Interview with A Magical Cirque Christmas vocalist Therese Curatolo
There’s nothing magical about traveling during the holidays, especially when the caravan includes two tour buses for cast and crew and two semi-trucks full of lights, rigs and various other pieces of stage equipment. The cast of A Magical Cirque Christmas endures the hectic schedule to share the delightful family show with audiences across the country.
“With this show, it’s very gratifying,” says vocalist Therese Curatolo. “It makes it all worthwhile.”
Presented by the producers of Broadway’s smash hit “The Illusionists,” A Magical Cirque Christmas brings together the world’s greatest entertainers for a dazzling new holiday production. A Magical Cirque Christmas is staged Dec. 6 at Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts (www.artistseriesjax.com).
The production features performers and breathtaking cirque artists from all corners of the world, accompanied by classic holiday favorites performed live. “It’s truly all encompassing, a very family friendly circus extraordinaire if you will,” says Curatolo who joined the production in 2018 for its inaugural year and is thrilled to return for a second year.
“We have trapeze acts, aerial acts, a lot of magic and everything from regular juggling to trick juggling. There is music involved and everything is performed live. There’s no smoke, no mirrors. Everything is done right in front of the audience night after night. It’s pretty magical.”
Prior to joining the show, Curatolo performed at the Metropolitan Opera and alongside living legends Stevie Wonder and Martha Reeves. Her previous experience gave her the foundation to tap into her previous experience to entertain audiences from a new perspective.
“This came to me last year and a friend of mine gave me a call and said ‘have you any interest in running away with the circus?’ and I said ‘yes, sign me up’. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but it was so much fun in fact that I came back a second year,” she recalls. “I came into this very well-prepped. The genres of music are all over the place. We do everything from classical to jazz to kind of a diva style. It’s very theatrical in generation so I think the operatic and musical theatre background really set the stage for this opportunity.”
As a member of the touring company, Curatolo insists that no secrets are divulged by any of the performers, despite her best attempts to the contrary “I mean, as much as we try, the artists will never reveal their tricks,” she says. “I’m still trying to figure out last year’s [tricks].”
While she’s grateful for the opportunity to perform with such talented artists, she’s more than happy to remain firmly planted on the stage. It requires laser focus just to continue singing while the aerialists spin precariously from above.
“Last year it was very hard for me to sing while the acts were performing as well because I had never seen anything like it and I was so nervous for them,” she laughs. “I was distracted. I worry for them because they’re your friends. What I’ve learned is like me, getting up and standing on a [platform stage in five-inch heels is my area of expertise. Balancing on rolling balls and pipes and dangling from a rope 30 feet above the audience, that’s their area of expertise. That calms me down quite a bit. We empathize with each other.”
The tour continues through the holidays and wraps up just ahead of the New Year. While they will be missing time with their own loved ones, Curatolo says the cast has become one big family. “This has been an incredible year for me,” she says. “Next year will be another wonderful year of travel and music and performance. I’m thrilled to the brim with gratitude.”