By Jackson Holtz Herald Writer
When the spotlight focuses on Denna Good-Mojab tonight, she plans to let loose one of the most famous aria’s, “Una Voce Poco Fa” from Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.”
“It’s a really sassy aria,” she said. “I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember.”
Denna grew up in a musical household, learning Persian folk songs from her father. She started voice lessons at 8.
When she was 10, she sang in Portland Opera’s production of “The Magic Flute,” at 12 she started taking college class. Now 15, she is studying voice at the University of Washington with plans to graduate with the UW class of 2014.
From there, her modest plans include completion of a doctoral program in music with dreams of becoming a professional opera singer.
For Denna, being in a classical opera production is a transforming experience.
“I forget that there is an audience, I am living in the 18th century, being shocked by what the characters have done,” she said.
Opera “takes you to a different world, and I really love that world,” she said.
Tonight, though, she’s taking part in a concert that mixes musical genres.
The will include spoken word, rock and Tibetan and Indian music, among other genres, said Vicky Lee, an STG education official who founded the More Music program.
Now in its 11th year, More Music @ The Moore is part of STG[‘]s educational outreach programming. The idea is to seek out talented young people, ages 14 to 21, and help them produce a professional show in the historic 1907 theatre.
Each year, an experienced music professional directs the show. This year it’s Stew and Heidi Rodewald, from Stew and the Negro Problem and the Tony Award-winning production “Passing Strange.”
“Heidi and I are basically two people in their early 50s who still feel like they’re 17,” Stew said in a recent interview. His passion and teaching skills were evident during rehearsals earlier this week.
Stew is the “missing piece we were looking for,” said guitarist Martin Creed, 16, a Monroe High School sophomore.
“He’s great,” Martin said. “He knows exactly what to do.”
Stew helped all 22 musicians pull together to perform Michael Jackson’s “Hold Me.” It took a few tries and rearrangements, but what started sounding amateur quickly took on a professional sound, elevating the music to the rafters of the old music hall.
Brier brothers Gabriel and Colin Much are performing in their indie-roots band, The Cellar Door. Colin, 16, plays drums and Gabriel, 19, sings.
“We would love to continue to play music together,” Gabriel said.
Having the chance to play for an audience on a stage typically reserved for well-established bands is exciting.
“It’s a little surreal,” Gabriel said.
Denna said she’s grateful for the opportunity to perform with More Music @ The Moore.
“It really gives me a lot more experience,” she said. “It’s also a really fun experience.”
The big show is at 7:30 tonight at The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle.
General admission tickets are $15 at stgpresents.org or 877-784-4849.
Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; firstname.lastname@example.org.