Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Meeting with Joseph Calleja at the Künstlerhaus in München

Today Joseph Calleja was invited by "Die Münchner Opernfreunde" ("The friends of the opera in Munich") for an interview and a talk with his audience. The meeting took place at the Künstlerhaus in München ("the house of artists"). Our München-based blog friend Herbert attended this event and he wrotes the following report.

I have just come home from this very interesting talk with Joseph Calleja. I asked him how he liked the performance last night. His answer: "Judging from the reaction of the audience I liked it very much. It was a magical night, although it is really difficult to perform almost without a rehearsal. But when you play with Anna you don't have to act a lot - she does everything and she is so believable."

He even confessed that he really wept in the end when Mimi had died - "the people in the first rows must have seen that it were real tears."

And he said that it was unbelievably hot on stage - "the warmest 'cold winter' you can imagine." The singers had to change their shirts after each scene because they were totally wet. - After his first aria he heard somebody shout something - and he (mis)understood: "Art, bitte" - "(more) art, please", and he thought: "Was I really that bad?". But his colleagues told him backstage that a woman had called for an "Arzt", a doctor!, because she was fainting. In fact two people in the audience collapsed because of the heat in the theatre!

Finally the interpreter revealed that Calleja will sing Hoffman at the MET instead of Villazon. Calleja didn't agree to it, but he said with a smile that the MET is going to inform the public of a big surprise... and that he had to change his schedule from October to January 2010.

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