Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Interviews

Mark Padmore on festivals, lieder and musical conversations

I have to confess, somewhat sheepishly, at the start of my conversation with Mark Padmore, that I had not previously been aware of the annual music festival held in the small Cotswolds town of Tetbury, which was founded in 2002 and to which Padmore will return later this month to perform a recital of lieder by Schubert and Schumann with pianist Till Fellner.

Natalya Romaniw: 'one of the outstanding sopranos of her generation’

There can hardly be a dry eye in the house, at the ‘Theatre in the Woods’ at West Horsley Place - Grange Park Opera’s new home - when, in Act 3 of Janáček's first mature opera, Natalya Romaniw’s Jenůfa realises that the tiny child whose frozen body has been discovered under the ice is her own dead son.

Elizabeth Llewellyn: Investec Opera Holland Park stages Puccini's La Rondine

It’s six or so years ago since soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn appeared as an exciting and highly acclaimed new voice on the UK operatic stage, with critics praising her ‘ravishing account’ (The Stage) of Mozart’s Countess in Investec Opera Holland Park’s 2011 Le nozze di Figaro in which ‘Porgi, amor’ was a ‘highlight of the evening’.

Dougie Boyd, Artistic Director of Garsington Opera: in conversation

One year ago, tens of millions of Britons voted for isolation rather than for cooperation, but Douglas (Dougie) Boyd, Artistic Director of Garsington Opera, is an energetic one-man counterforce with a dynamic conviction that art and culture are strengthened by participation and collaboration; values which, alongside excellence and a spirit of adventure, have seen Garsington Opera acquire increasing renown and esteem on the international stage during his tenure, since 2012.

A Chat With Italian Conductor Riccardo Frizza

Riccardo Frizza is a young Italian conductor whose performances in Europe and the United States are getting rave reviews. He tells us of his love for the operas of Verdi, Bellini, and particularly Donizetti.

And London Burned: in conversation with Raphaela Papadakis

Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.

Oxford Lieder Festival: in conversation with Julius Drake

In October 2014, the Oxford Lieder Festival - under its imaginative and intrepid founder, Sholto Kynoch - fulfilled an incredibly ambitious goal: to perform Schubert’s entire corpus of songs - more than 600 - and, for three marvellous weeks, to bring Vienna to Oxford. ‘The Schubert Project’ was a magnificent celebration of the life and music of Franz Schubert: at its core lay the first complete performance of Schubert’s songs - including variants and alternative versions - in the UK.

Interview with Star of Florencia en el Amazonas, Elizabeth Caballero

Lyric soprano Elizabeth Caballero’s signature role is Violetta in La traviata, which she portrays with a compelling interpretation, focused sound, and elegant coloratura that floats through the opera house as naturally as waves on the ocean.

A Chat With Baritone Brian Mulligan

Maria Nockin interviews baritone Brian Mulligan.

An interview with Tobias Ringborg

I arrive at the Jerwood Space, where rehearsals are underway for Garsington Opera’s forthcoming production of Idomeneo, to find that the afternoon rehearsal has finished a little early.

A Conversation with Sir Nicholas Jackson

With its merry-go-round exchange of deluded and bewitched lovers, an orphan-turned-princess, a usurped prince, a jewel and a flower with magical properties, a march to the scaffold and a meddling ‘mistress-of-ceremonies’ who encourages the young lovers to disguise and deceive, William Makepeace Thackeray’s The Rose and the Ring has all the ingredients of an opera buffa.

A Chat With Up-and-Coming Conductor Kathleen Kelly

Kathleen Kelly is an internationally renowned pianist, coach, conductor, and master teacher. She was the first woman and first American named Director of Musical Studies at the Vienna State Opera.

Atsuto Sawakami — Sponsor of Italian Opera in Japan

Atsuto Sawakami is a slightly built man in his late sixties with impeccable, gentlemanly manners. He communicates a certain restless energy and his piercingly bright eyes reveal an undimmed appetite for life.

Mark Stone — Oxford Lieder Festival

‘Lieder v. Opera’? At first glance it might seem to be a pointless or nonsensical question.

Oxford Lieder Festival 2015 - Sholto Kynoch interview

Last year's Oxford Lieder Festival made something of a splash when it encompassed all of Schubert's songs, performed in the space of three weeks. This year's festival, the 14th, which runs from 16 to 31 October 2015 has a rather different, yet still eye-catching theme; Singing Words: Poets and their Songs.

For Odyssey Opera, No Operatic Challenge is Too Great

For a company founded in 2013, Odyssey Opera has an astounding track record. To take on Korngold’s Die tote Stadt is ambitious enough, but to do so within only a year of the company’s founding seems almost single-minded.

A Chat with Tenor René Barbera

American tenor René Barbera is fast making a name for himself as one of the top bel canto singers in opera houses around the world.

Stefano Mastrangelo — An Italian in Japan

I’m interviewing Stefano Mastrangelo in the immediate aftermath of his conducting La Traviata for the Chofu City Opera in Tokyo on 22 November 2014; he conveys an air at once of tiredness and exhilaration.

Sara Gartland Takes on Jenůfa

Sara Gartland is an emerging singer who brings an enormous talent and a delightful personality to the opera stage. Having sung lighter soprano roles such as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata, Gartland is now taking on the title role in Leoš Janáček’s dramatic opera Jenůfa.

A Chat with Pulitzer Prize Winning Composer Jennifer Higdon

American composer Jennifer Higdon has won many awards for her imaginative music. Her percussion concerto received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Interviews

Micaela Carosi [Photo courtesy of the artist]
22 Apr 2010

Micaela Carosi sings Aida in a new production at the Royal Opera House, London

Micaela Carosi, the Verdi specialist, has created Aida many times, so she’s closely attuned to the role. The new production, at the Royal Opera House, London, though, is different. “It’s like singing Aida for the first time”, she says, her eyes sparkling.

Micaela Carosi sings Aida in a new production at the Royal Opera House, London

An interview by Anne Ozorio

Above: Micaela Carosi [Photo courtesy of the artist]

 

“David McVicar has a vision that’s completely different”, she says. “He wants us to think about the origins of the characters and why they do what they do. It’s not just slaves, triumphs and so on. Instead we focus on motivations, on the human side of the story”.

“Aida is a princess, not an ordinary slave. She knows about political matters”, says Ms Carosi. When Amonasro is brought in as a captive, Aida’s first thought is for her father. “Tu! Prigioniero!” she says, with great feeling. But he whispers back “Non mi tradir!” (Do not betray me). “From that moment”, Ms Carosi says, “the drama changes”. Aida loves Radames, but she must protect her father and her country. “Duty first, love second. You do not often see this side of Aida”, she adds,”but it shows she has a very strong personality and a lot of courage”. Outwardly, Aida has to present the image of a slave. Inside, she knows her mission.

Micaela Carosi has created Aida many times, including with Franco Zeffirelli. There’s a wonderful photo of him kissing her on her website. She’s in full costume, having come right off stage after a performance at the Arena di Verona.

Verona is a large performance space, best filled with high drama. “I had to wave my arms a lot”, says Ms Carosi, gesticulating expressively. She must have been wonderful in performance. Zeffirelli also chose her to sing Aida at Teatro Verdi in Busseto during the Verdi centenary in 2001. The theatre at Busseto is small, with a different ambience. “I think that was one of the best productions ever. Zeffirelli really understands the difference, so he showed how to create the characters in an intimate way”.

Ms Carosi is looking forward to singing Aida at the Royal Opera House in London because it is a house which favours closely focused productions. “Usually you see the elephants, you hear the trumpets, but this time, McVicar wants attention on the personality inside the roles”. Radames, for example, which will be sung by Marcelo Álvarez, will return from battle covered in blood. “He’ll be a real warrior”, says Miss Carosi, who has worked with Álvarez several times in the past.

Aida of course will be presented as a woman of depth and intelligence, a characterization that comes naturally to Ms Carosi, who studied Modern Literature and Music History at the University of Rome. Her parents were artists, and taught the history of art. “In the conservatoire, you learn how to sing”, she says, “but I think we need more than just musical education. We need to understand the connection between all the arts and the time that they came from”. In Verdi’s time, theatres were smaller, often without electricity, so audiences were closer to the performers. Audiences were also passionately well-informed about opera, eagerly awaiting new works.

Micaela Carosi has created many major roles in the Italian operatic repertoire, and is deeply immersed in its aesthetic. Although she has sung Aida so often, she feels that each new production is stimulating because it opens new perspectives. She finds that being an artist means “being open. You can’t do the same thing by routine all the time. Every performance is an opportunity to learn something new and improve your understanding.” In London, she’ll be singing with a cast she knows well — Marcelo Álvarez, Marianne Cornetti, Marco Vratogna, Giacomo Prestia, Robert Lloyd and the conductor Nicola Luisotti. “The atmosphere is good”, she says, “It’s a “nuovo impresa”, a bold new venture.

Micaela Carosi sings Aida in a new production at the Royal Opera House London from 27th April 2010.

Anne Ozorio

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):