Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Interview to Anna Netrebko on RTVi Russian TV

Anna Netrebko was the invited guest of Viktor Topaller's show on the RTVi Russian TV channel for the last transmission of the year 2009. The interview was recorded in New York. Here it is the full interview, splitted in 6 videoclips, uploaded to YouTube by lekutski.

Our blog friend Violeta has kindly made an english translation of the interview for the blog. Here they are some excerpts.

Talking about the outstanding Willy Decker's production of Verdi's La Traviata, Anna says "This production was quite special. We were preparing it for 6 weeks. This is a very long period. We were working very seriously. Willy Decker is a director whom I trusted from the very beginning. I used to do everything he asked me to do. This seldom happens".

Anna confirmed that she will sing the title role of Donizetti's Anna Bolena next year: "Next year I’ll sing Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. It’s a very interesting and very difficult role. I have to be a Queen. I have to study the story, who’s who. I have only watched a film about the Tudors. I liked it".

Anna is scheduled to sing Tatiana of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Met in two years time. "Well, I don’t know why I agreed to sing Onegin after two years. I was asked to do it. It’s a new role". And added "Well, it’s not for my voice. But we’ll do something after two years".

Anna made her Met debut in 2002 as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace. "Debut at the Metropolitan Opera is always a very important event in the life of every singer. Of course, it was something very special all the more that it was in War and Peace. This role has everything – wonderful music, wonderful character. It’s probably one of my favorite roles. Probably, that’s why I was noticed".

The same year Anna sang the role of Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Salzburger Festspiele. She said that nobody believed in the final result. "No one believed. I didn’t believe. My friends, my colleagues, my teachers didn’t believe. Donna Anna requires another type of voice. Everyone asked me: why are you singing it? I answered: I don’t know, I was asked. I’ll make an audition. Harnoncourt is searching a singer for Donna Anna since 5 years and cannot find one. I entered the audition, sang two phrases and he said: OK, we’ll work. This was a great surprise for me".

Anna is a person who loves to take risks. "I can’t say I love risks or love to play with the fate, but if you want to go on the stage in front of thousands of people you must have strong character. It’s especially very important for the performances that are broadcast live to movie theaters and millions of people watch them and the camera is so close to your face. It’s so threatening. You must have nerves of steel". And yes, sure, Anna has nerves of steel.

Anna keeps the friends she had in her childhood. "All friends that I had in my childhood are still with me. Every time when I come back to Krasnodar, unfortunately this rarely happens, they all come to see me the same day. They also visit me frequently. I invite my friends to visit me during my travelling in different countries. Yes, t’s very important for me to see them. Nor time, nor changes in personal life distroyed our relations. This is very important for me".

Talking about her life Anna says "I don’t want to complain. Of course, I have a wonderful life. Of course, I have an interesting life. On the first place, because I love my work, I consider this happiness. I live with people who I love and who love me. This is very important. Everything else is difficult of course. Of course, I need to work, I need to give everything of me if I want to have good results, if I want to stay at the top. Opera singer’s life is difficult, because performances are live, we never sing using microphones, no one cover us. Many times I’m forced to sing ill, because cancellations are a disaster and bring serious consequences. It’s easier for me to sing ill than cancel".

Anna had planned to do a photo session for Playboy. "You know, I really had to do a photosession for Playboy, but not naked. Not only naked photos are made for Playboy. You may do a wonderful sexy photo even when you are dressed or almost dressed. But when everything was ready I get pregnant". Nevertheless, apparently, Erwin does not like very much such kind of photos. "Yes, my husband is very strict. He didn’t like my photos in InStyle Magazine where I’m neglige. He scolded me and said: You must not do this". Anna says that Erwin is "too much" jealous, while she also admits she is jealous too.

Talking about Tiago, Anna says that "He is a quiet boy. We call him Tisha (тихо means quiet). He is a quiet and cute boy. All the time he smiles and reads books". Anna says that they read books in Russian "I don’t have time to teach him. But of course we read books, he loves Russian books. You know what? He’s in love with “Cheburashka” and “Ghena the crocodile” (famous Russian cartoons). If he starts watching these cartoons he stays still at his place until all 4 parts finish. Cheburashka is his favourite character".

Anna does not like receiving presents from her fans. "I have already tell this story: When I was a student at the Conservatory, one of my fans made me a present – boots. There was nothing to wear - poor and hungry years. Thanks God I didn’t put them on, because when I said “No” to this fan, he took back these boots. Since this moment I decided to never receive anything from anyone. Because if you do it you feel oblidged all the time. I don’t want to be oblidged to anyone. If I like something I buy it by myself. Or I do not buy it if I do not have money. So, if I have enough money - I go to Bergdorf, if I don’t have money - I go to TJMax and buy many wonderful things but more cheaper".

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  1. She is crazy ! I love her (even if I don't understand a word)!
    4'30 in the last video... priceless.

  2. Carlos,thank you so much for posting this interview! I knew about it as a friend of mine has watched it and told me! It's so wonderful - long and interesting! Many questions have already been answered before but Anna is so clever and always suprises me! Did you know she's going to record a duet song with Philip Kirkorov? I didn't!

  3. Do you know the song which Anna sings at the end? No? Check this link to see the original:
    It's from the Russian film "Nu pogodi". Snegurochka is the Russian name of Snow White. She usually comes together with Ded Moroz who is the Russian Santa Claus.

  4. Thanks Violeta.
    Who is Kirkorov ? I hope that she will not begin to make cross-over !
    It would be spoiling her magnificent voice and talent, as she is able to make so beautiful things in opera or Lieder repertoire.
    I wouldn't be too oldfashioned, but I love opera and that's what I want to listen Anna in.

  5. Well, Philip Kirkorov is a popstar in Russia. And I will disappoint you but Anna says this song is a kind of cross-over! She also says her managers like the song very much. Let's wait and see.
    Anna also says she wants to sing operetta but she can't do it as most of operettas are written in German language and she finds it difficult to learn it.

  6. Well... operetta can be good ! I like many of them and some of their pieces are really very beautiful.

    For the cross-over... hum... I thought it was inevitable that she'd make it one day or another (despite he fact that she said in her early interviews that she was not interested). But the least the best... Ocassionnally for fun, I hope and not seriously.
    In fact I'm crazy because I had very much fun in listening Barcelona with Mercury and Caballé.
    But one song for fun is a thing... all a cd another.

    It's not being an opera snob I hope, but I think that her voice deserves better than this kind of music who can be done by anyone. Waste of talent.

    Thank you very much for the information and the translation Violeta.

  7. It's a pitty not to have a translation of the interview. I love how it is conducted and how relaxed and at easy Anna looks... I love how she pronounces those "da!... da!... da!" and, as AL pointed out, the part of the last clip where she sings that song from the Russian film "Nu pogodi" (thanks Violeta)...

    I do not like neither all that affair with this unknown Russian popstar... I hope it will be just a duet, for fun, and that's all...


  9. Hi Carlos,
    thank you for this interview which is very entertaining, although I only understand Da/Yes and Njet/No. But judging from Anna's face and her reactions I think she did not like some of the questions she was asked. If she were a "diva" she would react quite differently. ;-)) Thanks God she isn't!
    As far as ANNA BOLENA is concerned, her partner Elina Garanca has already got the dates of the performances in her schedule:
    Best wishes, Herbert

  10. Well, I can not promise you but I'll see if I can do something in the weekend to help you understand this interview! But, be sure no translation compares to the life listening!
    Yesterday I missed to add that Anna has promised to sing Tatiana in Eugene Onegin after two years though this role is not for her voice.

  11. Thanks Violeta. It would be great !

    Yes, for Tatiana, I think that it's scheduled for the MET 2012/2013 with Mariusz Kwieczien.

  12. Yes Eugene Onegin was on the schedule but I'm glad to know that it seems to be confirmed.

    Violeta if you can provide us with an english summary of the interview it would be great. I could post it on the front page, obviously including your name.

    Herbert, maybe Anna did not like some of the questions, but I think that she is looking very comfortable with it. I remember other interviews where this was not at all the situation.

  13. Carlos, I absolutely agree that Anna managed this interview very well. That's why I said that a "diva" would have shown much more that she disliked some questions.
    Maybe Violeta could say something about what the interviewer asked her?...

  14. Great interview as always. I am glad that Tatiana is basically confirmed. I like the part about singing Donna Anna in Salzburg, he, he, he. The duet with Philip Kirkorov, oh boy :) And I must say that I love Cheburashka and Giena too. The last song ... you can tell that she watches a lot of children's programs. And those two are soo good.

  15. Actually, the host spoiled the interview, kept on asking stupid questions, which didnt really have a certain answer, thats why anna simply didnt know what to reply at times...thats my subjective view though...
    and i absolutely adored that prank song in the end))) Thats what I really love Anna for! Being an opera star and an absolutely simple, funny and amusing person at the same time)

  16. Many thanks for the translation.

  17. I can confirm that Anna will NOT sing Anna Bolena in Barcelona in 2011. It was a little bit surprising the previous announcement, because as I said sometimes, Anna did not have any plans to sing in Barcelona, at least till 2014... Things may change of course, but for the moment she will not sing Anna Bolena in 2011...

  18. Oh what a pity, but at least Vienna seems to be sure.

  19. Probably the Wien performances replace the initially scheduled peformances of Maria Stuarda as Anna seems to have decided to skip this role

  20. After a little bit of research I have found the news again which I was looking for. ;-)) Here are Elina Garanca's partners in Anna Bolena: Anna Netrebko (Vienna), Edita Gruberova (Barcelona) and Natalie Dessay (New York).

  21. ??????????????????
    Bolena in NY is of course with Netrebko too. Not Dessay ! Journalists are really annoying some times !
    By the way I can't figure one second that Dessay may sing Bolena. She has by no way the voice for this role(which doesn't mean that she is a bad singer... that's just nor her repertoire... that's as if you asked Petibon to sing Isolde... or if you asked Meier to sing Lakmé. Well I'm exaggerating a bit... but not so much).



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