Q&A WITH SOPRANO ADRIANA GONZÁLEZ – Seen and Heard Worldwide

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Adriana González © Aline Kundig

Adriana González was born in Guatemala and was First Prize and Zarzuela Prize of the Operalia Competitors 2019, she has been acclaimed for her wonderful lyric voice and excellent musicality and is taken into account one of the crucial promising singers of her technology. For Seen and Heard Worldwide she answered Joseph Alder’s questions.

Joseph Alder: You can be singing Verdi’s Requiem with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi this month. You could have already sung with Maestro Luisi on the Competition Toscani in Parma. What did you want most about working with him? 

Adriana González: He’s a really inspiring musician and conductor! His calm and class may be very calming for a performer. It offers you a way of safety and peace. Aside from the truth that he understands singing and breath management very properly. It’s simply an enormous pleasure and inspiration to work with him! I’m trying ahead to his method to Verdi’s Requiem.

JA: Verdi’s Requiem may be very demanding for all of the singers however above all for the soprano. What’s the most important problem for a soprano on this piece?

AG: The tough a part of Verdi’s Requiem is the acute breath management you might want to develop for the broad vary and spectrum of dynamics that the piece calls for. It has very dramatic elements that demand depth and energy, then the pious, imploring sections that decision for ‘piano’ and softer dynamics. It is without doubt one of the most completely written items I’ve ever sung and I take it on with big respect.

JA: You sang Verdi’s Requiem for the primary time in Lisbon with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir performed by Lorenzo Viotti. How have you ever ready? Did you take heed to some recordings in the course of the strategy of studying the piece?

AG: I began engaged on it a yr earlier than we carried out it. I at all times sight-read the piece and till the rating is evident in my thoughts. It’s a bit that takes time, so I visited my singing instructor. At this stage we simply method the piece technically, engaged on vowel formation, breath assist and physique alignment. After that half was completed, I labored with my coach in Paris to develop the phrasing and dynamics that may go well with my voice and the piece. I’ve heard it a number of instances, and naturally I search for references. It’s good to learn on what has been completed after which make your individual selections on the way you personally wish to carry out it. Then the conductors will work with you to develop the musical concepts. An enormous inspiration is in fact Montserrat Caballé together with her wonderful piani and galvanizing phrasing.

JA: Is your voice going into Verdi repertoire? Are there any Verdi roles you’d prefer to sing sooner or later?

My voice will certainly go into Verdi repertoire sooner or later however I’m not speeding into it. I’m having fun with singing Mimì, Liù, Micaëla and Contessa in the intervening time and want to develop them to the fullest.

One of many first massive Verdi roles I’ve scheduled within the upcoming seasons is Desdemona in Otello. Then I want to tackle Amelia in Simon Boccanegra. Ultimately with time it could be a dream to carry out operas like Aida, Trovatore, Forza del destino and Don Carlo.

JA: You made your American debut on the Houston Grand Opera, singing the position of Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, reverse tenor Michael Spyres. Has singing on the HGO been a spotlight of your profession? Why?

AG: It’s undoubtedly was such an thrilling time! Whereas finishing my research in Guatemala, I at all times thought: ‘singing within the US is a large step into a global profession…I don’t assume I’ll ever get there’, after which that dream got here true because of Patrick Summers and his wonderful musical workers believing in my voice. I’m additionally very grateful to Patrick for serving to me discover my very own Juliette. He’s an incredible musician and conductor. My debut was made all of the extra particular because of his steering. My HGO debut was a triple debut: US debut, HGO home debut and position debut as Juliette. The HGO group is implausible and the work we did impressed me a lot! The services, the stage, the executive and creative groups, the opposite singers – most roles have been forged from the HGO opera studio with lovely voices and top-notch singing. I’m very happy with our Romeo & Juliette manufacturing. I additionally am very grateful of the reception our present had. The general public was at all times very enthusiastic and might’t wait to sing for them once more. HGO holds a particular half in my coronary heart!

JA: How do you method a brand new position? What course of do you undertake in studying and performing a job?

AG: As quickly as I get a proposal for a venture, I analyze with my agent (a former singer himself) whether or not it’s good for my voice and improvement. We determine collectively and as soon as the contract is available in, I begin engaged on it. This may be as much as 4 years prematurely. My preparation for Juliette began 2 and a half years earlier than the primary efficiency. I’ll first learn the rating and be taught the music: make notes on dynamics, phrasing, rhythm and breath. I usually sight-read the music on an ‘i’ vowel, attempting to get all notes in line and taking note of my breath management. After this lengthy course of is completed, I begin specializing in the textual content: I’ll learn the libretto and begin creating the character in my thoughts. At this level, I begin integrating the textual content into the music and discover completely different inflections to the music and textual content to specific what the character resides. As soon as the wedding between music and textual content is completed, it’s time to go to my singing academics for issues I can’t remedy on my own and to evaluate what I’ve learnt. We work technically on the tougher elements of the rating. Then, I’ll go to my coaches and undergo the position: we’ll analyze the phrasing, intentions and expression within the music. Then come the rehearsals on the theater, which is the ultimate stage of preparation. At this stage we work with conductors and staging administrators to construct the present you’ll go and see. For the singer, this implies to work with the conductor to seek out the tempi, dynamics and musical phrasing that work for the piece and for you. This occurs concurrently with the work of the staging director: discovering how your character interacts with its setting and different characters within the story. Then the performances come and the lifelong strategy of maturing a job begins.

JA: Throughout your performances of Roméo et Juliette on the Houston Grand Opera, you needed to step into the position of Liù of their Turandot directed by Robert Wilson. How was that have? Did you could have the prospect to rehearse just a little bit with the conductor earlier than becoming a member of the forged?

AG: It was intense! I had carried out Liù for the primary time in 2019 and remembered the position fairly properly. The day of the efficiency we met with conductor Eun Solar Kim to undergo the position after which I seen my Liù didn’t really feel the identical – the voice had grown. So I needed to work on it earlier than the efficiency to recalibrate my breath assist and in addition adapt my voice from singing Gounod to singing Puccini.

All of this occurred in the course of Roméo et Juliette reveals, so I needed to be cautious to be well-rested and look after my voice. HGO was very supportive in the entire course of.

Soar-ins are at all times bittersweet, as a result of when you get to sing an incredible position, there may be somebody that’s sick and out of labor. By the COVID pandemic we acquired fairly extra acutely aware of how essential total well being is normally and particularly for a singing profession. We’ve got to be very cautious to be in form, not get sick and nonetheless get pleasure from life.

JA: You could have simply made your home debut on the Dutch Nationwide Opera singing the position of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen staged by Robert Carsen. What do you want most about singing the position of Micaëla? How do you view the character and the way has your interpretation advanced over time?

Adriana González as Micaëla in Dutch Nationwide Opera’s Carmen

AG: Micaëla is the position I’ve carried out probably the most to date: six productions and counting! I really like Micaela’s music…It’s a really grateful position: has a duet, an aria and a few good scenes with the refrain, plus the storyline that wins over the general public’s sympathy. It is sort of a pause within the wild world of Carmen. Regardless that it’s quick, it’s fairly difficult, and relying on the staging will be fairly difficult. The aria is a continuous 5 and a half minutes of intense respiration! Micaela is her personal particular person. She searches for the person she loves throughout the mountains and miles away from house – a very tough and strenuous voyage on the time. Then when she finds him, she stands as much as a gaggle of gypsies and is dedicated to fulfilling her mission: taking him again house to his dying mom with the hope that he’ll keep and marry her. This lady is brave and decided, even when very obligation certain…I at all times have thought she is a lady who stands up for obligation, honor and love.

JA: Later this month you can be singing once more this position on the Opéra Bastille in Paris. You could have been a member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra nationwide de Paris. How do you are feeling returning to the Opéra Bastille to sing for the primary time a most important position in Calixto Bieto’s manufacturing of Carmen

AG: It’s like coming again house. Paris is my base and has been since I arrived in 2014 to work on the Atelier Lyrique. I’m trying ahead to seeing all of the individuals who shaped me and to share with them what they helped develop. I at all times stated {that a} singer stands alone on stage, however is rarely really alone as a result of we stock with us all of the information and assist of the individuals who have shaped us. So I’m very grateful and excited to be returning!

JA: You have been the winner of the First and Zarzuela Prizes on the Operalia Competitors in 2019. What did that imply to you? Did your profession change after profitable Operalia? Are the competitions helpful for the younger singers? Why? 

AG: Operalia is without doubt one of the greatest competitions on the market: the group, the publicity and the prospect to work with Plácido Domingo. My expertise was nice and irritating! I acquired sick and misplaced my voice proper after the semifinals… then after two days of silence, I opened my mouth for the ultimate spherical and gained. It taught me lots about resilience and persistence, and that in the end the competitors is just in opposition to your self. It meant lots to my group and myself to win this competitors, and in addition for a lot of singers again house in Guatemala. I used to be the primary Guatemalan lady to win Operalia, in order that impressed many singers again house to pursue opera and for the nation to assist opera a bit extra. Personally, it was additionally a fairly bittersweet as my first singing instructor, Barbara Bickford, had simply handed away a month earlier than. She believed in me from the very begin and is the one who impressed me to sing opera on the age of 17. She would have been completely thrilled! Whether or not you win or not, Operalia’s group ensures that you just audition for the casting administrators of a number of the most distinguished opera theaters on this planet, all in as soon as place. So be it New York, Paris, Vienna…you haven’t any must go to all these locations to audition as a result of they’re all there within the jury, and plenty of others are watching the published, so it is a competitors that offers you lots of publicity. That being stated, you might want to current your self at your greatest, exhibiting what you are able to do that nobody else can.

My profession did change after Operalia and other people’s curiosity in my singing grew, and with that my sense of duty additionally grew. Competitions are a very good factor, and whereas they don’t seem to be for everybody, it’s undoubtedly a giant alternative for younger singers. It’s when you find yourself a younger singer that you just want probably the most assist. Think about the prices alone: coachings, singing classes, osteopaths, flights, practice tickets, accommodations, agent commissions, taxes…And the listing goes on…The price of an opera profession is a giant funding, so in case you get a prize at a contest it could assist you numerous. By no means hesitate to assist younger singers!

I additionally gained second prize within the Viñas competitors in Barcelona and first prize within the Otto Edelmann competitors in Vienna. Each competitions introduced a lot to my profession too and I extremely advocate them.

JA: What repertoire fits higher your voice? Do you could have a favorite language if you sing? Why?

AG: I’ve a particular love for Puccini. Liù and Mimì are two roles that I’ve loved performing a lot. The music has a lot emotion and wonder. It’s tough for me not get emotional whereas singing this music. It’s past me. I’m taking over Suor Angelica quickly and am trying ahead to additional discovering Puccini’s music. Italian and Spanish are my languages of choice, however I additionally get pleasure from French with all its vowel complexities. These are all languages I communicate, and whereas I really like the Russian language, I wouldn’t dare to sing in it as I don’t communicate it. As a singer you might want to perceive what you’re saying, so talking the language is a crucial facet for me.

JA: Outdoors of what you do, what else does Adriana González have a ardour for?

AG: Historical past, cooking and pictures. I at all times thought I’d be an archeologist in Guatemala if I couldn’t be a musician.

JA: Inform us about your upcoming tasks.

AG: After the Verdi Requiem in Dallas, I fly again to Europe for my third recording venture with Audax Information. The recording À deux voix might be completed to spotlight unknown French duets with my expensive mezzo pal Marina Viotti. There’ll embody two world premieres. The entire venture was conceived by conductor Iñaki Encina Oyón who will be a part of us on the piano. The recording is about to be launched subsequent yr. Then in the direction of the top of November I return to the Opéra Nationwide de Paris as Micaela till December third. In the direction of the top of the yr, I’ll make my debut on the Concertgebouw with an arias and duets live performance with Lorenzo and Marina Viotti. The second half of the season is stuffed with one other Verdi Requiem in Asturias, Spain, a Micaëla on the Opéra de Toulon and a Liù on the Opéra Nationwide du Rhin earlier than a significant debut in the summertime which I can not but disclose. I’ll maintain you posted!

JA: Thanks for answering Seen and Heard’s questions and revel in your time in Dallas.

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