01 Apr 2006

Stepping Onstage as a Waitress, She May Exit the Met as a Star


(Photo: Leif R. Jansson)
By DANIEL J. WAKIN [NY Times, 1 April 2006]

Until 18 months ago, Erika Sunnegardh, a soprano, had never sung an opera role on stage.

For nearly 20 years she toiled as a waitress, caterer and tour guide in New York. Sure, there was singing: a few recitals and plenty of funerals as a church cantor in the Bronx. Often the choice boiled down to rent or voice lessons.