INTERVIEW MEXICO / by Dmitri Akerman


The soloist of the Vienna State Opera tells about her vision of the role of Angelina in the staging that will be presented to the public this weekend in the City Theatre of Monterrey. "Cinderella" in the Italian version of Gioachino Rossini tells the story of a woman who is going through a difficult time, but meets her misfortune with patience and humor, and so tries to get out of her stepmother’s and her half-sisters shadow and get to know "the prince on a white horse."

Therefore, the Russian mezzo-soprano singer Margarita Gritskova, the soloist of the Vienna State Opera, makes special emphasis on humor, which is present in the opera. She wants to reflect it in the image of Angelina in the opera "Cinderella", which will be held today at 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of the City Theatre. During the interview to the Monterrey newspaper MILENIO, the singer tells about discipline which she has to follow in order to keep in shape, as well as about her performance together with the tenor Jose Carreras at the concert in Vienna in September last year.

The cast also includes the tenor Javier Camarena in the role of Prince Ramiro; the buffon bass of Italian-Mexican origin Stefano de Peppo performs the role of Baron Magnifico; the Mexican baritone Jose Seron reincarnates into the image of Dandini, and the roles of half-sisters and Prince’s advisor are performed by local singers Yvonne Garza, Yvette Perez and Rosendo Flores. Staged by Rafael Blaskesa, directed by Horacio Almada, to music played by the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Nuevo León. Produced by “Opera Nuevo León” company (Ópera de Nuevo León) led by Gerardo Gonzalez, with the support of the Council for Culture and Arts of Nuevo León ("Conarte") and the National Council for Culture and the Arts of Mexico ("Conaculta" ).

In response to a question on how she felt in the role of Cinderella, the singer told us that the Rossini's version is more comic and that there is no magic of the supernatural, which is present in the fairy tale.

"This role is not as easy to perform as it might seem at first glance. It is not. I was thinking a long time about how to interpret the image of my heroine, and finally decided that it is necessary to perform the role with a great deal of humor. I think that this Rossini's version can be performed only as conceived by the author. Humor is a big part of the work, as the music is very fun and vivid. Notwithstanding the happy end, the piece is full with tragic scenes, which are very strong and sad. You must be able to share them with the audience with humor which touches the whole piece. My character is a person who always looks forward, who, despite the difficulties, does not lose her spirit, and has a good heart. I can even say that she loves very much her family. It is not a suppressed girl. The heroine does not lose hope to find a happy family, and therefore she overcomes any misfortune. It can by no means be called a victim. "

- There are directors who require not to depart from the original text, while others give freedom in interpreting a character. How it was in your case?

"I've been thinking a lot about how to embody the image of my character. When you go out on a huge stage, it is necessary to adjust your emotions, make them stronger in order to share them with the audience, and here came the director Horacio Almada and helped me. He analyzed the key scenes of the piece and really helped me to make the emotions, passing through all these scenes, much deeper. I hope very much that our co-operation will be interesting to the audience. "

- Besides performing mezzo-soprano roles, in the past you also participated in the piano players competition. When did you choose the career of opera singer?

"I always loved both to sing and to play the piano. At the age of 14 I began to wonder what I could do better as I realized that it is very difficult to achieve success in two disciplines at the same time. I decided to pass the piano exam in a music school, but on the day of the exam I got ill and could not come. At 16 I entered the conservatory, the vocal training. The ability to play the piano was a great help: as a singer, I continue to play the piano, and it helps me a lot in rehearsals and training, as I do not have to look for an accompanist. "

- Opera is a genre that, besides singing, incorporates all kinds of art. What do you like in opera?

"It is exactly this that I like in opera. The variety and complexity, the ability to enjoy all kinds of art, as well as the need to keep yourself in good physical shape. We train a lot to look good on stage. The singer must strictly control himself or herself in order to develop. But what I like most is that every singer has to solve a very important task - to share emotions with the audience as they often do not understand the text of the arias. They should not just listen to a beautiful voice, it is important to fill them with emotion. "

- Tell us about your performance experience with the tenor Jose Carreras at the concert in Vienna, which was held in September last year.

"At first I burst in tears. I thought that I could not learn roles in Spanish in one week. But my desire to perform overcame the fear, so I learned them all in such a short time. He is a wonderful person, very friendly. We must all admire the charity activity that he does."