For Lyric Soprano Lisa Newill-Smith it is hard to practice German in a city where English is the lingua franca.

This blog continues its series of profiles of young international singers who came to Germany to sing and live. Their answers to a small set of questions show what it takes to move to a foreign place, mainly to Berlin, and pursue the career of their dreams.


Your name:
Lisa Newill-Smith

From where?
Virginia, USA

Your Fach?
Lyric Soprano

Since when in Berlin?
October 2014

Your favorite role:

What do you think of Regietheater?
Very interesting.

Best opera production you saw in Germany:
Barber of Seville at Deutsche Oper

Craziest opera production you saw in Germany:
Salome at Deutsche Oper

Your hero in opera:
Donna Elvira

Your hero in real life:
JK Rowling

Two things you like about Berlin:
I love how many different kinds of people you meet and how many inexpensive classical music performances you can find.

Two things you don’t like about Berlin:
It’s so hard to find an apartment and it can be hard to practice German since everyone wants to speak English.

Your most recent performance:
Gretel in Antwerp.

Your next project:
The opera company I have cofounded is in the process of planning our next performances and operas.

Your favorite quality in a singer:
Big dramatic voices

Your favorite German word:

You can find more information about Lisa Newill-Smith at

Watch Lisa Newill-Smith singing “Wo bin ich”, Gretel’s aria from Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. The opera was produced by Alltagsoper Berlin, earlier this year.

* Engelbert Humperdinck, the composer of Hänsel und Gretel, lived between 1908 and 1912 in Berlin-Grunewald. He died, 67 years old, in Neustrelitz near Berlin. His grave is on the Südwestkirchhof in Stahnsdorf, next to Filmpark Babelsberg near Potsdam.