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Datum objave: 22.06.2018

Jean-François Sivadier


Jean-François Sivadier.çois_Sivadier

Interview of Jean-François Sivadier - La Traviata - Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

Interview of Jean-François Sivadier - La Traviata


Interview of Natalie Dessay - La Traviata

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Interview with Charles Castronovo

Charles Castronovo, Tenor

The New Generation of Singers

This is the new mold of young singers: hot, muscular, and willing to take their shirt off. Good singing optional.

Charles Castronovo "Lunge da lei...De' miei bollenti spiriti" La Traviata

Castronovo boys on a hot LA summer day

An Interview with Charles Castronovo

I started studying with Tenor Mark Goodrich. My audition aria was the “Flower Song”, Don Jose’s aria La fleur que tu m’avais jetée from Bizet’s “Carmen”. That aria is basically a lyric piece, even though the role of Don Jose is of heavier weight. In those days, I did not know much about fach.

I studied the role of Nemorino in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” with Goodrich. I even learned art songs. That was the first step. I was basically a constant listener to all these arias from operas. I was always walking with headphones and vocal scores. I learned all my roles that way.

Wm: Your repertory is concentrated in the roles written by Mozart, Italian roles of the first half of the 19th century, and the lyric tenor roles of mid- and late 19th century France. There is currently an impressive crop of tenors able to sing the lyric roles of Bellini, Donizetti, Gounod and Massenet? Which of these roles most appeal to you?

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.

CC: For me, the biggest thing is what’s been happening to my voice. I was talking with baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, about how our bodies change and our voices change. Sometimes once a year, Hvorostovsky takes time out to work with his coach and teacher to decide what is working and what isn’t.

Its hard for me to find the time to do this. Yet, I feel that I wasn’t singing at my potential. I was able to sing just with the top part of my body, from the mask up in such lyric roles as in Mozart and lighter bel canto operas. I sang the “happy way” and I sang well, but I feel that I want to work on the bottom part of my sound. I felt my voice wanted to do something more.

I enlisted Allan Green my manager, and I started working with Arthur Levy in New York. In my lessons with Levy, I got reconfirmation of what I was discovering myself. I need to sing a little bit more in a deeper way, not in an unnatural way, but one that realizes the full sound I am able to sing. In America they always teach placement, It’s helpful, safe, but it doesn’t realize the full voice.

The full spectrum of sound is in a yawn position, of having the whole sound come out. I ask other ears to listen to me, and tell me whether they are sure that my sound is not too dark. But my voice feels full, and there’s no no tension. So what will happen, is that I want to put this voice into roles for which I am now ready. Roles like Tamino in Mozart’s “Magic Flute”, Ferrando in “Cosi” or Ernesto in “Don Pasquale” are too controlled for what I feel I need to do.

In a way I believe that the surprise performance of Romeo in Los Angeles happened on purpose.I feel I should be singing Romeo, and should be experimenting with my voice to let it grow, and to remind myself to let myself go.

Act IV Duet: Romeo et Juliet

Romeo: Charles Castronovo Juliet: Lyubov Petrova Dress rehearsal.

Natalie Dessay, Charles Castronovo - Saint Sulpice duet (Manon) Toulouse 13/10/13

Dmitri Hvorostovsky✬♫ "Di Provenza il mar, il suol"/Giorgio Germont 'La Traviata'

Jean-Francois Sivadier

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