell in love with her voice as Mrs. Potts. I am so honored and excited to be singing next to her on the stage in September.
Brett Crawford: He happens to be Cheryl’s husband -- his voice is so smooth.
Salissa Thole: I saw in the production of “The Who’s Tommy” and was totally wowed by her voice and performance.
Favorite place to sing (besides the stage):
I sing in the car all the time but the ever-popular shower is so perfect because of the acoustics. That’s why there are so many goofy videos with people singing in the bathroom. (I don’t have a video yet though!)
Famous movie or theater role you could easily win an Oscar or a Tony Award for if given the chance:
I believe I would be a shoo-in for any Bette Midler role. Just sayin’ out there in Hollywood.
Other interests besides singing:
I have a beautiful boy who is almost 11 and he keeps me pretty busy with all of his interests. I do love to dance around the house. (I was on the dance team all through high school and was an all-star.) I love reading when time allows and doing little crafty things that are not too time consuming. I would really enjoy a garden to work in, so that is always a goal of mine.
• For more, visit juneauopera.org. 012.html