Muscat: Success in the world of opera requires more than singing, says Diana Damrau, ‘the Divine Diva’, who has been hailed as the world’s leading coloratura soprano.
In an interview, she said that opera is always a combination of both music and theatre and the audience of today is much harder to convince than in earlier times.
“We are spoiled through recordings, films and all the techniques involved to make the characters and their stories believable. So we have to sing like gods and play like for the Oscars! But the power of music and the words will always show you what to do and will carry you into spaces you would have never dreamt of,” she said.
Diana Damrau will perform with Nicolas Testéat The Royal Opera House on May 18.
Damrau, who was born (1971) and educated in Germany, has mastered the difficult art of combining world class siniging with equally skillful acting. She is as convincing when she sings the lovely young Juliet in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet as she is when perfoming as the monstrous Queen of the Night in Mozart’ Magic Flute.
When asked how she feels about her stunning superstar status, Damrau responded, “ With all the work I have done, with what I have learned and experienced, I have now the wonderful opportunity to work at the highest level among fantastic musicians and artists. I am very grateful for this. But there is no time to stop and rest, you have to be always in top form and perform your very best”.
Diana and Nicolas have chosen a diverse selection of arias, with pieces that include world favourites such as Juliet’s “Je veux vivre!” (I want to live!) from Romeo and Juliet and “Una voce poca fa” (A voice a little while ago) from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
“First of all, the audience comes to enjoy wonderful melodies, and so we chose a program with great variety, so that everybody can find something he or she knows and loves and then experience new things and find more treasures. There will be funny, festive, and seductive as well as dramatic and forceful, tender and elegant, music and stories to experience,”Damrau explained how she and Nicolas made the selections.
When asked what challenges or satisfactions there are in singing with her husband, Diana replied, “We very rarely get to sing love scenes together, since there is not much repertoire for a bass-bariton and a soprano! So it gets always quite dramatic on the set - and we are having a lot of fun with this. Naturally you want your partner to perform at his or her best. And so you are listening very closely; you try to help; and then you are very happy when it works!”
Diana and Nicloas manage to successfully juggle two careers and two children, along with school and travelling. Damrau says that this requires “a lot of planning and support from family, nannies and tutors. BUT..: there is great potential in all of this and exciting things are coming up! “
Toward the end of the interview when asked about her legacy, Damrau remarked, “I hope people will remember me for becoming the roles I play, for being an honest and giving performer who strives to go into the fine details of singing as well as of acting, so that people really believe that what they are seeing and hearing is absolutely true in that moment.”
The Muscat audience is in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with this legendary soprano who is regular guest of the world’s best opera companies and concert halls, and a special audience favourite at New York’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera where she has performed annually for the past ten years, ongoing.
Diana Damrau has been named a Kammersängerin of the Bavarian State Opera, the highest and most prestigious honour bestowed by the German government on distinguished singers of opera and classical music.