Annalisa Stroppa, the reality of a dream

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Live excited by a profession for which has been prepared respecting the times. No hurry, as do those who know and love lyric. Its smooth and glazed voice and expressiveness on stage, They have made it increasingly claimed in the scenes and the most important directors in the world. extraordinarily nearby, Annalisa Stroppa enchants with its charm and energy, inside and outside escena.Brío Classic: Tell us a bit how they started in the world of opera.

Annalisa Stroppa: The truth is that since I was a little girl had pretty clear ideas: most he wanted to be a singer!!

But actually it has been a gradual way and a goal that had never imagined getting; dreamed, he wanted, expected, but finally he arrived!!! I entered the world of opera step by step, after getting my diploma first in the conservatory and after winning several singing competitions in Italy and international, which for me was very important because it confirmed that going in the right direction and in turn encouraged me to continue on the same path. I started singing chamber recitals, small operatic roles and then gradually more main characters and contexts, theaters and productions increasingly important. I also began to make my first auditions in theaters, but the real springboard was undoubtedly my first leading role internationally, I was Cherubino in Figaro due, Mercadante, under the direction of maestro Muti ... Soon they offered me the opportunity to debut the Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Rome Opera with Maestro Bruno Campanella address, and then I was in the best theaters in the world A dream come true!

B.C: How was the time when he discovered he had a proper instrument?

A.S: I began to approach the lyrical thanks to my grandparents, with whom I spent many afternoons after school; they listened to the three tenors (Sunday, Pavarotti and Carreras) and Mario del Monaco. Yes, all tenors! Thanks to them I began to discover the great arias and tried to imitate. So I discovered I had an important voice, special, and hence he was born the desire and willingness to be a singer. I remember at the age of 8 Y 9 years sang "Nessun dorma", "O sole mio","Whiskey facile", "A love so great"!!! There I discovered that nature had been generous to me and I had a special voice; I had within me a treasure that could not spoil but learn to use it in the best way. My paternal grandmother I inherited voice and the maternal grandmother, passion for opera. I had to build my voice; the voice was there naturally, start and placed, obviously to develop; so I studied a lot and worked a lot voice even today, because you never finished studying, but I have to say that I was lucky to have a voice, I have always considered a great gift.

At first, It is almost adolescent, I was told to study singing was still very young, my voice was not completely changed to the adult voice, and so I started studying music; I was admitted to the Conservatory to study piano and then, around 20 years the voice was finally ready and mature to face the studio singing, In addition already I had behind me a good musical preparation in which I could support me and I began to study singing at the Conservatory of Brescia, my hometown (near Milan).

He studied at the Conservatory and at the same time preparing exams college and worked a few hours teaching music at a primary school. When I think about it even could not understand how yet; I think it was because I had a strong will to bring energy to face all. I have to say I've always had the good example of my family; They taught me the spirit of sacrifice and work to get what he wanted. Although it was hard and very tired loved everything he did, teaching children, my studies at university and especially singing!!!

I love this profession; Singing is not only part of me, but involves my life 360 degrees and it is wonderful to have been able to realize my dream. I could not imagine it because you can not understand a thing until we live it in first person; even with all the difficulties and the remoteness of my loved ones (this race requires you to be many months away from home), when I go on stage and I know I've given it my best, the audience's applause reward all the effort. After years of study I look at the posters of the best theaters in the world and that's a great satisfaction. I feel really very lucky because I managed to, my passion, my job, and I thank you for it. I feel fulfilled, I am very happy and I hope to move forward and for many years.

B.C: How did your selection by Muti to debut at the Salzburg Festival? Was this a turning point in his career?

A.S: Yes. I had the wonderful opportunity that I heard in a hearing Mrs Cristina Muti and director of the Theater of Ravenna Angelo Nicastro. Until that time he had sung solo concerts and some small roles. The audition went well and I set out to make "cover" in the production of Betulia Liberata di Mozart (Carmi) directed by maestro Muti in Salzburg. Right after I was asked to study the role of Cherubino in I due Figaro to introduce myself to auditions for that specific character in which also the master Muti and Emilio Sagi régisseur were present, and I was awarded the role!!

A) Yes, I due Figaro Mercadante coincides with my first leading role internationally. A wonderful role in transvestite. Staged the premiere took place in Austria, in the prestigious setting of the Kleines Festspielhaus in Salzburg 2011; after the show was replenished in Alighieri Theater Ravenna, in 2012 at the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Colon of Buenos Aires.

It was part of an absolute premiere of a rediscovered opera and never displayed so far in the prestigious Salzburg Festival, an event that were pending around the world of opera!!

Naturally I was very excited because I felt that the time represented my starting point; It was absolutely unknown and I had hit on the international scene. The truth is that I am very grateful to Maestro Muti and all those who contributed to be chosen because it gave me the opportunity to learn and grow a lot as an artist. I have a very nice memory of the end of the first function, with enormous satisfaction Whatever had gotten! Say was able to break the ice with strength and firmness.

After years of study and a lot of sacrifice I am here, in major theaters, as in the wonderful opening of the Scala conducted by Riccardo Chailly and now at the Royal Theater; in Spain I have also been fortunate to singing at the Liceu in Barcelona, in Bilbao, in Valladolid, in Manorca and Las Palmas.

B.C: How would you describe the characteristics of your voice?

A.S: I'm a lyrical mezzosoprano. I face mainly roles of bel canto and French repertoire. I think this repertoire is perfectly suited to my vocalism and my character. I like to spread among authors to make my voice fits well to the vocalism and writing each composer.

B.C: Their repertoire is very wide. It ranges from Rossini to Verdi, through Mozart. Rossini requires agility, Verdi, drama and Mozart, a bit of everything. Which of them feel more comfortable in the interpretation?

A.S: Authors of the eighteenth century, as Mozart, or that is later Rossini, They have been a balm for my voice, especially during the study period and the early career. If he aprende to sing "on the breath", to recognize the importance of the word recitatives, phrasing, the "legato"; all these elements are also part of the styles that followed later and so back now and then to Mozart and Rossini's always a pleasure. As for Verdi at the moment I approached only with Meg of "Falstaff" and Fenena in "Nabucco". I feel very comfortable with the characters that have been incorporated, as I said before about the nineteenth-century French repertoire.

But if I had to pick a composer at this time I would go for Bellini because his music expresses something superlative combining few notes in a masterly way. Bellini loved and knew the voices and had an inimitable ability to appeal to the great feelings: It is pure poetry that takes shape thanks to "legato", the purity of sound, art declaimed, allowing the performer to use a wide range of vocal colors. Romeo roles as Adalgisa or vocally cover a very large area, requiring uniform voice from the low notes to the extremely sharp; Besides, excellent "legato" demanding much mastery of agility. I love the purity of its melodic line and richness of feelings that transcends each of the notes of his works. I try to cherish this writing valorising the fraseo, and "tied" y "Voice setup".

B.C: What technical characteristics best about each of the composers mentioned when addressing his music?

A.S: All kinds of repertoire is faced with the same basic technique, but other than that there is in each case must be used in different ways our instrument. Verdi requires decidedly more "pulp" -o specific-weight and have to pass a very different orchestration of a Mozart or Rossini, for example. The same discourse is valid for the bel canto or the "verismo". The voice is like a glove to suit different requirements. Rossini, Bellini y Donizetti, with types of writing and different styles, They have in common the fact that they love and value the voices and leave the performer great freedom to accommodate the orchestral accompaniment that sustains. The singers are like athletes in this repertoire which must take everything with purity of sound, aspect that is not as evident in other composers. Everything is in the fraseo, in the "legato", en the "Voice setup", the importance of the word: Rossini is distinguished by declaimed and coloratura, Bellini per unmatched purity of melodic line and Donizetti per dramatic cut, the psychological depth of his characters-and pathetic acting with a new romantic sensibility. Donizetti was the direct precursor of Verdi.

B.C: How do you prepare Annalisa Stroppa a new role and what are the selection criteria?

A.S: I think to choose new roles or authors just need to hear your voice and respect the possibilities of voice at all times: voice guides you and tells you the most correct and healthier repertoire to deal.
I've never had the pretension to be able to sing all because I think knowing well your voice is when you require an effort and give you the maximum.
When you study a new role I get involved fully in the study libretto and score finding my own way of playing the character.

As for the frames based on historical themes, such as Anna Bolena, I document everything I can to get an idea of ​​how accurate was the historical character and which character was in order to give my own characterization, whether that voice interpretative.
I think this is a wonderful aspect of my work, that is to say, make my mark and doing my part of my character that I face every.

B.C:- It is in Madrid to participate in Faust, Gounod, in the premiere season of the Teatro Real. Tell us about this work and his character, Siebel, it has moments of great beauty and lyricism.

A.S: Gounod catch you and you fall in love with an extraordinary melody, hypnotic, sensual, irresistible; French music starts prosody in a sublime way. Faust is an opera of extraordinary beauty, rich in various aspects: in it are a mixture of narrative singing (almost declaimed), choral waltzes, poignant moments, a great expressive intensity and lyrical intimismo; why so many composers of the second half of "Ottocento" were inspired by him: between ellos Massenet, Bizet, Debussy o Ravel.

Gounod is based on a story that for centuries has inspired not only musicians and librettists, but also poets, novelists and painters. The fascination of this story is probably linked to the universal themes addressed, as the struggle between good and evil, la fe, love, the transience of earthly life; definitely, true motives, of our culture and are masterfully treated by the composer.

Siebel in the opera, the character that I interpret, It is beautiful and positive, leal, with a constant and sensitive presence with Marguerite; He has promised his brother, he had to go to war, to ensure his and Siebel is actually the only one who supports to the end. Faust seduced and abandoned by, Scorned by all, and cursed by his brother Valentine, Siebel will only remains true and it only comforting faith. Siebel meanwhile try a pure love for Marguerite, in fact he devotes the first aria, which it is lovely: "Make her my confession", in which he transferred his romantic and youthful character with the enthusiasm and joy of a young man who defeated the curse of Mephistopheles, who after wetting his hand in holy water, You can pick flowers for your beloved without these wilting.

Among the roles I've faced, I've been fortunate to play several in transvestite.

For a woman playing a male role is a challenge as an actress. I always try to observe as much as possible the attitudes and movements of men, from children (I think of Hänsel) to teens (for example Cherubino or Romeo), or more mature men (as Ascanio or Orfeo), and I try to find ways to immerse myself as much as possible in the role I should play. It is not easy, but it is possible! The important thing is to identify with the character and everything else, the movement, voice and indications of stage director, is only a little.

My first role was in transvestite I due Figaro Cherubino in Mercadante, and then I could get into the skin of Cherubino mozartiano, Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice,Gluck, the Stéphano s Roméo et Juliette de Gounod, and Hänsel in the charming tale of the Brothers Grimm Hansel and Gretel Humperdinck music. The interpreter pasada temporada Ascanio in Benvenuto Cellini by Berlioz and Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

Siebel sing in the Teatro Real de Faust, so we could say that I already have eight roles in transvestite in my repertoire.

I am very excited because next season will debut Nicklausse of The Tales of Hoffman at the San Carlo in Napoli.

B.C: The scenery of Faust is run by Alex Olle, in front of La Fura dels Baus. The sets of Olle usually very potent, What do you think and how it unfolds? In general, How it is worn with stage directors?

A.S: It is a staging non-traditional, but modern, innovative and very interesting. Faust is not a doctor in search of eternal youth, but a scientist working in a research center. The first stage is a laboratory with a sterile chamber behind glass in which scientists are in tight suits that are floating between tanks and containers in which human figures loom. Doctors and nurses constantly cross the stage. Siebel is a young medical intern. When the project comes to a standstill and frustrating, Fausto uses Mefistofele and in the next scene the scientist's life gives way to his adventures with demonic contrafigura.

Faust reading La Fura dels Baus makes you reflect on the understanding of the contemporary era and shows the reflection of the inner desires of the individual, balanced between desire and frustration, between self and unit; is not only the struggle between good and evil as external realities, but among these inherent pulses within one person. Faust, in fact, coexists the same Mefistofele. At the end of the opera, Mefistofele wear the same clothes Faust, thus revealing the nature of alter ego of the protagonist.
It must emphasize the crucial importance of video projections and lighting; the dominant color is red, which represents passion, the blood, the wine, the miraculous transformation of water into wine, here is reversed sacrilegious, etc…

Today's stage direction has become increasingly important; I am lucky to work with directors always fantastic scene.

Overall I am always well prepared because I think the stage directors can get useful information to better your own expressiveness. For me a good stage manager is one who knows that music and singing have to respect and adapt its leadership in the service of music and song, putting interpreters in the best conditions to sing.

Today there is no longer the idea of ​​a static stage direction; you have to keep alive and present opera to capture public attention, and I think this is the winning formula.

B.C: Where his repertoire goes?

A.S: For the moment would follow in my field, which it is the bel canto and French repertoire of "Ottocento". I feel my voice is expanding and is becoming more weight and maybe in the future I can also face the great masterpieces of Verdi. We will see! Time to time. I do not want leapfrog if not taste all the beautiful repertoire of my vocalism to give the best of me right now.

On the other hand I always make the comparison with the dressing, that is to say, If I have a size "M" I can not get an "S" or "L". The same goes for the choice of repertoire. We need to know just wait and change size when the voice suggests you.

B.C: Although this is a very demanding and absorbing career, a non-dedicated only to her, What do you like to do when not working?

A.S: My passion coincides with my job and that is priceless!
My free time to devote to other activities is somewhat limited, but when I have, I like to spend with my loved ones.

I travel a lot and during productions am much time away from home, so I take the moments of pause to enjoy the beauty of the cities I visit, appreciate cultural differences, I savor the local cuisine ... I enjoy it also in the kitchen, so I experiment with new recipes.

B.C: You have very good dramatic skills on stage, How important is for you the dramatic part of a work and how to channel all that energy into the public?

A.S: For me it is essential that an artist of his personal seal when interpreting a character to try to make him his; that is to say, study the character in depth to reach deeper details and nuances. And can provide a reading that reflects our personality and sensibility as artists. When I play a character I try to internalize it and get into it as much as possible to feel on stage their same emotions. It's wonderful to get into different characters, each with its own personality and character, and hacértelos yours.

My studies have helped me not to stand on a superficial view of the role I play, If you do not enter fully to understand its complexity and character, psychology, its relationship with the other characters in the opera; I try to offer a "soul" rather than a body the character I play. It is only with a careful analysis when we get this takes shape. further, I am excited to understand the opera I play a three-dimensional shape, from the script, texts, its historical context and setting. Only then the role will you do yours.

I also think about people and public. Interpreters have an important role in this, because we must move, enthuse and to understand who we listen to what the character says, your mood, etc…

Among other things we have ever wider duty to bring opera to a public; education and public awareness of today and tomorrow especially when it is essential. In fact, It is vital!

It is also important to emphasize in music education in schools; It needs to sensitize children to appreciate and know our musical and operatic heritage; They must learn to enjoy it and love him.

On the other hand, I love the contact with the public because it is what gives you the strength, energy, the heat I need when I'm on stage. The public is my engine, a living and integral part of the show.

Interview: Paloma Sanz

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