When mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux was growing up in Alaska, she wasn't much of an opera fan. She'd turn on vacuum cleaner to drown out the sound of the radio when her mother tuned in the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.
Today she makes her home near Venice and performs on opera stages around the world, including the Met. She made her reputation portraying Rossini heroines and has since established herself as a Baroque opera specialist.
Genaux is back in the Twin Cities for the Minnesota Opera's production of Rossini's "The Italian Girl in Algiers." It runs through November 18 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul.
Between rehearsals she stopped by Minnesota Public Radio's Maude Moon Weyerhaeuser studio to sing a couple Neapolitan songs and chat with host John Birge.