True grit: The jewel of a soprano's life and work

by Victoria Aschheim

Harvard provides a large range of opportunities for artists including for its extended family of employees. In the case of Sol Kim Bentley, a faculty assistant in the English Department and graduate of New England Conservatory, Harvard gives the nurturing and flexible environment in which she can pursue an opera career in Boston at the same time as working for the university. Her enterprising spirit and perseverance over the years have brought her now to the principal role in Opera Boston's New England premiere of Paul Hindemith's 1926 opera, Cardillac. In three segments of an interview with Victoria Aschheim, Bentley provides insights into her working life at Harvard and her artistic life outside of Harvard as a soprano advancing her career through true grit and experience with the opera repertoire.

In the Hindemith opera, Bentley plays the role of Cardillac's daughter who, as the story tells, cannot compete with her father's golden creations for his love. The Opera Boston production takes place 3 p.m. Sunday, February 27 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

Sol Kim Bentley reveals the intriguing story of Hindemith's Cardillac:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbfYymYOn00[/youtube]A working artist tells of Harvard's nurturing environment and attitude toward departmental staff members:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhuRE2XIuCg[/youtube]

How Sol Kim is building an operatic career while working at Harvard:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqKyC-9d2co[/youtube]

Hear Bentley sing in Puccini's Tosca in a 2009 performance at Longwood Opera.