A Successful Latina Mezzo-Soprano
Daniela Mack, Argentinian-American Opera singer takes the stage as Juno, for the production of “Semele” at the Perelman Theatre.
Daniela Mack was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to an Argentinian mother and an adoptive African-American father. She was first introduced to classical music at the age of five, and learning to play the piano under one of her grandmother’s friends.
When she turned six, her family moved to Houston, Texas, and she continued with her lessons. Shortly after moving, her parents took her to the opera for the first time to see “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi, and from there, she fell in love with the art.
“I remember going home after the performance and pretending I was an opera singer in the privacy of my own room” Daniela recalls.
Her piano teacher noticed her inclination towards opera and would take the last few minutes of her weekly lessons to also work on her singing. She learned latin standards, ballads, and even musical theatre pieces.
Daniela, like many others, had no idea people could actually major in music. Her piano teacher and greatest mentor advised her on what steps to take to pursue the career.
She auditioned for different schools to be accepted into their programs and was finally admitted to Louisiana State University as a Vocal Performance Major.
Her first performance was during her freshman year as a chorus girl for the show “Carmen” by George Bizet. Her first lead role came when she was only 21, for a show called “Riders to the Sea” by Ralph Vaughn Williams. She played an old woman and describes this experience as “both terrifying and exhilarating.”
Being one of the few bi-cultural performers in the industry, Daniela can’t help but feel blessed to have gone as far as she has. She explained that the industry has felt exclusive at times, but that never discouraged her and she always had the support of her mentor and family.
Daniela believes that being half Latina is an integral part of who she is because she is able to communicate and work with people a lot easier. Daniela proudly wears her “Latina Badge.”
And she did not hesitate to give advice to the Latinos also pursuing careers in the arts.
“If you have a passion that’s a clear image in your mind that you want to do,” said Daniela. “Pursue it at all cost.”
Her success gives credence to this advice. Daniela has performed all throughout the United States and one day wants to do the same in her home country of Argentina.
Daniela is the mother of a four-year-old, a wife, and a full-time singer. She did not have a home base until a few years ago, when she and her family settled in South Bend, Indiana. Singing is her life and when she is not working on a show, she is back home taking care of her family.
She will be performing in “Semele” by George Frideric Handel at the Perelman Theatre from September 19-28.
Daniela plays Juno, Queen of the Gods, who is trying to save her marriage after, Semele, a mortal falls in love with her husband Jupiter. In the story, Juno does everything in her power to save her marriage.
Her real husband, Alek Shrader, also plays Jupiter in the opera. They have been cast together in many other shows and she believes that working with her husband is what’s kept her family together in such a tough industry.
After the show, Daniela and Alek plan to return to Indiana to rest before their next performance in Minnesota, a rendition of “The Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini.