Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rolando: Interview and photo shoot in Berlin, on occasion of his upcoming Athens Recital

Rolando Villazón was interviewed in Berlin, a few weeks ago, for the Greek newspaper "TO VIMA" and it's Sunday magazine "VIMAgazino". The interview, that was given to Margarita Sfetsa, was also accompanied by a photo-shoot in the streets of Berlin.

Greek readers will be able to buy the newspaper tomorrow but before that, you can all have a preview at parsifal's exclusively.

Singing where Homer and Maria Callas were born is an exciting experience.

[Maria Callas was born in NY but OK]

Singing in Athens was a priority to me. I feel happy that this dream comes true. While I was a student in Mexico but also a singer, I used to read the Iliad and the Odyssey while I was waiting my turn to come, in auditions. This great literature would inspire me and it was an excellent way to be abstracted from the anxiety I had during the first years of my career.

I must say that (Greek music) fascinates me. It is so interesting, so particular; it had nothing to do with what I had sung in the past. These composers have a very personal style that makes you recognise the uniqueness of their composition.

I love Greek history and I have read some many books that -even if I sound exaggerated- i feel half Greek. I have Greek friends and partners. They’re all warm, open-hearted, wonderful people.

My European debut with Manon in Genova was a great experience. So many things happening for the first time in this first attempt: my debut as Des Grieux, my European debut, my Italian debut. The audience was very kind and treated me well as, you know, they were all children! My first performance was an afternoon performance exclusively for students. So, my exposure to the European audience had no problems. I think that this performance launched my career as it opened the gates of Europe to me. Who would have thought that I would find the artistic director of La Monnaie of Brussels in school performance in Genova? He offered me a contract to sing in La Boheme in Brussels under Antonio Pappano.

It may sound a bit cliché but every single place where I sing is of unique importance to me. Of course I feel very comfortable at Covent Garden, or Berlin and Berlin, maybe because these are the theatres where I have sung most.

[I dream of singing] Lohengrin, the title role in Wagner’s opera. I hope one day my dream comes true.

The cover of the Mexican Chic.

I have a very special relationship with Daniel Barenboim. He ‘s the reincarnation of the “renaissance man” as he has been a successful pianist, conductor, stage director…he’s a man who has what we call “musical genious”. We have worked together in opera, recitals and recordings and every experience with him is unforgettable. At this very moment we work together in Berlin, in a new production of Eugene Onegin.

(You have worked with many conductors and stage directors, have you ever disagreed with them or have you ever given an end to your collaboration ? )

In some occasion I wanted to. However I have never done anything like that ‘cause I respect the vision of an artist even if I don’t agree.

My performance of Romeo in Salbuzrg last summer, was very satisfying. I love Romeo. We had a terrific cast, a great maestro and stage director and so the result was an extremely good production.

Paris owns a unique place in my heart. It’s the place I live with my family. My wife and I always loved Paris and living there is like a dream come true. Berlin is an alive, cosmopolitan city that changes and develops daily. It’s one of the most interesting cities in Europe, and offers a great amount of cultural choices. That’s why I chose Berlin for this photo shooting

I feel grateful for all the amazing things that I have experienced in my personal and professional life. ‘Cause when you give performances and travel as much as opera singers do, at the end you find out that personal and professional life mix together. Singing means so much to me, but no matter how much I love singing and music, my devotion to my wife and children is the most important thing. They are my real treasures in life, and for that I am grateful.

(What about your voice? Isn’t that a valuable gift too? Aren’t you lucky to have it?)

I feel lucky. Luck always had a good role in my career. But combined with hard work and effort to achieve my goals. The ones that some considered unachievable. I also feel lucky that I can dedicate myself to music and offer beauty and happiness to others.

I try to stay fit. If some think that I look comfortable on stage, it’s because that’s exactly the way I feel when I perform. I feel very comfortable. If I manage to communicate this feeling to the audience then I have accomplished my goal.

With my wife [Lucia] we love going to Spain where we own a house in Mallorca. It’s so beautiful.

My beautiful Lucia means everything to me. She’s my partner, my companion and my inspiration in my life and my career. We met in Mexico when we were just teenagers. And yes! It was love at first sight!

I don’t have a lot of free time, but when I find some I like to spend it playing or reading with my sons.

You understand that, that's not all! It wouldn't be fair to the journalist that took the interview to translate/post the whole thing. A few answers were left out. De toute façon I will scan and upload the cover and the pages tomorrow. Till then watch an exclusive, private and funny video of Rolando doing pattycake


mahler76 said...

και ο Όμηρος επαρχιώτης ήταν ούτε που την είχε δεί την Αθήνα άλλα και πάλι οκ, θα μου πείς αφού ήταν τυφλός τίποτα δεν έβλεπε έτσι κι αλλιώς...καλά σταματάω τα καλαμπούρια γιατί θα με βρίσεις.

teresa said...


liliana said...

Gracias, Parsifal! Hermosa entrevista.

Anonymous said...

Hello, nice article!!!!!!!!!
And nice pictures!!!!!!!!
You are well connected!!!

By the way, that êxactly he said in english about Homer was

So for me, to perform in the place that brought the world Homer and Maria Callas is going to be an exciting experience

It is no question about birth places....

Have a nice Sunday


Parsifal said...

Well Fairy, what can I do! I translated to english the greek translation of the english original. It's the best I could do without having the original text. It's the translator's fault, not Rolando's nor mine. Maybe you could help with the original text. Anyway...hehehehe.

Hariclea said...

As always i love reading his interviews, even if he doesn't ay something new sometimes he always says things differently or gives another shade to the picture, never ever ever boring, not even for a milisecond! Thanks Parsi!!! And once again envy is a bad thing but i do suffer from it ;-)))

maria teresa said...

Thanks! You have a very interesting and nice blog. I knew it few days ago and i like it very much.
I wish you can enjoy a lot about Rolando's performance!!!

ChristinaLuise said...

Thank you Parsifal for posting this article =) It's very interesting, and I think if you haven't post it I wouldn't have been able to read this interview ever.