Coffee with… the Queen of the Night

Exclusive Interview to Christina Poulitsi
Ph.: Roberto Ricci


by Bianca L. Nica
November 5, 2021
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of opera charm magazine


«I tried to sing for the first time Queen of the Night. It was crazy... I suddenly felt at home with my voice», said the Greek soprano Christina Poulitsi in the 2nd/2020 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine. Praised for her crystal clear coloraturas, high notes, fresh timber and warm lyric colour,Christina Poulitsi  has already established herself in some of the most prestigious opera houses today. She is acclaimed as «one of the best interpreters of the role of the Queen of the Night», a role she has sung worldwide. Her Queen of the Night conquered famous stages such as the Royal Opera House, Opera de Loraine, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Bolshoi Theatre, Stuttgart State Opera, Teatro de Liceu in Barcelona, Tokyo New National Theatre, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Grand Theatre of Shanghai, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Teatro Regio di Torino, Staatsoper Hamburg, Semperoper, in Paris, Tokyo, Australia, New Zealand and so many others theaters & countries, in legendary productions such as David McVicar’s in London, in collaboration with conductors such as M° Zubin Mehta, Gianandrea Noseda & Jeremie Rohrer.


Christina was five years old when her father bought her a present: a CD called My very first music. Among many other arias, there was also the famous “Der Hölle Rache”, the Queen of the Night’s aria. But the first time she listened to the entire role was when she had just started her first singing lessons & took part in a production of Die Zauberflöte as a choir member. “I was amazed by the beauty of the coloraturas. I remember wondering how difficult this role should be to sing”, says Christina, but after lots of hard work with her teachers Brigitte Eisenfeld & Dagmar Shellenberger, she managed to build a solid technique that wouldn’t fail under any circumstances and had her debut as the Queen of the Night in October 2010.

"I remember watching thousands of times the YouTube video of Diana Damrau at the Royal Opera House as the Queen of the Night. These and her recordings with M° Jeremie Rhorer in Arie di Bravura inspired me to build my own Queen. It was more than joy for me when I debuted myself as the Queen of the Night at the Royal Opera House in this same iconic production of David McVicar. I was equally touched when I collaborated with M° Jeremie Rhorer last summer", says Christina. After more than 220 performances of the Queen of the Night in 15 different productions, Christina is the best person who could talk to us about this character. She has been raised operatically with the Queen of the Night. "We share the same dynamism in achieving our goals, but we do not choose the same ways of action. I love the power that I feel under my skin when I sing this role on stage, but I could say that we are quite different characters in real life. I believe I've become more flexible and able to see the big picture in situations throughout the years, " says Christina.

About the difficulties of this role, the soprano says that “it is one of the most difficult roles of the operatic repertoire to perform for many different reasons. The first aria combines a lyrical part with very fast and difficult coloraturas ending in a thrilling high F. In contrast, the second aria has a lot of dramatic attacks and simultaneously very difficult technical passages of coloraturas with several high Fs and Ds. The voice must be equally present in all registers”. Regarding the acting. The difficulty is to wait for a long time in the dressing room between the two arias maintaining the energy at high levels. “You are on stage for just a few minutes and don’t have any warm-up time there. You are very exposed vocally in this role and must immediately show all the excellency of your voice and acting. There is no second chance”, she adds.

David Mcvickar's production at the Royal Opera House in London is her favourite one because in this production, she was able to speak the longest dialogue she has ever had before the second aria, which allowed her to add more action to the character and develop it better. Her next Queen of the Night is in a new production of Die Zauberflöte at the Opera de Lorraine in France in December 2021.


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Queen of the Night, your majesty, thank you for taking some time to have this coffee with OPERA Charm Magazine and its readers! It’s very kind of you! Tell us about your youth and your family. Where were you born?

I was born in a place on the Moon with a beautiful view of the Earth. People there sleep during the day and wake up at night. I never met my father, but I remember my mother being a very strong woman. In the place where I come from, only women are allowed to become leaders, and we all long for power.

You intentionally chose Tamino to save your daughter, but was her kidnapping an act of revenge? What were the characteristics that you saw in this young man when you decided to trust him with your daughter’s life?

I was sure when my husband died that, I would inherit his Power. When this didn’t happen, I had no choice but to kidnap my daughter. I chose Tamino for his nobility, kindness and termination. His characteristics were very close to my daughter’s, and in that way, I knew that she would immediately trust him.

Do you think the love between parents and children nowadays is as profound as in your times? Is this the purest form of love, in your opinion?

In my opinion, the purest form of love is love for yourself. And please… Don’t get me wrong… it’s not egoistic to love yourself. If people could love themselves properly, this planet would not have wars. I never learned it from my parents, and I am proud of being taught by my daughter and son-in-law. I only knew love in the form of power, but now I understand that this is not the case.

Happy endings are the best, aren’t they? What happened after the end of your staged story? Has Pamina lived happily ever after with Tamino? Have you found love, meanwhile? 

I don’t know what love is. It’s the most important thing on this planet. I try to understand it through my daughter and son-in-law. Love leads their lives, and they are very happy indeed. They have beautiful kids and have dedicated their lives to the prosperity of humanity. I am condemned to live forever in the coldness of my heart, unable to love and be loved.

Do you consider yourself a good or a mean character in the story?

Of course, I’m a good character. Everything I do, I do It because of love. But if you ask me what love is, that’s another question.

But how about your three ladies?

Oh… They are so loyal to me! Do you know how I chose them? I was using the birds I commissioned Papagena to check the loyalty of my team. I would put the birds inside a box in my room and leave the room, telling the person not to open the box. If they opened it in my absence, the birds would fly away, and in that way, I could check a person’s loyalty and add it to my team.

Your story is performed on stages all over the world, Queen. What’s the moral that the public should understand from it? What’s the most charming feature of your story?

I may be the Queen of the Night, but I’m also a woman that needs respect to grow. I now understand that I didn’t fairly assert this right. We all need to realise that where someone’s freedom begins, someone else’s freedom ends and the opposite. As I said before, Love is the most important thing in life, and without it, you are condemned to always live in fear.


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Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.


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