Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Opera Journey Photo Album

Me and my dad
die Fledermaus

I love singing opera and have performed in over 18 professional productions in my lifetime. Below are a few photos from my opera journey! 

Martha Booth my friend and vocal instructor, Director and Principle Voice Instructor Colorado College
Overtures and Arias solo performances

My father played the tuba in the Air Force and sang in a jazz band while stationed in Japan.   He had the special opportunity to make a 75 speed recording of the song "the Sunny Side of the Street", during his tour of duty.  Although, the recording is a little crackly, my dads beautiful tenor voice is very clear, as it is to this day.  My mom also sang and played the guitar when we were very little children. A typical holiday in the Stone home is repleat with food, song and lot's of laughter. 

As a result of growing up in a home filled with music, my three older brothers and I have become professional musicians.

I began singing folk songs and church hymns as a child and as I grew older the passion for singing was born in my soul. I knew then that I would sing professionally. 

My first lead singing role was Judas in "Jesus Christ Super Star".  I was in 7th grade.   Thanks to Daniel Drigget, my music teacher at Monroe Junior High School in Elmwood Ill., a girl was cast in a lead "boy" role!  Scandalous!

A Midsummer Voice Recital Fine Arts Center Colorado Springs, with my fans...lol!
I sang leading roles throughout Junior High and High School and went on to study voice with the Dean of Music, Martha Hopkins Booth at the Colorado College.  My first opera performance was in the chorus of the Merry Widow.  It was like I'd died and gone to heaven...we had three costume changes, wore tons of makeup and flash eyelashes, had cool hair and best of all, we had an audience!

the Ballad of Baby Doe-Salon Girl second from

Baby Doe Wigs and Makeup
I was also the Hair and Wig designer

The Colorado Springs Opera Company soon found out that I owned and operated a hair salon. They hired me to be the Principle Wig and Hair Designer.  I had my work cut out for me with researching the hair styles worn during the "period",  making hair pieces, hand stitching facial hair etc. Needless to say, I hired several staff members to assist me so I could concentrate on the "serious" hair and have enough time to catch my breath before running on stage for my entrance.  Now I just sing and leave the hair to the other professionals!

Faust-Walpurgis Night Scene me as Cleopatra

Madame Butterfly- Vocal Ensemble Geisha Girl on the right

Some Music Theater Productions

Anything Goes "Bonnie" Fine Art Repertoire Theater
Wish I had that figure again!

Bonnie far left

Mooney and Bonnie (me) Anything Goes

My Fair Lady understudy Eliza Doolittle
Unfortunately, the lead didn't break her leg!

Sharks or Jets??? hint...I feel pretty...that's me in the black dress center stage

La Traviata

Martile Bucklou Rolland Soprano and me La Traviata

It's a wonderful feeling to get paid for a job you love.

Dress designer Gypsy Ames

the Tales of Hoffmann


Mikado Denver Opera Colorado-Oratorio Ensemble
bottom left

Mikado Denver Opera Colorado-Oratorio Ensemble

Operas not pictured; The Merry Widow, la Boheme, Tosca, Turandot, Lucia di Lammermoor,  der Rosenkavalier, il Trovatore,  the Tales of Hoffmann, Faust,

Opera Colorado, Denver
The Denver Symphony Chorus and Oritorio Ensemble
Colorado Springs Opera Festival
Fine Art Repertoire Theater

Music, Food and Family..it's what makes my heart sing!
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fig Tart with Philly Frangipane and Strawberry Ginger Cream

This is desserts week, "Dress to Impress" and my final dessert entry for the Real Women of Philadelphia-Paula Deen Cookbook challenge.

On the outside, figs are homely little buggers but when you slice them open their insides are dressed up and ready for any party. I adore figs for their ability to dress up your plate all on there own, not to mention, adding their delicious natural sweetness to any dish!

 Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 12 ounce(s) of Whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 3/4 cup(s) of silvered almonds roasted
  • 1/8 cup(s) of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) of powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crust
  • 12 fresh figs quartered
  • 2 tsp. of fresh grated ginger
  • 3/4 cup(s) of fresh strawberries

preheat oven 350 degrees spread almonds onto a cookie sheet and roast for 5 minutes, stir with wooden spoon and roast additional 5 minutes or until lightly toasted put cooled almonds into a food processor or blender add sugars and blend until fine add 1 egg and 2 tablespoons butter to almond mixture and blend unitl smooth add 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese and continue blending until all ingredients are incorporated raise heat in oven to 400 degrees roll out refrigerated pie dough and place in a tart shell add 1/2 cup Philly Frangipani to tart shell and spread evenly.
    quarter figs and arrange in tart shell with pointed sides up bake tart for 45 minutes

    Strawberry Ginger Cream
    on the stove top heat 1/2 cup sliced strawberries 2 tablespoons ginger with 1/4 cup powdered sugar
    cook over medium heat for 5 minutes smash strawberries with back of wooden spoon strain mixture through cheese cloth to remove seeds, add 1/2 cup Whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese to strawberry mixture and blend to combine
    remove tart from oven and serve immediately with Strawberry Ginger Cream

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      Sunday, August 7, 2011

      Fried Squash Blossoms and Catfish

      I just recently traveled to Albuquerque NM for a quick visit with family and to do some fishing.  The Sandia Pueblo boasts terrific fishing year round so I decided to visit the picturesque lakes to see for myself.  The reservation allows visitors to fish in three of their stocked lakes for twenty dollars a day with the limit of 5 fish per person.  During the summer months the lakes are stocked with catfish and the winter months, bass, trout and blue gill. 

      I'm not a fan of catfish because they generally taste like mud so I tend to steer clear of bottom feeders when cooking and eating fish.   I was sceptical about the delicious "fish tales" being spun by my cousin and uncle but decided to give it a try nonetheless. I caught 3 nice size catfish that were around 2-3 pounds each.

      The story is...these are not just your run of the mill variety catfish; they are raised by the Sandia Indians, feed on corn at the fish farm then stocked on the reservation to live their lives in the fresh water lakes, or until they meet up with the hook at the end of a fishing line.   Renowned for their white, firm flesh with a clean taste unlike the mud cat or channel cat varieties. 

      We headed home after only two hours of fishing with everyone's limit in the bag.  My uncle meticulously filleted the days catch resulting in about 8 pounds of fillets.  The flesh looked pink and firm and smelled very clean so I was hopeful the flavor would follow suit.

      To go along with my catfish meal, I also cooked a few fried squash blossoms from my mother's garden.


      Cornmeal Catfish Fry
      1/2 cup corn meal
      3/4 cup flour
      1/4 cup milk
      4 cups corn or vegetable oil for frying
      salt and pepper to taste

      season fish fillets with salt and pepper, mix corn meal and flour, dip fillets in milk then dredge in cornmeal mixture, heat oil on stove to 375 degrees, fry fish for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towel. 

      add 1 egg to remaining milk and additional 1/4 cup milk if needed, repeat process with squash Blossoms, dipping first in milk then in cornmeal mix.  Fry for 1 minute turning several times, drain on paper towel, salt and pepper to taste

      I was truly impressed with the taste and texture of the Sandia catfish being by far the best I've ever experienced, but I could still taste a hint of mud!  I suppose I'll never really like catfish but I did give it an honest try.  Luckily, everyone else thought it was absolutely the best catfish they had ever tasted.  I just smiled and smeared a bunch of tarter sauce on mine and filled up on squash blossoms. 

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      Retro Fit-Gelatin Mold - Pineapple, Hot Pepper and Carrot Creme

      Side Dish Week 2 - Anything Goes with Philadelphia Cooking Creme

      There was a time not so long ago, that moms table was not set until her "Gelatin Mold" was presented for all to see. A light side dish packed with incredible flavors; sweet yet savory and gorgeous to behold! Inspired by this hero of a side dish, I created the “Retro Fit” Gelatin Mold, to add a little nostalgia to today’s kitchens. Combining creamy Original flavor Cooking Creme with fresh fruit and veggies, your finicky kiddos will gobble down the healthy bites packed inside this delectable concoction. Get inspired by a flash from the past and make your own new, delicious gelatin mold creations with Kraft Cooking Creme.

      • Prep time: 15 minutes  
      • Cook time: 30 minutes  
      • Total time: 45 minutes
      • Servings: 6

      • 10 ounce(s) of Philadelphia Original Flavor Cooking Creme
      • 3 ounce(s) of lemon flavor gelatin
      • 8 ounce(s) of crushed pineapple in syrup
      • 3/4 cup(s) of shredded carrot
      • 1 whole hot pepper seeded and finely chopped
      • 1/2 cup(s) of real mayonnaise
      • 2 tbsp. of lemon juice
      • 1 tbsp. of sugar
      • 1 cup(s) of prepared whip cream

      1. Boil 1 cup water
      2. pour lemon gelatin into a medium mixing bowl
      3. pour boiling water over gelatin and stir until dissolved, blend in 5 ounces cooking creme with electric mixer until smooth
      4. add 1/2 cup cold water, pineapple and stir to combine
      5. cover mix with plastic wrap refrigerated for 10 minutes to thicken
      6. remove from refrigerator and add diced hot pepper and shredded carrots, mix to combine
      7. pour mixture into individual molds and chill for 30-35 minutes until set
      8. Sweet Cream Topping
      9. in a small mixing bowl blend 1/2 cup mayo, 5 ounces cooking creme with electric mixer until smooth
      10. add lemon juice and sugar blend to combine
      11. fold in 1 cup prepared whipping cream, chill until ready to use
      12. Serving: dip bottom of mold into hot water for a few seconds to loosen mold, invert mold onto a decorative plate lined with salad greens, add a dollop of Sweet Cream and serve
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