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We sing 300 times the same role

Where will you be in four years?
In New York, there is then a big production at the Metropolitan Opera . I can't say more yet.

This means that you are booked up until 2023?
pretty much. Especially new product you have to ion plan early, because they take a lot of time for the samples. Individual song can smuggle evenings still later.

this Is not creepy to know so far in advance, what will we do?
But, already. But it has developed in me only gradually. First of all, I was an Ensemble singer here in Zurich. Then a freelance singer, with a residence contract. Since 2006, I have to do now with the big theatres, with the Met, La Scala, Covent Garden. That is to say: First, I had plans for two years, then for three, for four to five. You get used to it.

How do you know what will be in five years, right?
In such a time can actually happen a lot with the voice, in personal development. So you have to set yourself apart, so that you can estimate how it might go. At the Moment I sing, for example, is still "La Traviata"; but I don't think I would even sign it, if I would ask for a new production for 2024. My Repertoire is changing at the Moment very strong, I would like to do more, "Tosca", 2020, the first "Aida".

How many people discuss in their decisions?
I'll discuss with my wife, who was himself a singer, with my Agency, with a number of colleagues, for me authorities. I'm taking very few risks.

you Have typed however, once the mark?
Not in the sense that I had a role over - or underestimated. Once I've noticed during the Study that a game is uninteresting, I don't want to include in the Repertoire. As I got out of the contract. But it was still so early that it had no consequences. The performance was not yet announced.

the contract for the Zurich-based "Manon" have you signed up in January of 2015. You were asked first: This is not a compliment?
Sure. Although it is not a question of abstract hierarchies, there are practical reasons for the order. Grab hold first, the one that is employed most.

For you this is not to say that you often know what you're getting into: The conductor, the Director, the other singers will only be determined later.
You must have confidence. And know where good people are at work. Look, the Opera world is a small world. I am for 27 years on stage since the age of 13, I'm in the Tophäusern, because I know almost all of them. And of course, talk to each other. If me Andreas Homoki requests for a new production, when we have spoken to a couple of hours – then he knows about what my taste is, what can I accept, where there could be problems.

so you expect your ideas?
After so many years in the business I expect a certain respect, Yes. My time is precious, I don't want to spend six, seven weeks with a performance that makes me no Fun. There are lines I won't cross. But they are far: so Far it has happened only Once that I almost dropped out of a production, because I had trouble with the staging. We have deepened into the conversation, the Director and me.

As it is now with the Zurich-based "Manon"? The commitment was the right one?
Yes, the samples are going very well. And it is perfect to sing in this Moment of the year, a more lyrical role. That's the point: That you plan the season so that the voice will be enough in the end, still fresh for the festival.

count this summer in Salzburg and Bayreuth to the Stars. It was not always so, you have to get the label's Star tenor is relatively late.
This is supposed to be no destination! I don't sing to be a Star. I want to be judged according to each idea, of the people sitting in the Theater. If it is planted, regardless of whether someone, the artist is singing or burps on the stage: Then, not in order, and also completely uninteresting.

But Opera operating lives of Stars?
of Course. But don't I need the Star label, but the audience. People want to be there when Stars arise, and the want to tell your grandchildren that you've heard this singer or that singer. But for me, it is essential that the quality is right. Opera singers are not Celebrities.

what is it?
The opposite of Celebrities. We need to be very much, in the long term. It is not enough to give two good concerts or to create a great production, if there's nothing after. You don't have to go as far as Placido Domingo, has learned with 76 still a new role. But one must reckon with 35 years of career. If I sing because after 10 years, the Otello, what will I do later?

so You have to resist temptation?
Yes. There is this Hunger for something New, but our profession is based on the fact that we are 300-even sing the same role. You have to make sure that it is not boring. For me, it is exciting to see how a figure changes with time. Some developments I block quite aware of it; in the case of important role debuts such as the Lohengrin 2016 – everything must be right: the date, the place, the constellation. Of course you can tackle in each of season's five games. But at some point, one is presented with the bill.

you Are often offered the wrong roles?
Not as often as before. I'm with many Directors and conductors in the contact; the knowledge of the direction in which it goes with me. With Andreas Homoki, I have spoken in 2012, for the first time on the "Manon". But young singers have actually often a Problem. You will be overwhelmed after the first Successes with all sorts of Offers. Then you are not allowed to say no a lot – but sometimes you need to. If a 26 is just the Tamino in Mozart's "the magic flute" sings and an offer for Wagner's "Tristan" is, then he must reject the.

What is also due to financial reasons, is difficult.
It also gave me times where I have turned over every franc twice. Since you are wondering: do I Buy a car now, or I'm investing in the future, and take private singing lessons? But I was always convinced that If I'm really, really good, will find a suitable commitment.

What if the Agency is of the essence?
there are actually that some agencies say you're doing or you're flying. This is ridiculous. But it is not so easy to find a good Agency. I was first at a smaller, accompanied me. After a performance of the offers came in, the man has sorted out then. But there was nothing they could suggest, they had no Power. Now I'm at a large Agency, with very good singers – Anna Netrebko, Thomas Hampson. Since there are a lot more prospects.

do you sing often with Anna Netrebko.
We are good friends, in New York, we are even neighbors. We don't talk very much.

she made a whole other career as you, it was incredibly hyped at the beginning. And then had to fight, that she was taken artistically seriously.
Yes, such are the classifications of dangerous. It always looks all nice, red carpet, champagne. But the reality is: sample at ten o'clock, six hours of the day. There, the Crucial thing happens, even for a Anna Netrebko. You are incredibly on the stage. And she has controlled her musical development smart: your career takes now twice as long as those of Callas.

What is the most Important thing for a good, long career?
patience is very important. But all the patience is worth nothing that the potential is there. You can compare it with a car: If you have a four-cylinder engine, then everything is good Tuning, nothing. It needs a V8 under the hood that runs at the beginning may not be perfect, you have to take care of him, new valves installed, but with brains. Just a big exhaust mount and the car low, that's bullshit.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 31.03.2019, 17:56 PM

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