Saimir Pirgu

Opera should be enjoyed live and in the theatre in order to have a full grasp of its essence
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by Alice Lechner
January 30, 2023

INTRODUCTION

Saimir Pirgu is “one of the world’s most important interpreters of lyric tenor roles” (Opera Today)  and we are thrilled to have him here as our guest. In this interview, he talks with Alice Lechner about his thoughts regarding what qualities should an opera singer possess in order to have a successful career, about his relationship with Verdi’s music, but also about how was it like to play Rinuccio in Woody Allen’s first opera staging film. Did you know that he studied with Luciano Pavarotti? He was so fortunate to get to know him personally, talk with him, and learn from him. He shares a little bit from that experience and also talks about his voice and how he chooses the next challenge in terms of repertoire. Enjoy your reading!

BIOGRAPHY

Saimir Pirgu figures among the brightest stars in today’s international operatic firmament and has been celebrated at every major international operatic venue, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro alla Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Paris Opéra, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Berlin Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper, the Zurich Opera, Barcelona’s Liceu, the San Francisco Opera, the Sydney Opera House, the Arena di Verona, the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna Musikverein and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. His recent successes include La Bohème at Wiener Staatsoper and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Faust at Zurich Opernhaus; Carmen at Berlin Deutsche Oper and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma; Un Ballo in Maschera with Israel Philharmonic and at Teatro Regio in Parma; Werther in Tokyo; Manon at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris; New Year’s Eve Concert of the Staatskapelle Dresden; Onegin at Teatro dell’Opera in Rome; La Damnation de Faust at Moscow Bolshoi Theatre and Vienna Musikverein; Rigoletto at London Royal Opera House; La Traviata at Metropolitan Opera in New York, Vienna and Berlin State Opera; Die Zauberflöte at Teatro alla Scala; Roméo et Juliette at Barcelona Liceu, Rigoletto at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, Simon Boccanegra at Teatro di San Carlo in Napoli, Madama Butterfly at Zurich Opernhaus. His last album Il Mio Canto, edited by Opus Arte, features many of the greatest tenor arias ever composed. The release pays tribute to the art form he is dedicating his career to, the tradition of the great Italian Tenor. He was recognized with the “Franco Corelli” award in 2009 in Ancona and with the prestigious “Pavarotti d’Oro Award” in 2013. He has been an ambassador for Down Syndrome Albania, a foundation dedicated to helping children with Down Syndrome, since 2013.

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INTERVIEW

Dear Saimir, thank you for accepting our invitation! It’s such a pleasure to meet and chat with you! How are you? What are your hopes and dreams for 2023? I’m very well, thank you! I started the year singing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim and I hope that this “Ode to […]

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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.

BIANCA L. NICA

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