Maria Mania

Danette Dooley
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MUN grad in the running for 'the role of a lifetime'

They've gone from 48 to eight and Tamara Fifield is still in the running to play the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage production of "The Sound of Music," premiering at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre this fall.

"It's a pretty hectic time for us now because we spend a lot of time in rehearsal and when we're home there's still a lot of work to be done. But it's a ton of fun because I'm doing what I love," Fifield said during a telephone interview from Toronto on Wednesday.

Tamara Fifield (fourth from left) is still in the running to play the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage production of "The Sound of Music," premiering at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre this fall.

They've gone from 48 to eight and Tamara Fifield is still in the running to play the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage production of "The Sound of Music," premiering at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre this fall.

"It's a pretty hectic time for us now because we spend a lot of time in rehearsal and when we're home there's still a lot of work to be done. But it's a ton of fun because I'm doing what I love," Fifield said during a telephone interview from Toronto on Wednesday.

Fifield was referring to the CBC Television series, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?"

The series has been following the singers/ dancers/actors as they compete to play Maria von Trapp, the starring role in the musical.

Fifield calls it "the role of a lifetime."

"It would be my first time in professional theatre and it's a delightful character to play. Maria has so many facets to her personality that she would be a lot of fun to play."

Originally from Truro, N.S., Fifield is a trained opera singer who graduated from Memorial University in May with a bachelor of music in voice.

"My biggest challenge right now is letting go of my classical mould and giving it the whole theatre thing," she says.

Praise for teacher

Fifield credits her professors at MUN for helping her understand how she can use her voice in many different situations.

"I studied under Caroline Schiller - she's someone who has done the switch between classical music to theatre and back and forth. So she's helped me understand how to fit into both worlds," she says.

When she's not busy as a performing artist, Fifield likes to talk about and cheer for her favourite hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings.

"My pop (Al Fifield) is a huge Red Wings fan and from the time I was little he'd buy me paraphernalia, so that I'd always think of the Red Wings as my team."

In addition to playing the role of Maria, the 21-year-old says another of her dream roles would be the part of Judas in a production of "Jesus Christ Superstar."

"That's an amazingly powerful role and the music that Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote for Judas is incredible," she says.

Fifield said she a great affinity for Newfoundland and, as a child, visited her grandfather here often.

"My pop is from up Twillingate way and we spent a significant amount of time there during the summer.

"I fell in love with it," she said.

"How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" can be seen on CBC-TV at 8:30 p.m. Newfoundland Time, Sundays and Mondays.

Two more due to go

During Monday's episode, two more Marias will be sent home.

Viewers can vote for their favourite Maria by phone, text messaging or online.

"If you really want to see your Maria succeed, you really have to vote," Fifield says.

Whether or not she makes it to the top, Fifield says she'll carry with her many wonderful experiences of being involved in the search for Maria.

"It's an experience that you really couldn't buy," she says.

danette@nl.rogers.com

Organizations: CBC, Wales Theatre, Detroit Red Wings

Geographic location: Toronto, Truro, Newfoundland

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