Gilbert & Sullivan: Get to Know Isabel Schmitz

Credit Hunter Carrico


UChicago’s very own Isabel Schmitz is performing in Gilbert & Sullivan’s production of HMS Pinafore on campus this weekend. When asked about her experience in the opera, Isabel expressed her love for the community at G&S and for the music opportunities she's had as an undergraduate student on campus. 

What is your favorite song in HMS Pinafore

My favorite song is "When I Was A Lad." It's such an earworm - I couldn't stop listening to it after I was cast and started really listening to the Pinafore score. I love how committed the characters and the music are to the irony, which I think helps to emphasize that it actually isn't funny that someone in such an important position is so underqualified.

What is the community at G&S like? What is different about this production than others you have been in?

I love the G&S community! I've had so much fun singing and working with this cast. Everyone works really hard, and people are always ready to give advice and share other opportunities/experiences they've had. This production has had some of the most challenging work I've done in terms of singing and movement work together, but our directors and stage management team are really attentive and helpful.

Are you involved in any other music groups on campus? 

I do a lot of music on campus! I've been a member of Motet Choir since my first year and am currently the soprano section leader. I teach voice and am currently the Communications Director for the South Side Free Music Program. I've also been a part of the Vocal Studies Program since my first year, and we have regular master classes and recitals on campus. This year, I've also been fortunate to sing in and do vocal directing work on a few University Theater productions.

Which café on campus is your favorite? 

Café Logan has a special place in my heart because I'm always in that building for my own voice practicing or for rehearsal, so that cafe has always been a big part of my time at UChicago.

How long have you been involved in Opera/Musical Theatre and do you plan to continue after college?

I did some musical theatre in high school and have always loved it, and try to see as many live musicals as I can as well. The first opera I ever saw was La Traviata at Washington National Opera when I was a senior in high school, but I only started singing opera in my first year of college after my voice teacher started pointing me in that direction. I definitely plan to continue after college-I absolutely love opera/musical theater!

Photo Credits: Hunter Carrico

Get your tickets to the March 3, 4, & 5 production of HMS Pinafore now!