Anna gave her latest interview to the German newspaper Die Welt in Salzburg.
A spotless beautiful sunny day at Salzburg. Anna Netrebko, 37, the probably most celebrated opera diva of our times, greet for an exclusive conversation. The place: A salon at the classy hotel Sacher in view of the Salzach. Netrebko wears such an elegant as colourful Missoni-dress and is in a very good temper. The beam in the face which you likely assume young mothers - Netrebko has it. Her new CD "Souvenirs" (Deutsche Grammophon) is got very lightly. But it was recorded long before the birth of her son.
WELT ONLINE: Miss Netrebko, at her new CD "Souvenirs" do you sing folksongs and render homage to the operetta. The first track is out of Kálmáns "gypsy princess" and is called "Heia in den Bergen". Are you already afraid of the reactions ?
Netrebko: Why, no why should I. If it would be my first solo-announcement, ok. But I have already recorded some CDs and they were all very grave. Now I was up for something more lightly. You don't have to forget that I am out of a little town in the Russian province. There was only one theatre, in which operettas where staged, too. The “gipsy princess” was the first operetta I watched – this was a happening for a little girl.
WELT ONLINE: So the operetta was your first experience with the music theatre ?
Netrebko: Yes, that’s it. The “gipsy princess” was the reason cause I wanted on the stage. I made sheep’s eyes at the main role singer. She ward glamorous dresses and sang so beautiful. When she started to dance I was brimmed over with enthusiasm.
WELT ONLINE: And now you go back to your roots ?
Netrebko:“Souvenirs” isn’t a crossover at other genres. At last I don’t sing pop songs.
WELT ONLINE: But something of the musical-composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. His “Pie Jesu”- probably the hugest religious-feelings tearjerker since Gounod’s “Ave Maria”
Netrebko: But especially this track is connected with a memorization. At one of my first solo performances in St. Petersburg, in the middle 90’s, I sang “Pie Jesu”. If I finished, the audience didn’t stop applauding anymore. There were standing ovations, ach…
WELT ONLINE : And “Souvenirs” in general ? Whole personal memorization ?
Netrebko: No. Several tracks are connected with my memorizations and have a personal value for me – like the both Russian songs. But all in all is “Souvenirs” a colourful bouquet out of songs, operetta arias, in Russian, German, Yiddish, Czech.
WELT ONLINE: You’re taking a baby break at the moment. How have you experienced the pregnancy ?
Netrebko: I loved it to be pregnant. I had no nausea, no ravenousness attacks, nothing. Permanently I was asked by anybody, how I am, if can do something for me. I loved it !
WELT ONLINE: Did the birth changed you ?
Netrebko: Sure as a person, mother. I am mother now. As a singer – we will see. They say that the voice is going to be better after a pregnancy. So I am able to hope.
WELT ONLINE: Did you miss the stage ?
Netrebko: Not at all.
WELT ONLINE: Not afraid of being overtaken by other singers ?
Netrebko: No, no. But you have to know: I am not jealous on the success of others at all. Artist are sometimes horribly jealous and begrudgingly. And then singers – believe me: it is the hell. I am different. I can be happy about others’ accomplishments. I don’t wont to sing my own praises for it. It is a gift that happen upon me.
WELT ONLINE: In summer you had to stay on stage at the Salzburger Festspiele in “Roméo et Juliette”. Nino Machaidze celebrated the success taken your place.
Netrebko: I can understand if people are thinking, that this could be a problem for me, but it doesn’t. I attended heavily pregnant to one of the rehearsals und the first what I was asked by a man was: Isn’t it horrible for you, to be here because actually you were named to stay on stage ? I thought: No, actually I like being pregnant.
WELT ONLINE: Did the stranger thought that getting a baby is an unfortunate that happened to you and prevents you of your actual business ?
Netrebko: Apparently. Erwin, my fiancé, looked totally aghast at him. I had to pat his shoulder calmative.
WELT ONLINE: With Erwin you mean Erwin Schrott, your baby’s father and upcoming bass baritone. How do you have to imagine such a relation-ship ?
Netrebko: We talk about all. Not about music, but about literary, film, psychology. Things which are moving us.
WELT ONLINE: But this sounds very general.
Netrebko: I am sorry. Earlier I prattled away. Since the pregnancy I sometimes think that my head is blank, happy and probably still hormone fogged.
WELT ONLINE: In January you will resume your life as an opera diva at the Royal Opera House in London.
Netrebko: While my son is young, my life will not be changed too much. I will try to reduce the number of my performances. Only five instead of eight evenings pro season. Furthermore there are nannies. This is ok in exceptional cases. I not till then see a big problem, if our son have to go to school. Then we have to decide us for a principal residence.
WELT ONLINE: Don’t you have one at the moment ?
Netrebko: I have three: Vienna, St. Petersburg and NewYork.
WELT ONLINE: Nice. And where to go incline ?
Netrebko: Me in Vienna. But Erwin would prefer living in an Spanish speaking country.
WELT ONLINE: And this with a super German name.
Netrebko:Yes. But as you know he is born in Uruguay and doesn’t speak none German. It could easily happen, that we will be in Spain in a few years.
I'm sorry that I needed so long for posting it, but the translation needed so much time ; )
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