Aha Moment: Ditching Punk for Opera

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Eve Orenstein (right) performing in Cinderella

Eve Orenstein grew up listening to punk and hardcore. By the age of 11, she was shaving her head and sneaking into shows at New York’s legendary club CBGB with her friends, where a busted lip from a mosh pit was a badge of pride.

Around the same time, Eve became fascinated by 18th century costume. The corsets and cascading fabric reminded her of the theatricality of Goth outfits. When she was in junior high, her mother brought her to see a production of The Marriage of Figaro at Rutgers University. As Eve suspected, she loved the costumes. But she was surprised how much the opera’s music drew her in, especially the raw emotion of the singing. “It was definitely like the same sort of visceral experience that you get when you have this angry punk rock wall of sound coming at you,” Eve remembers thinking. “I have to be closer to this art.”

She enrolled in a summer opera program and by college, she was committed to singing professionally. She has performed in various companies and runs Opera on Tap Colorado, where opera singers perform arias in bars. Recently, a friend suggested that she collaborate with her husband Sean Patrick Faling, who builds synthesizers. Their collaboration blends her singing with cutting edge electronic soundscapes — and finally put her two musical worlds together.

Music Playlist

  1. New Direction

    Artist: Gorilla Biscuits
    Album: Start Today
    Label: Revelation Records
  2. "L'ho Perduta" from The Marriage of Figaro

    Artist: Mari Eriksmoen
  3. The Blood & the Sweat

    Artist: Sick Of It All
    Album: Blood, Sweat and No Tears
    Label: Relativity Records
  4. Chevelure

    Artist: Eve Orenstein and Sean Patrick Faling