This Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 4 PM, Young Artists of America and Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras will present West Side Story + Roméo et Juliette at The Music Center at Strathmore. In our final interview, meet Adalia Jimenez.
Introduce yourself and tell our readers about where they may have seen you perform in the DC area.
My name is Adalia Jimenez, I’m 16 years old and currently a junior at James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring MD. Currently I am in my high school ACAPELLA group; and also served as a previous member of the Maryland All-State Chorus and Montgomery County Youth Chorus.
I have been awarded the All County Theater Award and DCMetroTheaterArts “Best High School Musical Performances for playing the role of “Polly Baker” in Crazy for You. In the DC area, you may have seen me perform the”National Anthem” or “God Bless America” for the Washington Nationals; Wizards; or the Mystics. Alongside those mentioned events, I’ve also sung for organizations such as: The Mia Hamm Celebrity Soccer Tournament; Children’s Cancer Foundation; National Anthem Foundation; The Capitol Hill Men in Blue; and most recently for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) during their 28th Awards Ceremony event. I have also performed for a few regional theaters such as: Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, The Music Center at Strathmore, and The Kennedy Center.
What type of vocal training have you received to prepare you for this performance?
Having no current vocal coach, I’ve seen solely been relying on Rolando and his amazing team to prepare me for Anita, and anything that may be thrown at me at during the performance.
Why did you want to be part of this performance?
West Side Story is one of my favorite musicals, hearing that a bunch of young adults were coming together to put on such a production, I knew I had to be a part of it. Also, sharing a love for opera, combining Roméo et Juliette with West Side Story seemed like a ingenius idea and I wanted to be a part of YAA’s creative vision.
Which role are you singing and tell us about your character and how you relate to her?
I play Anita in the show. She’s a feisty, strong woman who is very stubborn, but willing to listen. It exciting to play her because she’s different than I am. She’s full of life and spice which is really fun to play.
Tell me about the songs you are singing and what we learn about your character when you are singing your songs.
Like I said earlier, she is very strong…very opinionated, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. You watch Anita change throughout her songs, and the transformation is beautiful. She goes from a woman of passion and lust…into a cold, hateful and heartbroken woman…and then finally into an understanding and caring motherly figure to Maria.
Take us into your audition. What did you perform and how long after your audition did you find out that you had the role?
The audition was exciting for me — since it was my first time audition for a YAA musical, and I had no idea what to expect. I sang “Somewhere” and sang a couple of measures from other songs. I was really excited and nervous about the whole thing and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with the Rolando and the YAA Team during that audition. A few days after, I heard back from them with the good news that I had made the cast list.
How would you describe Leonard Bernstein’s score and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics for West Side Story?
I would have to say that Bernstein’s score was one of the best scores ever composed in Musical Theatre history. You could take away all the lyrics and still be able to understand what was going on, solely by the music. Sondheim doesn’t waste a word in any of the songs. Each word is placed perfectly for the viewing to coherently understand the feelings that the person singing is portraying.
What is your favorite song that you are not singing?
My favorite song that I’m not singing would have to be “One Hand, One Heart.” It’s absolutely breathtaking. Alex and Hailey do a phenomenal job, and I thoroughly enjoy watching and hearing them perform that song during every single rehearsal.
What is your favorite lyric or lyrics from any song from the show, and why?
I don’t necessarily have a favorite phrase or lyric because each song brings something different. Very powerful, each word is essential to get the message across.
How long has the rehearsal process lasted? Take us into your rehearsals. How many will you have had before Sunday’s performance?
We’ve had about 25 rehearsals, and in every rehearsal we focus on something different. A typical rehearsal includes singing, dancing, and staging, or a combination of some.
What have you learned about yourself the singer during these rehearsals?
I’ve learned to push myself and to better convey emotions whenever I sing a song. I learned how to embody the character a little bit more each time.
What have you learned during your time at YAA that has made you a better singer and actor?
The list is endless! YAA has done so much for me in such a small amount of time, it’s incredible.
What does West Side Story have to say to your generation? What themes and lessons are still relevant today?
West Side Story is the ultimate love story. It has a timeless storyline that can be modified to fit each and every generation. The show ends so powerfully, you never know if the Jets and the Sharks stay enemies or join together and that speaks volumes about situations that we are currently experience in our current time.
This Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm
The Music Center at Strathmore
Marriott Concert Stage
5301 Tuckerman Lane, in North Bethesda, MD 20852
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
Meet the Soloists of West Side Story + Roméo et Juliette Part 1: Alex Stone.
Meet the Soloists of ‘West Side Story + Roméo et Juliette’ Part 2: Hailey Giddings.
This Sunday, March 8th at 4 PM at Strathmore: Young Artists of America And MCYO Philharmonic & Symphony Orchestras Present West Side Story and Romeo et Juliette on DCMTA.
DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2014: High School and Training Programs:
Capital Sound: Adalia Jimenez Knocks the National Anthem Out of the Ballpark by Mike Spain.
Read all our YAA coverage on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras website.
Young Artists of America website.