interview for the night

or day, depending on where you are on the globe, it’s still 15min before midnight here! Having been spending the extended weekend in limited internet space, I have dug up again my “Mingardo” folder and re-listening to some of her earlier works.. and stumbled on this really insightful interview.

Though i can digest the French, it’s most clear when piped through the English translator because there are some quite fine details I couldn’t catch otherwise. It’s the most “blunt” or “direct” (honest) interview I’ve ever heard from her, really reminded me of V.Kasarova’s interviews or some of Antonacci’s. Some of the highlights include:
– How she knew she was a contralto even as a kid 🙂
– JE.Gardiner being the first serious conductor who trusted her in a language other than Italian and gave her the first opportunity (something she often mentioned in subsequent inteview)
– How singing Bach is extremely difficult for her
– How the moment she discovered Monteverdi, everything Monteverdi was better than Azucena 😀
– How she made the jump to “professional” , and knowledge of old system which fostered artists such as ACA versus the lack of anything now.
– She had some very sharp words for the Italian art culture (lack thereof) and direction (during the 2006)
– How young singers saw her as a beacon of light in the search for early music possibility (“they call me directly at my home because they didn’t know where to turn!” — paraphrasing..) This provides insight into her recent project, sponsoring 7 young singers in early music:

Very insightful. I’d really love to read her biography if she ever decides to write one. There is still that other also very insightful interview in Polish, which if I find the link I’ll post here. But this was really a nice window into how her career started. Oh yes, she also sung Cesare and Rinaldo!! with C.Rousset.. am on a mission to find audio evidence..


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

7 Responses to interview for the night

  1. FierceRev says:

    I love this: ” the moment she discovered Monteverdi, everything Monteverdi was better than Azucena” 🙂

  2. dehggial says:

    everything Monteverdi was better than Azucena

    amen to that. Though, to be totally fair, Azucena is a rather interesting role as “murderous mezzo characters” go and, from what I can tell, keeps a challenge-loving mezzo busy. Even so, give me Monteverdi any day. I want the subtle poetry and the winky humour rather than the agonising passion.

    • thả diều says:

      i am just amused that as a mezzo/contralto your first option in italy is Azucena.. regardless of how lost you feel… like S.Prina mentioned : “they tried Cenerentola on me” . and indeed S Mingardo ‘s first braek was singing Cenerentola! and “all the agents were there” and that was how she found her path

      • dehggial says:

        poor things. Verdi comes first, though. As you can see, Vivaldi’s from there too and it’s not sold out. Poor Prina, playing the meek girl! Haha. At least Mingardo can do hard done by.

  3. dehggial says:

    it’s very sad what she says – and what ACA said too – that Italy isn’t interested in music anymore. For me as a foreigner it seems so odd, first thing that comes to mind when thinking about opera is the Italian language. But, sadly, this seems all too common in Europe (at least back in ye olde and even here in the UK), locals are shunning their own cultural heritage. A terrible decline.

    • thả diều says:

      i was impressed by how direct she was.. may be we haven’t seen enough of her interviews. but i wonder if Italians feel comfortable venting to the French 🙂

      • dehggial says:

        but i wonder if Italians feel comfortable venting to the French

        ha! Who knows. I liked it too that she just lashed out. What is happeningIt’s a disgrace so it’s become necessary to speak up. Might be too late though.

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