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  • Terri VanValkinburgh, viola

From Brazil to China: New Members!

When last we saw these two, they were full of the holiday spirit. Now let's revisit the burning issues of our time with our last two new members, Samuel Hamzem, horn, and Di Shi, viola.

1. Where were you before you came to the Lyric and what were you doing?

Sam: I have being working as a second horn at the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra for 19 years, and now I took a license from there just to be here in US with my wife and enjoy the amazing Lyric Opera of Chicago. Di: I was in California and Missouri . I used to work as Viola section player in San Diego Symphony and St Louis symphony , also assistant principal in Pacific Symphony at Irvine California.

2. Any pets? Kids? Sam: -We had a little dog in Brazil, but here not yet. May be... We are married for 19 years but no kids! Di: I don't have any pets , no kid yet :) 3. What do you think of Chicago-style pizza? Sam: I had never seen anything like that before I came here for the first time. It's unique, beautiful and big! Di: Omg , Chicago style pizza is unbelievable delicious. I love it . 4. How do you feel about the Chicago tradition banning ketsup from hot dogs? Sam: Really? I confess I didn't know it!! Di: I don't really known about traditional Chicago hotdogs , but I love to add ketchup on it , haha. 5. Have you discovered something fun/interesting about Chicago since you've been here? Sam: It's funny when the subway's driver say something over the microfone, we just can not understand, but nobody cares except us, the ones new in town! The architecture is truly amazing! I like to see the canals between the beautiful skyscrapers. Di: There is tons of great restaurants in Chicago , so many great food , interesting coffee shop ... I'm still discovering and trying new stuff. 6. Is there a book or movie/tv series you think would make a good opera? Sam: One of these two tv series: Downton Abbey (British drama) or The Grand Hotel(Spanish drama). Both with families and their histories in rich scenarios. A book could be: When Nietzsche Wept, a novel by Irvin D. Yalom. It's a review of the history of philosophy and the psychoanalysis with some important personalities of the 19th. Di: Certainly my favorite book and movie The Godfather could make a good opera . Hahaha

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