Cait FrizZell

American by birth and vagabond by trade, Cait is an accomplished and versatile soloist and ensemble singer. A master of nuance, she performs a wide variety of genres with flexible ease. Equally comfortable in early music, opera, musical theatre, and crossover, she is particularly sought-after for her interpretation of contemporary song, in which she masterfully combines her love of collaboration with her intuitive understanding of style to create new sonic tapestries for the modern works that she performs.

She enjoys performing as an ensemble singer and, along with Anúna, can be found on the rosters of such celebrated groups as Seraphic Fire (Miami, FL), the Santa Fe Desert Chorale (Santa Fe, NM), True Concord (Tucson, AZ), the Berwick Chorus of the Oregon Bach Festival (Eugene, OR), and Polyphony (London, UK). When not performing, Cait fills her time with travel, meditation, yoga, and skating wherever she can find a rink.

Cait Frizzell (Image Michael McGlynn)

"As a teenager, I was a competitive figure skater. I practiced multiple hours a week, took frequent lessons, learned routines, skated competitions, and had a never-ending collection of outfits. I learned the importance of detail, of precise practice, of falling again and again, smacking my body against the ice, and possibly still not landing the jump or centring the spin by the end of the session. I looked after my skates, my health, and my mentality. I was a well-oiled machine of routine and discipline, and all of these were excellent skills, wonderful building blocks for becoming a dedicated, precise artist.

But most importantly, I skated because I loved it. Despite the falls, despite the pre-dawn practice sessions, despite the frustration, as soon as my blade cut into the pristine sheet of ice, I remembered why I was there. There is no feeling in the world that compares to flying around a rink, jumper whipping against your thighs, freezing air blasting past cheeks, adrenaline sparking firecrackers in your stomach as you round a corner and jump, turning, spinning, flying, a blur of arms and legs and fabric, every inch of you propelled faster than any human should logically be able to move. It is a pure form of time travel, a way of slowing down the rest of the world as you whip by, heart pounding in your ears.

When I met Michael in 2013, I had not set foot on the ice in over a year. The closest rink to my university was a four-hour drive, and so I had found other ways to recreate a fraction of that feeling. I was pursuing a career in opera at the time, and I was utilising my early lessons of discipline, long hours of practice, falling again and again and rarely getting the vocal gymnastics right, and had a never-ending collection of evening gowns. I was taking frequent lessons, caring for my vocal and physical health, and keeping my academic mind sharp. I was a model student and I loved what I did. I was passionate about what I did.

But I was still missing that feeling. The feeling of deep connection, of personal fulfilment, of contented bliss.

I’m sure you expect me to say that performing with Anúna for the first time that winter gave me my firecrackers, my spark of artistic fulfilment, that unadulterated joy of whipping past the world at the speed of sound that I had been missing for years.

It didn’t -- it gave me something much better.

It gave me stillness. In that first performance (and in every performance since), I accessed that place outside of myself, that dimension of slowed time where I was the only one moving, but in a way that I have never been able to before. I wasn’t flying, wasn’t charged with adrenaline, wasn’t right on the exhilarating edge of crashing. I was in a calm, grounded state.

Anúna’s pervasive energy of “now”, of “here”, of “in the moment” is something that I have never experienced in any other ensemble, and I come back to it again and again. It is almost tangible. It whisks us all away as we breathe together, it dissolves time, and it centres us without the drama of speed or the energy of the ice. Instead, it is the flickering flame of a candle and the slow, deep breath of a yogi.

I still skate whenever I happen upon a rink. Even now, in my late-20s, I still get that same heart-pounding exhilaration that I did when I was a child. But now, I also breathe into each stroke of my blades. I feel my weight on the ice and the strength in my legs. I close my eyes and feel the coolness of the air contrasting against the warmth of my body. I use the high of skating and the stillness of Anúna to pull that time-travel sensation from both extremes, and time doesn’t just slow.

It stops."