A Helluva High Note hardcover. You know her as a former judge on American Idol, but Kara DioGuardi is also one of the music business' most successful. Online's Marc. Kara DioGuardi—the songwriter, record company executive, and former American Idol judge—has written a memoir, released this week, called. Kara DioGuardi is an award-winning hitmaker, a savvy record executive, and a successful music publisher whose songs have been recorded by such superstars.
Singer-songwriter Kara DioGuardi talks overcoming sexual abuse, eating disorders, stage fright, and American Idol in her new memoir. Over the years, award-winning hitmaker, savvy record executive, successful music publisher and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. Kara DioGuardi is an award-winning hitmaker, a savvy record her hit songs, A Helluva High Note is the soundtrack to Kara's life—an intimate. For video troubleshooting and help. He could put me on the biggest show in America, which in my mind was like winning the lottery, or he could throw me back into my life as a songwriter, which at the time was starting to feel like sex in the missionary position.
I was weary from the long flight but had arrived prepared. I studied the entire prior season and had come to understand why America loved to hate Simon so much while secretly wanting to be just like him. He was one of those bad boys you dated in college who had a wicked sense of humor and looked great on paper.
You know, one of those guys you thought would eventually change his naughty ways. Man boobs or not, this guy was a serious star. The moment I entered his London office in the BMG building is when the correct pronunciation of my name went out the window. Thank God; can you imagine what he would have done with that? Darling, sit down. This guy was good—and he smoked, which gave me my first line. Can I bum a cigarette? I asked. Of course you can, he replied. Hmm, he made me want to smoke. Not a good sign. What was even worse was that the cigarettes were menthol and I immediately got a head rush.
The conversation started with us wondering how we had never met and him telling me how much he loved the song Spinning Around, which I had cowritten with Paula Abdul. Wow, could our song have had something to do with her getting the gig? I thought, still dizzy from the minty tobacco. I was there to dazzle him, impress him with my newly acquired knowledge of the show after all my studying, beg him for the role that, by now, I was convinced was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I tried to make myself look like a star that day, spending a good twenty minutes on my face instead of applying the usual two strokes of mascara at the first red light while driving and one stroke of lipstick at the next. I swear I saw his eye brush over it quickly. What was I, a puppy? Wait, what? No interview. I got the gig.
I wanted to scream and shout, and text just about everyone I knew, right then and there. Of course, I played it cool instead. Simon told me that if I needed any advice or help to call him and then he gave me his number. And just like that, at approximately London time on June 25, , I became "Kahra, the polarizing fourth judge on American Idol. Or did I? I was floating on air when, several weeks later, I got a confusing call from my agent, who said that I needed to take a screen test, as a formality. To my surprise, this no-big-deal screen test consisted of me watching prior contestants on a small TV monitor and commenting on their performances once the producers paused the tape for me to speak.
I can only imagine what I looked like straining to hear and see them on the tiny screen. When this makeshift video was sent to the network, they got nervous. They decided to reroute some of the contestants from San Francisco to Los Angeles for the preliminary auditions the ones prior to the auditions America sees on television. This gave me a chance to judge contestants in person alongside two of the producers.
He had a great voice, but was doing this very dramatic thing with his eyes. Of course, I passed this screen test with flying colors. I was funny something I never really was again on Idol , comfortable, and totally myself. I was in like Flynn. When I left the auditions that day, I could visualize myself being on the panel. I began to feel seduced by the promise of celebrity. I was older and I had knowledge that would keep me away from the obvious pitfalls of fame—there would be no tapes of drunken nights out, no photos snatched of me without underwear, no evidence of me cheating.
These things would never happen. I was a soon-to-be-happily-married, thirtysomething, successful music professional who had passed her screen test and who really wanted to help young talent get their big break. There is never this sort of question because when one stands in front of the orchestra for the first three minutes the musicians see the tenor but then no longer, because to move forward without a professional musician [standing on the podium] would not be possible.
The preconception comes from the press, which does not understand and uses tenor as a bad word. To say someone is a tenor is like saying that she is a woman rather than a feminist, like referring to a stupid individual with no rights. Because of it, the highest points in the entire night were the sonnets, twenty minutes of music of very strong intensity and that says a lot. When you write something people have not felt, makes no sense to them, they start fidgeting and begin coughing. Therefore, it was very emotional, and one must not forget this was a premier, that while the audience was listening, and it is complicated [music], they were already analyzing it and enjoying it.
There was a lot of work in composing , hard work with theatrical awareness. Every harmony and every melodic turn tried to continue the poetry of Neruda. In our city, there is a lot of music and many musicians who feel dissatisfied with what they can and cannot do. I have spent more than thirty years doing this and only in the last ten or fifteen years have I begun to see the fruit.
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Recently, in the last five years of my life, I have been transformed by an event that is very easy to obtain—the event of maturing. Sometimes, someone will ask me how it feels to be famous and I say nothing at all, because it is so easy to become famous. Nowadays, with the mass media, being a celebrity is almost free. The difference is to achieve the sort of fame that is transformed into greatness.
Emigration is always difficult. Even though now it is easier for us than for our grandparents, that does not stop it from being traumatic. When you move to a country where nobody greets you, nobody knows you, and when you present your work visa they look at you badly simply because you are Argentine or because you are a foreigner, and there is nothing you do to avoid it, and that it what happened to my wife and me. There were many people who told me not to leave but if I had a contract I would not have gone. For example, in Buenos Aires some singers asked me how they were singing and I said good.
Despite the respiratory problem that appeared in the last note of the aria, when the audience asked one more from him, Cura , with humility, agreed to one last one. You have a work dedicated to the Malvinas. What has happened to it has not be produce? I knocked on two or three doors and they were not opened, nobody seemed interested in it. Perhaps it was not the moment.
When I wrote it in , I was 22 years old and we were entering a democracy. Classic FM. Sarah Kirkup May What are you drinking? A Spanish red wine from my beautiful cellar! You're the patron of New Devon Opera The point of the project is to create an operatic activity in Devon. We have auditions this April and, depending on the quality of the singers we get, we'll see how far we can go.
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Why do you want to help? I believe in the continuation of the human species! Also, I am known for being a rebel, and it would be ridiculous to have fought all your life to transmit your opinions and then to die without leaving your legacy. You're in Stiffelio at Covent Garden from 20th April With Stiffelio, I am allowed to be a dark character, and I like that.
The one-dimensional thinking of most tenor roles is exhausting - it's so limiting having to behave like the beautiful lover all the time! Acting's important to you You have to be believable. The best compliment I had was at the end of Otello, when an epileptic came up to me and said: "I saw myself in you". I had studied for a long time the reactions of epileptics; the ability to observe has to be the main quality of any actor, I think. You conduct as well Singers respond well to me as a conductor because if there's anyone who knows what the hell they're going through, it's me.
I conduct and sing at the same time, but only encores; a whole concert would be a killer! What's your next ambition? I'd love to sing under the baton of Simon Rattle. I like his fresh approach to music. He has just arrived in the country to dazzle us with his talent. This Argentine tenor, who has already triumphed in Europe, will sing today in Rosario. He returned to Argentina, like one of our more prodigal sons, for a concert production of the opera Samson et Dalila by Teatro Colon, but most of all to his audience, to their affection, and to his family.
But my feelings, my memories and my most intimate experiences, these will always continue to remain in my country. I am happy to return and meet again with the people with whom I grew up in an artistic sense. And then, as it could not otherwise be, speaking of reunions inevitably means speaking of memories and the conversation, with Cura showing a less familiar side, could not help but begin with his beloved hometown, Rosario.
We were the first class. There were barely two rooms and a patio. My class was also the first class to graduate. Today it is a great school, one of the biggest in Rosario. The last time I was in Argentina, in , I visited the school, I met with the students and I encountered a couple of my former companions. So there is where I begin my memories of Rosario, in the little school of St Patrick. In reality so many years have passed…and it is only now when I return that I perceive this passing of time.
Almost immediately, and understanding the strong connection that joins them, music arrived and, of course, with it the beginning of the history whose future chapters would cause him to do nothing less than conquer the world. My father played piano well enough. I have a very clear image of when, as a boy, I watched him, seated at the piano, playing Chopin and Liszt.
Then he tried to imprint on me his own story as a boy, sending me to study piano with a teacher in the neighborhood. But the initiative did not work. But when did he discover his extraordinary vocation in music and what was that cause that permanently awoke his sensibilities? Oddly and without warning, that event was the result of an examination to enter secondary school. He played his guitar, the Beatles were fashionable, and he created a lot of interest. I learned to play immediately and the experience awoke the calling that had been sleeping within me.
Soon, his father contacted Ernesto Bitteti an old family friend , and Bitteti recommended a professor with whom to study seriously. That began the history with the guitar. I learned to play well enough, although always somewhat hampered by my very large hands…the things were causing me quite a lot of work but I managed to have good results. The guitar, though, very quickly made me feel small, not in a technical sense but in the fact of it being a very introverted instrument.
For that reason, I entered the Conservatory in Rosario to study conducting and composition. He said to me: To become a better conductor and composer, you will have to study singing. He is an exceptional professional who believes art is a profound path in life. We interpret that work live, without networks and without lies. That artisan concept is probably the most important aspect of music and, in my opinion, why it continues to work, although as a spectacle it may be a little anachronistic.
It is an art of skin and bone, fact with flood, sweat and tears, and for that reason it is an expression that stays alive. It is my hope that all people, at least once in their lives, are touched by this sensation, so powerful and so extraordinary. However, since I am a very atypical case, I cannot offer a very reliable opinion.
Perhaps a singer who dedicates himself only to opera has a more orderly life, more aseptic in the sense that he can take better care of himself. Personally, since I devote myself to many things such as conducting orchestras, composing, and running my company, my life is quite complicated. Last night there was a late performance so today I could have slept until noon, but now I am on my way to Madrid because I have to check a few contracts and I have a few work meetings to discuss projects that we will be doing soon. If the day had 29 hours it would not be enough for me. This is a question you have to ask of an opera singer.
Is there any negative part of your work? In mine, for example, the daring of wanting to be yourself, to create, to give your own reading to a character is little tolerated. For the peace of mind of many…you have to be like this or that earlier artist whom the audience liked.
It is quite a strange thing to handle objectively. I believe that there is a big part of the opera theater that still needs to make settlement with the respect to the passage of time. The ordinary public does not want to go to the theater to see acts of 40 years ago. Vebal actors who do that would seem like terrible professionals.
If we asked singers to sing like Caruso, it would be like asking actors to act like Sara Bernhardt. We would surely laugh since they were of other times and what was then brilliant is today comical. Which passion began earlier? Conducting the orchestra is the profession I have lived with the longest. The first time I stepped on the podium I was 15 years old. On the other hand, the first time I sang as a profession, with a seriously paid contract, I was 28 or 29 years old.
I began to sing in semi-professional choirs without a defined vocal technique. I believe a singer is lucky to be both the instrument and the instrumentalist. The singer, however, expresses with his body and it is a privilege and if you manage to pass it on to the musicians in front of you it does make a big difference in the final result. When the melody is not the main thing, Giordano fell down a little on compositional structure. Perhaps for that reason he is not considered at the genius level of Verdi or Puccini. His melodies are sometimes so surprising that they can make more of an impression than Verdi or Puccini, but just a little bit gets into it and this makes interpretation very difficult.
There are moments when the work works by itself and others when it has to be elevated by the stage work and through interpretation. But it cannot be sung! As a result, I will go so far as to annotate the score to cut some piece or to lower a tone if necessary. The main scene for the tenor I can assure you of this because I have recorded it is a killer.
I do not even want to think of what it must be to sing the entire opera. For a while, Fedora was done often because Domingo and Carreras sang it a lot, and I even did many performances of Fedora but I stopped doing it. Almost exclusively, any Giordano that is done is Andrea Chenier. The part of the baritone is the best of the work, the most interesting dramatically speaking, because is has various colors and evolves with the character throughout the opera. The tenor is tremendous from the vocal point of view and perhaps for that reason this work is performed so rarely.
Although the Liceu has a number of performances there are three different casts, all three are excellent.
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Well, speaking about the tenor, my contribution is a little less good than the others…. All the roles that you interpret must contribute something to your person, since you put yourself into its skin and psychology. Is there some you appreciate more for some reason? Perhaps for this reason I identify with them. The theater is not a football pitch to release frustrations but a meeting place for the exchange of cultural messages. So many of the people who whistle then come to ask for autographs…there is a lot of sickness!
Yesterday I started to get into the libretto and was going out to look for material, taking advantage of the fact that Spain is where most of the documents about this legendary person abound. Young singers say it is very hard to begin auditioning for a role.
But it is not a crisis of voices. It is evident that there are no voices like before, there are voices of those now: better for a thousand reasons and worse for many others, as it has always been. The future of opera will happen, I believe, when the artists and the public decide once and for all to put opera in that revolution which has already taken place in the spoken theater years ago.
You have to break the pose, the mannerism. To take the opera house into a new interpretive dimension. Not even as we did ten years ago. The interpretation of the emblematic character changed since 11 September , a day that marks the beginning of the current crisis of fundamentalism, not just for Muslims, but also for the West. We need to reread operas in the light of the context in which we are living.
The new generations are changing and struggling with risk—before leaving the stage you never know if this is the night someone will whistle—because any change involves risk and that means not everyone will be pleased. Nevertheless, if we do not start to change, once this current generation of audience passes we will have to close the theaters. The new generation of young audience reason with a different mentality: these are the children of film, of computer technologies so that when they approach an opera they find it such an artistic anachronism that they are no longer enticed to return.
A theater without an audience is a theater closed. La Commedia e' Finita. Novi List. Svjetlana Hribar. Pagliacci is a short opera and, to avoid doing it with another short piece, we decided to go for something different, to try a new experiment. From the beginning the idea was to have a sort of Hamlet-like situation where first the toys puppets perform the comedy and then the real actors perform the comedy. Then, we decided to use Respighi and Rossini because the music is very light and, in that sense, the moment where the toys are dancing the pantomime is more innocent: toys are really dancing and then they discover the human feelings of love and hate, become real human beings and the music becomes realistic and dramatic.
They asked me if I wanted to do it and I immediately starting to develop the dramaturgy. Instead of only one hour and ten minutes of music this version has two hours of music with the same leitmotiv as Pagliacci. Last year's concert was a great success. I came in, did the rehearsal and the concert and left. This year I have the opportunity to stay a bit longer and meet the people and the city they live in as well as the ensemble I am going to work with again. The company, the orchestra and the choir are very professional, all the technicians are always doing their best, and sometimes they stay late or come early.
We are functioning as real company, because we are all together working to accomplish a common goal. All of that you can see and feel in Pagliacci, it is a company of clowns working together. I have already done some little pieces but this is the first time I am directing a complete opera, a complete show that, on top, is not only an opera but a whole concept which I have created from the start.
At the beginning there is a monologue, as in fairy tales, where you find out what happened to these toys when they discover that they have feelings and become real human beings. When this happens, kids stop playing with them, they are not treated like toys but, all of a sudden, they are treated like real people. So they need to find the way of earning their living to survive. That is why they decide to create a company of "pagliacci" to go around working as "pagliacci" for living.
When did you get this kind of idea, earlier or just thinking of Pagliacci for this project in Rijeka? I never thought about it until I was invited to do this in Rijeka. Together we went through my ideas, they told me what was possible to do and what was not, but they both agreed with the idea of having all three parts of this theatre drama, opera and ballet together in this project. Nice, but you are also working on the set design for this show and we know that you are familiar with graphic design, photography. Is this your first set design?
No, it is not the first. Soon I am going to do Ballo in Cologne as a director and set designer. I already did scenes for that production. When I decided to do the set design in Rijeka, I didn't want a real set. I just wanted the whole theatre open, like in a hall. The play starts in a school, the war has just finished it could be any war that happened anywhere. People were poor. They had no money to buy pencils, books, toys, all the people in this town brought to the school what they had at home. That's why I don't need a set, we just need a room and the stage is a room.
Yesterday I told the electricians not to worry about covering the lights because I want to be able to see everything. Mentioning war, I read that in early days when you were young you also composed operas for children and some requiems for the Falklands. From whom did you inherit all those talents?
I was educated as composer and conductor. I began to sing at the age of 29 and since then I haven't had time to compose. When I was young I also started to act. When I started to sign I connected all these elements and developed the complete picture of myself. Later, I started to study design, set design. You started to conduct at the age of 15, was it before the training? I started to train when I was That is not an unusual thing to do at that age - you have famous conductor Daniel Barenboim who started to conduct at the age of 11!
In the art there are no rules: you just get there when you get there. Of course when I was 15 I didn't conduct Mahler, but some baroque music like Handel, small pieces. Little by little I started to conduct larger ones. You recorded Rachmaninov with the Varsovia Orchestra. But there is also an interesting and sad story that is behind your decision to that piece…. Yes, it is really sweet and sad story. His name was Gacia-Navarro.
He also was a conductor and was like a brother to me. I was going to tell him the news of my engagement but instead I got the message that he had died 3 days before. I never got the chance to tell him the good news, never got the chance to ask him for some advice or ask him for some training Because I already had engagements I wasn't able to be at his funeral. So, when I returned to the Orchestra, they asked me what I wanted to conduct in the first concert. I answered them that I wanted to do something that they had never played before. In the meanwhile I went back to Madrid and visited Navarro's family.
There, I asked his wife if I could look through his library. Everything looked neatly placed except one score: Rachmaninov second symphony. I figured out what message my friend was sending me. The performance of that symphony was a great success not only in Poland, Vienna, Sweden and Portugal, we also recorded it and it was very well received by the international reviews because we had very fresh tempo and Slavic approach, not simply romantic. You own a record company, Cuibar Phono Video, which recorded your performance with Sinfonia Varsovia….
This is the story that is connected with Rachmaninov. We wanted to record the concert but not as commercial one but as a souvenir. We wanted to have a recording of our first work together. When we heard the recording we liked it, it was a very good performance. We decided to publish it-it would be a pity not to publish it! So we started to ask information on how to publish a new recording. We got to know that we had to have a legal label. So, in the beginning, we created the label only to be able to publish Rachmaninov. Later we changed the label a bit and we recorded Aurora , which was also a great success, then Dvorak's symphony and his Love songs, and now we are negotiating with one big international record company to do joint venture for future recordings.
I don't know. Right now I have a special project: I am recording chamber music; just piano and voice of everywhere in the world, different style, different languages and only my voice. That's a dream I have and I would like to make it work! I have to start recording now and maybe keep recording for 6 or 7 years because it's a lots of repertoire.
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When I learn new piece I normally study alone. And when I have learned it thoroughly, only then, I start to work with the conductor who is going to conduct it directly. We start to discuss it together, finding colours and creating the roles together, I normally don't work with a repetiteur because I know to play the piano. And now something different: you said that you are feeling wonderful in the Theatre.
Are you staying in the hotel or in the apartment? Unfortunately in a hotel. Not because I don't like hotels, we are in the very nice and beautiful hotel here, but because we are working at any time of the day, from early morning till late evening, so it is very difficult to find a restaurant to eat at that time. When you live in apartment you can easily prepare something to eat.
My holidays are very complicated to negotiate with my family; because I am always traveling I want to spend my holidays at home but my wife and kids, that always stay at home, want to travel. So it is really difficult to negotiate this, but we find a compromise: we travel 15 days and spend 15 days at home. Three, 2 boys and 1 girl - 19, 14, We live in Madrid because it is great city, the weather is wonderful, the people are very nice, it is a very sunny country in central Europe where I am very comfortable and where they speak my language.
No, never. I have the theory that it's better not to work too much in the city that you live, because in the city you are living you can be anonymous. You can walk and feel free to do whatever you want to do. We have a company and she is the chief accountant: it's her profession. Well I try to practice as much as I can. It's difficult to practice any sport when you are moving all the time, but I do some gym, paddle tennis or even kung-fu. Well in this period, while I am working here, I am speaking a lot and you can hear that my voice is a bit tired. What do you think is easier to keep: a male or a female voice rested?
I really don't know. Baritone and bass sing in the normal position, tenor is artificial. The first part of the voice of the tenor is normal and the second part is artificial. It is a very delicate voice to work with. I visited Opatija last year when I came for the concert. And now I am looking forward tomorrow, since I have the first free day in this long period and maybe we'll go to Opatija or somewhere else.
Last summer you were awarded the prize from Novi List. Did you get it and where did you put it? I have to say very sincerely: it's not a thing you usually get. Then because I see it every day I am beginning to see the movement of the wires, I am starting to understand this sculpture. And this is what always happens in art: you come to see a performance of a new piece and you don't like it at first. Then you hear it again and again and little by little you start to discover things. At the end you realize that it wasn't bad at all. Cura says he is not bothered that some people think adding the role of stage director will short-change his singing and explains that he is simply interested in expanding his field of activities.
It is like singing in the shower of your home. Sometimes we even lack contact with the orchestra. BBC Devon. The opera company, based in South Devon, publicised the project in - and more than singers from all over the world applied to be selected. Then, on 7 May, the 12 singers performed mainly ensemble pieces in front of an audience including the Maestro himself.
It's been a truly marvellous and unforgettable experience. And I think he is enjoying this fantastically - I don't know where he gets his energy from. Published: October 19, p. Jose Cura, tenor and maestro— the two jobs are combined in a single spectacular. Cura says that when he was a young musician he wanted to be an orchestra conductor and not a singer—and states that if he had to choose, he would be maestro.
However, it was as a tenor that he became world famous and won the right to do whatever he likes without having to worry about financial matters. The operatic tradition of the City of Dukes de Lorraine has been well established for years and many natives of Nancy remember - and have carefully preserve the programs - the fabulous lyric seasons of the 50s, when a new spectacle would be presented every week!
Over the years the city has not been able to preserve such recurrences of opera magic but has continued to treat the public with high quality entertainment presented by artists of national and international fame. Today, the city has four! Now it is time to exclaim, much as Tonio from Pagliacci comes in front of the curtain to explain in Leoncavallo's brilliant conceived Prologue: "Andiam, incominciate! In doing so he takes up the practice of outstanding tenors such as the incomparable Mario Del Monaco, tenors whose span of vocal registers allows them this performance. One does not need more to conquer this curious public, even if he is already known, and it did not end the evening's surprises.
It was again Puccini whom we hear next and Marie Karall France , having only begun studying last year, astonishes us with a big voice, full in all the registers and giving again grace and passion to "O Mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi. The tenor Avi Klemberg France has been working for four years but it is not only he who sings. The means of expression explains more than anything the particular difficulty in this aria, taken straight from the Italian romantic spirit: a dreamy and delicate song but at the same time passionate, a prisoner of the era, so to speak, of vocal exercises and very shrill sections in musical expression.
I love you! A duet rarely performed in concert finishes the first half. Drawn from Pagliacci , the duet between Nedda and Silvio allows us to hear again soprano Maria Bisso, impeccable in the old-fashioned coloratura of Nedda, and to discover a young, local baritone, since Benjamin Colin was born in Nancy. One result is that we often end up with a dry interpretation, empty of poetry and burnt wings of Musique.
Of course, the poignant motive for the father-son duet played here by cellos is already opera par excellence, but it is still necessary to know how to let them sing. As for the martial crescendo, more usually solid or booming, we heard it amazingly produced, in the style of Franco Capuana, supple and warm like Gianandrea Gavazzeni. It must be preserved!
But why does he not turn around completely to receive the applause? Fischer Dieskau, with the German singer's characteristic clarity of emission, and at the same time,with an astonishingly assured high notes. The captivating Verdi was always honored for the following piece, the dazzling Finale to the first Act of La Traviata. A young graduate of the Conservatory of Bruges, he has received numerous prizes since Gabrijela Ubavic began in at the National Opera of Belgrade and has performed in Europe since then. We are stuck at once by the consistency of her tone, luxuriously copper-colored, so to speak, rich and full but very docile, effortless.
We learn with astonishment from the program that she also sings roles requiring great vocal agility, like Gilda Rigoletto and Norina Don Pasquale. Faced with such a quality of tone and song, we think with shivers of what must be the level of performance from this opera singer when she is in top form. Finally, Julija Samsonova from Lithuania comes to sing us the last piece from the participants in the master class.
Leaving the Academy Rossini de Pesaro, she began in with the role of Corinna in Il Viaggio a Reims by Rossini at the prestigious Rossini Opera Festival, which the city has dedicated to this composer. He concentrates and forgets the fatigue and heat while Maestro Rose makes his entrance. The piece is nothing less than the finale of Otello , in which the hero contemplates his Desdemona, whom he has just straggled in unjustified jealousy before killing himself. The Lessons of the Master. L'Est Republicain. Everyone must find his own approach.
Great Generosity. Besides the good advice from the Maestro, what Marie particularly appreciated was to be able to perform for the first time in her life with an orchestra in a big opera house. For me, singing under these conditions was a real pleasure. The teacher and his students gave a concert late yesterday afternoon.
Discovering new voices. Chatting with the audience, the tenor called out to a small child to ask him for his name, then asked his students to refuse to reveal their identity, address, and phone number, undoubtedly to put them at ease. It is regrettable that Argentine Maria Biso chose to perform Lucia di Lammermoor since the timbre of her voice did not correspond well at all with the hallucinatory nature of the character. The baritone from Nancy, Benjamin Colin, a former student of Arcadi Volodos at the Conservatory of Nancy, sang a duet from Pagliacci with little power but with a well-placed voice.
Real emotion came, however, only with Lithuanian Julija Samsonova who splendidly carried off the role of Desdemona. As for the maestro, he stirred every soul in the room with an Otello whose death he experienced with his entire being. As a singer but also as an actor. True art, indeed! The Argentine tenor demands maximum emotional risks of young artists. Today, the singer will offer a special recital. He will be accompanied by some of the most promising young talents of the international operatic stage.
Alexia Ercolani is a magnificent mezzo-soprano. He will never stop until he reaches his goals. The singing lesson. First of all, he reassures the singer, relaxes her, whispering lines in her ear. The orchestra of the Nancy opera is attentive.
Read PDF A Helluva High Note (Enhanced Edition): Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol
Then, suddenly, he looks at Alexia, urging her to look deep into his eyes. This is a love duet. It must be ardent, it must be deeply moving. Everything is in the breath. The singer is still reserved. He stops; breaks the spell. The next moment, he takes her by the shoulder. He is massive, powerful; she is tiny.
Little by little she relaxes; her voice fills the auditorium. This here is not a woman, this is a female… you get the nuance? It is not easy being Dalila. I know. You have the voice, the look…. A little later, biting with relish into a very juicy fig, he explains his approach. I have only one day to awaken their curiosity, to activate that sixth sense which the performer has in him. The sensuality of art. In search of passion, of emotion on the stage, he gives his all shamelessly. Art is nothing but that. It is necessary to put technique at the service of the senses. What happens too often is the opposite.
I am saying that the artist must strip, must bare his soul. His —hot— Latin temperament, his vocal ease allow him to find maximum expressivity, something that turns a room upside down — and women in the audience in particular. Sometimes people have difficulty doing this in public. It is a question of upbringing. But when you are on stage, you are at the service of a character.