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Datum objave: 02.05.2017

A conversation with Charles Castronovo

One hand, one heart

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Charles Castronovo

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CC:  Every time that I perform Nadir in “The Pearlfishers”, people go crazy for it. It would be great to do more of the exotic French repertory. Companies are nervous to put  on “Lakme” and other French operas not well known to their audiences. With times being hard, it’s much easier and safer to do another “Traviata”.

Wm: Speaking of Nadir, over the past 15 years there has been a emphasis on the male physique in operatic performance, and you seem to be one of the tenors whom costume designers like to design for. In an era where opera websites exist to glorify the male physique, does this put pressure on you to schedule time in the gym?

CC: For sure, it’s a reality. I don’t have a problem with the emphasis on physique. I understand where it comes from.

My physique is not perfect. It takes scheduling time in the gym.  I’m working with an ex-Marine, which is not the most fun thing to do, but it keeps me disciplined, and I sing better when I’m working out and am in shape.

Wm: You recently replaced Vittorio Grigolo as Romeo in Director Ian Judge’s production of Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette” for one performance at the Los Angeles Opera. Judge had created a notorious, but brilliant, production of Wagner’s “Tannhauser” for the Los Angeles Opera in which there was a lot of nudity and what the movies call “sexual content”. And, of course, the same could be said of his “Romeo et Juliette” as well. Would you want to work with a director like Judge who emphasizes the sex in opera?

CC: I don’t think I would agree to appear fully nude. But I don’t mind appearing in something sexy when the production calls for it in the right way.

I think that its understandable that there’s a push for opera singers to look good, but there’s a fine line between appreciating an attractive physique if it helps with the believability of the role, and placing a higher value on looks than the actual singing.

INTERVIEW : With One Voice: Ekaterina Siurina and Charles Castronovo

A major attraction of the Canadian Opera Company’s fall season is the appearance of Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina and American tenor Charles Castronovo as the star-crossed lovers in Verdi’s most popular opera, La traviata. These two artists happen to be a real-life couple, which gives the COC production an interesting twist. They met in 2004, at the Berlin Staatsoper’s L’Elisir d’amore. The cute story is that they drank the elixir and it worked! “Love at first sight,” says Ekaterina in our recent interview. Her husband Charlie chimes in, “Actually it was love at first sight for me. For her, it was more like two days later!” They make a beautiful pair onstage and off. Ekaterina hails from – appropriately enough – Ekaterinburg, the capital of the Ural Federal District in central Russia while Charles is a native New Yorker. Now they have a home in Los Angeles where their two boys are – Alessandro and Valentino.

That year, we had a baby because we were so long together (laughs)!

Now we’re looking at Hoffmann and possibly Don Jose later. I’ve always gone slowly in my career, but now the last two or three years, things have been developing faster. I am forty now, so it’s time

We just celebrated our 10th anniversary. It was difficult, but we made it!

CC: She said we’ve been together only about four of those years! (laughs)

ES: Because we travel so much. When we’re together, we are like newly-weds…keeps our relationship fresh! (more laughs)

Yes, we have a home there. It’s been our base for a couple of years. We have two children – Alessandro is eight, and Valentino is two.

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