Mezzo-soprano, Chiara Amarù will sing the role of Malcom in the Rossini Opera Festival’s concert performance of La donna del lago on August 23, 2013 at Teatro Rossini in Pesaro. Amarù first appeared with Rof in the 2011 production of Mosè in Egitto as Amenofi and as Isaura in last season’s Tancredi.
Nick del Vecchio: Since you appeared at the Rossini Opera Festival in Tancredi as Isaura last summer, what musical adventures have you had since then?
Chiara Amarù: After the beautiful experience at Rof in the role of Isaura, where I had the immense pleasure as well as the honor of working with artists of such high caliber, I sang Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari in November and I recall it was a marvelous heart-felt and instructive adventure. I also sang Rosina in Barbiere di Siviglia at Teatro la Fenice in Venice and Fidalma in Matrimonio Segreto at Teatro Regio in Turin.
NdV: What are the Rossini roles you have in your repertoire?
CA: As of now, I have Angelina in Cenerentola, Rosina, Isabella, and Amenofi. Along with Malcom, I have added Tancredi and coming up soon, Isolier in Le Comte ory.
NdV: Have you sung them in performance, and if so, where?
CA: I have already sung Cenerentola on the Lombard circuit in 2010, the same year I won the Aslico Competition in Como. Next, I sang Angelina again in June at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in 2012… a theater I am very attached to and where I was born as an opera singer! I debuted in Venice in Barbiere di Siviglia and I will again sing Rosina in 2013 in the theater of my hometown, Il Massimo di Palermo. It will be very thrilling for me to perform there and I can’t wait!
NdV: Can you recall the first Rossini role you sang in performance? What was the experience like?
CA: The first role I sang was Angelina in Cenerentola. It was the first time I was faced with a character that was so difficult vocally but I must say that with a lot of study, I really was able to do a beautiful job. From the point of view concerning a relationship with Angelina, I can say I didn’t have any fear because I always felt totally equal to it (the role) from every perspective. Like Angelina, I am very much a dreamer and want to make my dreams come true as in the fairy tale.
NdV: What roles will you perform this coming year? Do you sing other composers besides Rossini?
CA: In September I will begin with Barbiere di Siviglia at Teatro Massimo and I will sing it again at Teatro Regio in Turin in November. In January and February, I will perform in Cenerentola in Treviso, Ferrara and Ravenna. In May, I will sing Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte in Bologna and in July, I will make my debut at Teatro alla Scala in Milan in the trouser role, Isolier in Le comte ory. Besides Rossini, I sing the operas of Mozart and Bellini.
NdV: Where are you from in Italy? Do your family and friends attend your performances?
CA: I was born in Palermo, a very beautiful city in Sicily. I studied at the Conservatory there and improved working with many different singers. After that, I joined the Italian Opera School in Bologna and after the two year course, I began my career with the famous Cenerentola in Bologna which opened many horizons for me.
My family is made up of musicians. My parents worked at the Teatro Massimo, my mother as a lyric soprano and my father and brother play the French horn. I grew up with music in my blood and I owe all my success to my parents. They always come to every performance and their love and affection continually sustain me. Also all my friends admire my work and often come to see me perform. For me, it is an enormous pleasure to feel the constant support of all the people I care about.
NdV: Will you ever sing outside of Italy?
CA: As of now, I haven’t, but I hope to soon be able to do so!
NdV: How did you get the role of Malcom in La donna del lago with the festival this summer?
CA: From the first time that I performed at Rof, the festival’s Artistic Director, Alberto Zedda liked my work, so he offered me the role of Malcom. Of course, I am delighted.
NdV: How do you prepare a role before you start rehearsals?
CA: I prepare it with a lot of care and attention. First, I study the plot, read the opera’s libretto and analyze the character. Then I study the musical score with my singing teacher and with my piano accompanist. It is very intense work which requires serenity and clarity. To have to learn the whole opera by memory is very difficult but little by little with confidence it comes to me.
NdV: What is it like to sing with maestro Zedda? What musical and dramatic suggestions does he give to his cast?
CA: Before singing at Rof, I had known of maestro Zedda’s fine reputation. When I had the honor of working with him in Tancredi, I had some difficulty in understanding how to approach an artist of his caliber. Truthfully, I was afraid. But the maestro was very kind and gentle with me.I remember at the first rehearsal, he conducted with the confidence that few have, with that unique preparation of a true conductor and with a love of Rossini that sets him apart. I will be very happy to experience such emotions again.
NdV: I have heard that the singers at Rof really enjoy their time there, is this true?
CA:It will be a real pleasure being in Pesaro at the festival. I feel very comfortable in that city and it has a different atmosphere from other cities. One works in harmony enjoying a serene and comfortable climate. There are many dear people at the theater who take care of our every need. It would be so nice to work in such beautiful surroundings all the time.
NdV: Would you like to say anything else to my readers. They always enjoy getting to know opera singers!
CA: I want to extend my deepest thanks to the readers for showing the interest in reading this interview. I can say I am very happy to be a singer and I thank God every day for the gift he has given me. But without the public I would only be half an artist and, in fact, I owe my success to the people who come to see me. It’s a perfect job!
English Translation by Rosann Petrella Gonzalez and Nick del Vecchio