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We were able to interview a young star of opera, the talented and beautiful Venera Gimadieva, recently protagonist of La Traviata in London, that was broadcast in cinemas all over the world. The Times described her performance as full of “richly toned sonorities, expressive penetration and superb stagecraft”.
First Venera, how did you start to love opera? and how have you decided become an opera singer?
Actually my first impression wasn’t good regarding opera. It seemed to me it not realistic and unnatural. I was 16 years old when I visited opera house at the first time and it was Aida. I was studied as chorus conducter, I liked singing but opera didn’t interest me. After a while my vocal teacher told me that I have to go to St Petersburg to get in Conservatory. That’s what I did.
How would you describe your voice?
It is difficult sometime to realise own voice as impartially..) But I think I can say that my voice is light, but sometimes it can be strong, not too big but flight.
You are Russian and then you are part of Russian vocal school. Which are the differences between Italian vocal school and what are the difficultes of sing italian opera?
Generally Russian vocal school based on Italian school. And best way to sing is pronounce Russian language at the same place as Italian during the singing. If the vocal technique is good it doesn’t matter on which languages to sing…of course there are some features.
Violetta is your best role…..Who is Violetta for you? What there is of Violetta in you?
I love this role! It is so passionate and gentle at the same time. Violetta is a collective image of real women. For me she has difficult character because of complicated life, she is a little girl who forgot all childhood dreams about best life. And this period that Verdi/ Dumas shows us she opened herself and gives vent to emotions.
You had played Violetta in lot of different productions….like in Glyndebourne or in Venice…..How change your interpretation?
My understanding this role grows and I find something new all the time in different productions, new colours s of her voice, new reactions to what is happening.
On January you will make your debut at London Royal Opera House…..What are your expectations for this debut and what are the emotions to sing in a historical production like Richard Eyre’s Traviata?
I was waiting this debut 3 years, I was so exited, and it seemed to me that will never happen…but it’s done and it happened so quick…I just really happy that I had this experience, this pleasure to sing on such a wonderful stage at this brilliant production.
On 4 february Roh’s La Traviata will be broadcast in cinemas…..What do you think of opera at cinema?
I think it’s great idea! Not everyone can to come to the Theatre because of an own reasons. A lot of people would love to get to ROH to see and listening this production, but that are living for example in Russia, or Peru- it’s too far to travel…
Recently you debuted the role of Lucia in France, and in the next season you will be Puritani’s Elvira in Madrid. how do you make credible the madness on stage?
I have never seen the mad person in reality…but we are all a bit crazy from time to time:) And the mad person is who couldn’t stop, who lost himself… As I can imagine, mad person is very focused on their ideas, imageries. And he/she is unpredictable.
how do you prepare a new role?
Here is all the scores is easy- learning, reading books from which opera is derived, may be listening good singers, but real work begin on stage During rehearsals.
What are your dream roles?
“Manon” by Jules Massenet, Donna Anna of “Don Giovanni” by Mozart, Marguerite of “Faust” by Gounod, Adina of “L’elisir d’amore” by Donizetti, Natasha in “War and Peace” by Prokofiev.
Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” in Berlin , “La Traviata” in Dresden, Elvira of “I Puritani” in Madrid and “The Golden Cockerel” in Bruxelles.
Toi Toi Toi Venera and Thank you so much!!!