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Who's Your Diva?

Week 4: Callie Conerton and Erin Messing

Posted: August 22, 2013 - 12:03am
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Erin Messing  Seanna O'Sullivan Photography
Seanna O'Sullivan Photography
Erin Messing

For the third year in a row, Juneau Lyric Opera will host their popular fundraiser, “Who’s Your Diva?” This event showcases nine of Juneau’s best-known voices, who compete for the chance to be named Juneau’s official Diva. Each competitor will perform two songs, backed by local band Susu and the Prophets and accompanist Rosie Humphery, and then community members will vote for their choice. Votes can also be made in advance online at

This year’s divas are Callie Conerton, Cameron Brockett, Christina Bruce, Erin Messing, Hannah Hoshide, Leslie Wood, Lori Daniels, Mary Graham and Taylor Vidic.

Each week through the month of August, the Empire will present brief Q&As with each of the divas in preparation for the event, scheduled for Sept. 7.

This week’s featured divas are Callie Conerton and Erin Messing.


First memorable public performance:

I was first on stage at the young age of 7 months. My father, Jeff Brown, held me up at the Alaska Folk Festival and I was wearing a wonder woman outfit, cape included!

Three singers who have influenced you throughout your singing career:

I would have to say that hands down my father has influenced me the most in singing. He made songs out of anything and most of the times they were darn right funny. I loved them as a kid.

Three songs you absolutely love to sing:

Since I can remember, the music from “King Island Christmas” has always been close to my heart. I am currently singing with the group that is singing in Scotland. It gives me goosebumps every time without fail and I love singing all of the pieces from it.

I have always had a soft spot for Patsy Cline and my go-to song of hers is the oh-so-fabulous “Walking After Midnight.” Another favorite song to sing is Carol King’s song that was introduced to me by Gilmore Girls, “Where You Lead.” The show has brought so many memories to me and that song really ties it all together.

Three songs in heavy rotation on your iPod/CD player right now:

I have been rocking out to a lot of country recently and love the song, “Get your Shine on!” by Flordia Georgia Line. It makes me smile and it is a great song to just rock out to in the car on Egan. Another is “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, it is really all over the maps and I just love, once again, rocking out to it. The one that is always playing on my phone is “Rainbow Connection” from the Muppets. I have the exciting opportunity to nanny for three amazing children and this is a hit with all of them.

Favorite local role or performance:

Hands down, “King Island Christmas.”

Three local performers you admire:

The Wigglers, who were Jeff Brown and Billy Husdon. Patty Hull as Patsy Cline and Myron Welling in “King Island Christmas”

Favorite place to sing:

I love to sing in the car and honestly, the best spot for me to sing is at my family lake house in Wisconsin.

Famous movie or theater role you would love to get the chance to play:

I would do anything to do a remake of one of the classic musicals that were big when I was growing up, such as “Sound of Music,” “Annie,” etc.

Other interests besides singing:

I love to ski, hike and play with the kids I nanny for. I also work at Shoefly and love it to pieces!


First memorable public performance:

My first memorable public performance was in 2005, when I was asked to sing the “first dance” song at a friend’s wedding. It was an amazing experience and I felt so honored that I was asked to sing for such an important moment in their lives!

Three singers who have influenced you throughout your singing career:

Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Carrie Underwood.

Three songs you absolutely love to sing:

1. “Bette Davis Eyes” (Kim Carnes)

2. “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”(Celine Dion)

3. “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You” (Heart)

Three songs in heavy rotation on your iPod/CD player right now:

“Cup Song” (Anna Kendrick), “Bleeding Love” (Leona Lewis) and “All Night Long” (Demi Lovato).

Favorite local role or performance:

This will be my first one!

Three local performers you admire:

I am fairly new to experiencing the local performers, but the one I admire the most is Shona Strauser, she’s amazing!

Favorite place to sing:

My favorite place to sing, besides the stage, would have to be in the shower. And my car.

Famous movie or theater role you would love to get the chance to play:

Ariel in The Little Mermaid... don’t laugh! I know it’s a cartoon but I truly love the songs that Ariel sings for her role.

Other interests besides singing:

I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends, especially my niece, Nyah. I enjoy hiking, biking and walking on beautiful days and of course, since I am a Diva, I love to shop, shop, shop!

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