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Angela Gheorghiu guest at Vienna Opera Ball, Feb 16, 2012

Broadcast live on Austrian television, the Opera Ball is the highlight of the Viennese social calendar.

French maestro Georges Pretre, 87, and Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu will provide the artistic openers at this year's Opera Ball, the highlight of Vienna's ball season, organizers said today.
For the 56th time, the Vienna Opera will host the creme de la creme of Austrian society on February 16 for a night of waltzing and socialising.

Opening the ball, Pretre will conduct the State Opera's orchestra in the overture from Rossini's "Barber of Seville," the Habanera aria from Bizet's "Carmen" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" from Frederick Loewe's "My Fair Lady," the last two sung by Gheorghiu.

And this is how it will be...


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VIDEO - "Nu mai e timp", released today


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Adriana Lecouvreur, screening in Sibiu, February 3

Look what I found in Sibiu, in a place I was expecting less. Sibiu rulz! The promoters here produced more than 3 posters and spread them in the city.

So, screening on February 3, Habitus Cultural Center, 5pm. The tickets are avilable on and the price is 38 lei/ticket. If you're around, go see Adriana!


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Recital at La Scala, October 6, 2013

Almost 2 years from now. The recital (voice&piano) will take place at La Scala in 2013, as mentioned yesterday in this press release. Put it down in your agendas. And keep on eye on the official website for confirmation.

Future plans also include: Liceu Barcelona ("La Boheme"), Royal Opera House ("La Boheme" - spectacole aniversare, "La Rondine", "Adriana Lecouvreur"), La Scala ("La Boheme"), Vienna State Opera ("Tosca", "La Boheme" şi "La Traviata"), San Francisco Opera ("Tosca", "La Traviata" şi "La Boheme")


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Adriana L, screenings in Bucharest, Timisoara & Sibiu

Poster for the relay in Sibiu, via
Tonight, in Bucharest at National Opera House.
January 26 in Timisoara, 6:45pm, Concert Hall of "Ion Vidu" National Art College. Tickets available at the box office of Cinema Timis.
February 3 in Sibiu, 5pm, Habitus Cultural Center. Tickets available on Eventim RO.

Lots of info about the relays in Timisoara and Sibiu here. Thumbs up for the author. It's the first article regarding the screenings in Romania with full information (location, tickets, prices).


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2012/13 San Francisco Opera brochure

As received by the subscribers.
Now we wait :)

PS: Thanks for sending this!

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Something I like

Same old thing. What do I do when I'm feeling blue? I listen to Stridono lassu. Perfect for raising up the morale (which in my case got to a low level). I would better get back on track as I'm running out of version of this aria :)


Have a great weekend!


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Performance dates for Tosca at San Francisco Opera

As announced on the website of SF Opera today: November 15, 18, 21, 25, 28; December 1, 2012. The schedule is updated.
Glad to see it's a traditional production. Check out the video on the website mentioned above.


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Tosca goes to the West Coast in Nov 2012

San Francisco Opera announced the 2012 - 2013 seasonRomanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu returns to San Francisco Opera following her highly praised 2008 appearances as Mimí in La Bohème to star in the title role alongside Italian tenor Massimo Giordano in his Company debut as Mario Cavaradossi and Italian baritone Roberto Frontali as Baron Scarpia

This season includes the classics and also a... modern experiment: The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by New York composer Mark Adamo, who based his libretto on both the biblical and the Gnostic gospels. Aham... o..k....

Known dates for Tosca are November 15, 18, 21, 25, 28 and December 1. Check out  SF Opera website to make sure.


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AUDIO - "Nu mai e timp"

It's the entire Angela Gheorghiu&Holograf new single released on Europa FM las week. Enjoy it as long it stays on YouTube. It will be released on Holograf's future CD on February 24.

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Screenings of Adriana Lecouvreur in Europe

Just to go on with yesterday's topic.... lots of cinemas in Austria, Germany and Spain scheduled screenings of "Adriana" in January and February. Most of them are listed on Take a look! But they could be many more. 

Happy to see that finally Bucharest is on the list. It's the first time even if we already had Faust, Tosca and ballet here.

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"Adriana" relay in Bucharest, January 23

National Opera Bucharest, January 23 at 7pm. Tickets still available. The beautiful 2010 ROH production starring Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Olga Borodina, Alessandro Corbelli and others. This one:


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An interview from the future. By Jay Nordlinger, for National Review

Taken after "Adriana" at Carnegie Hall, this interview (dated Jan 23, 2012) is both about the artist and the person Angela Gheorghiu. A very enjoyable Sunday reading.

She did have a teacher, of whom she speaks gratefully. Her name was Mia Barbu, and she taught Angela for some five years — from the time the girl was 14 until she was 18. “I did my canto lessons,” says Gheorghiu, “pure canto. All the studies” (the Vaccai method and so on). But she did everything “very quick.” What can take others years, she says, took her just a day. She remembers a particular occasion: Barbu said to her, “Breathe.” Angela breathed. The teacher said, “That’s it! Don’t ever change that.”

In a Met Traviata two seasons ago, Gheorghiu clashed with Leonard Slatkin, the conductor. He did not return after the opening night. Slatkin has admitted that he was ill-prepared for the opera, but has also claimed that the diva was intolerable to him (not hard to believe). I ask her, “Do you have any regrets about the Traviata with Slatkin?” She does not recognize the name, or affects not to do so. After a few moments, she says, “Ah, the conductor. He left. This happened.” Okay, but why did he leave? Gheorghiu makes the general point that people often use her as a scapegoat. “My name helps, you know what I mean?” If a person is having problems, he can blame the raven-haired terror from Transylvania. “I don’t care. Use my name, but use it well: Ghee’or-GHEE’oo!”

There are books of opera anecdotes, and I suggest to this soprano that books in the future will have whole chapters devoted to her. Yes, she says, “and I’m not finished yet!” I ask her about one of my favorite stories: Did she really demand hair and makeup for a radio interview? No, she says: There was a photo-shoot the same day as the radio interview. Too bad, I say, it’s such a good story. Yes, she says, “but I have lots of others.”

There is always a post-performance tristesse, “a little emptiness.” You go back to your hotel room, talk on the phone, click through YouTube. The roar and adulation of the crowd are gone. And “I want it back!” says Gheorghiu. “All that love, I want it back! It’s never enough for me.” But then there is another performance, more roars, more adulation — “a rinascimento”

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Holograf feat. Angela Gheorghiu - Nu mai e timp (teaser video)


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Angela Gheorghiu in conversation with Marius Constantinescu, VIDEO interview on TVR 1, Jan 15

It's a "must watch". TVR 1, Sunday, January 15 at 3:50pm (GMT+2). It's in Romanian. The interview was filmed in Bucharest in November last year. If you remember Profil, poveste, personaj broadcast back in 2009, then you need no other reason to watch.

TVR 1 has no online streaming available on their website, but hope you can watch it on DolceTV. I don't know if the streaming of this website is available outside Romania. 

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WNO presents... Angela Gheorghiu

The concert in Washington DC on March 3 is almost sold out. Some tickets still available on Washington National Opera website

No program listed on the website. Yet. Any particular wishes/hopes?


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"Nu mai e timp", Angela Gheorghiu&Holograf, out in FM

Curious minds can jump directly to 4:38. There's only the ending of "Nu mai e timp" (word by word it's "there's no more time left". But for sure there are some profound meanings are waiting to be discovered). The entire song was broadcast during the morning show. It can be listened to only on Europa FM for the moment.
Location: Bucharest, Europa FM studio. The interview is filmed during the live radio broadcast this morning.
Characters: Dan Bittman (Holograf) on the left and the producer, George Zafiu, on the right
Purpose: promotional. "Nu mai e timp" will be included on "Love Affair", Holograf's future CD which will be released on February 24.
Video: yes. It was already shot here in Bucharest. Release date: unknown.
Concert: yes. In Bucharest on February 24. And according to Mr Bittman, Angela will take part.
So, what do you think?

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Part III - Music and pure emotion with Angela Gheorghiu

Hoping you enjoyed part I and part II, here's third and last part of the interview broadcast on Radio Romania Muzical on December 24. 

Is an opera singer allowed to have a bad day or to make mistakes? I think not. The operagoers are the cruelest audience. Not only with opera singers but also with radio producers.
When a singer does his or her best but for who knows what reason he or she makes a mistake there should be a supportive reaction, same as in sports. In a figure skating competition when somebody makes a mistake the public applauds and gives support. Why would you boo in an opera house when I, as a singer, I’m the first to know I made a mistake and suffer for this. We have to be aware that an artist gets on that stage after a lifetime of hard working.  He or she makes mistakes by accident. It’s like you plant a knife in an open wound with your reaction. I can’t possible get this attitude of public offence towards an artist. Artists go on stage to give nothing but their best. I want to make people dream, to make them forget about their problems for three-four hours. It’s a lot of work done by a huge family. You can’t imagine how many people on stage or behind the stage contribute to your dream. A flat note shouldn’t be punished. On the contrary, that person needs support. I fight to make people understand this. I think people do this out of habit or because of a misunderstanding. Let’s say you don’t like it, then don’t applaud or just leave. There are methods. 
You go to opera to enjoy the music.
Exactly. We should be aware it’s a show. There are lightings, costumes, music, libretto, characters, orchestra and chorus. There are hundreds of people that came on stage that evening willing to produce an amazing performance. Don’t we all want that? It’s exactly what I meant. 

It’s true. Maybe when we criticize a performance or a singer we should think that none of the tens of people engaged in the show want things to go wrong. None of them. Only that some of them are more exposed than others. And when the cast is led by a stellar name such as Roberto Alagna or Angela Gheorghiu, then this person accepts the dangerous destiny of moving on, on the verge of the abyss of failure. All the eyes are watching them, the attention doubles. And there are venues such as La Scala in Milan where the simple breath of the audience can cause restlessness. Maybe tonight we learn that lyrical artists have the right to make mistakes too. And if they don’t want to make mistakes as it happens in Angela Gheorghiu’s case, they should be allowed to cancel the performance.

We’re close to the end of our dialogue. I’ll ask some short questions. What is Angela Gheorghiu listening to when she’s not listening to opera?
I listen to lots of opera.
I have no doubt. What about symphonic music?
I listen to that too. I love Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky…
Piano concerts in particular?
Yes. Piano is my favorite instrument. I loved it. I spoke about Radu Lupu recently, in an interview for a French radio station.
I ask you these things because I find it difficult to imagine you listening to other kind of music. I only picture you as an opera singer.

How does Angela Gheorghiu finishes 2011? Is she content, happy?
For me the year doesn’t end now. Artists don’t think like that. You’re talking to somebody who has opera seasons as reference. It’s festive. I love Christmas, Christmas carols, I enjoy receiving and giving gifts, I like to decorate my Christmas tree. I was spoiled in my family. There are no holidays without “O, ce veste minunta” or other carols in all the languages of the world and the Christmas tree is sacred.  
Will you spend this Christmas here?
In New York.
As you said, each year you recreate the Christmas of your childhood, materially poor but rich in emotional memories. A bohemian period followed during the years spent in Bucharest, in high school and Conservatory, a period that Angela Gheorghiu seems to relate to all the time.

I love Christmas because it’s about birth. For me it’s like rebirth. I wish you Happy Holidays. I wish you harmony, I word very dear to me. For a few moments we should forget about all the negativity around us. That’s why I give you my music. With music we all step in another world, where everything is beautiful.

Tonight, same as all of us, Angela Gheorghiu is together with her dear ones in New York and she’s waiting for Santa. She didn’t want to tell me what gift she’d like to receive. Maybe because she’s only waiting for what life will bring her, as she told us at the beginning of the interview. She doesn’t plan her life. Tonight she’ll think of us. She has already sent you her wishes. And I, Luminita Arvunescu, will join her wishes. And I’ll thank her once more for her wonderful thought of joining us with her music, emotion and words on Christmas Eve 2011. I wish you Happy Holidays!

** the end **

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Part II - Music and pure emotion with Angela Gheorghiu

Part II of the interview broadcast on Radio Romania Muzical on December 24. The first part is here.

Il Pirata played a very important part in Maria’s career. Could it represent the future for Angela Gheorghiu?
Not necessarily this role, but belcanto yes. I liked it a lot when I first listened to it. I discovered Maria’s energy much later when I was already a lyrical artist. I imagined her, as I didn’t have the opportunity to see her performances. It was impossible back then. When I finally saw her, she was exactly as I imagined she would be. She was so courageous. 
You are so alike.
In many ways, yes, regarding the character. Vocally, not really. Maybe the remarkable color of the timbre and the power of persuasion even without visual contact. It’s like a soundtrack. When recording I thought I have to make people believe even if they don’t see me. More than that, I trust those in front of me. I always record with an orchestra. I’m always nervous because they’re my most ardent critics. Their reactions send clear messages. 
Do you feel the connection with them?
Sure. We communicate only by watching into each other’s eyes. We have done that for so many times. 
I realize now that the footage from Madama Butterfly is like a movie.
If you come to my recordings, it’s like watching a movie. That’s why they filmed the audio recording session for Tosca.  
Not everybody loves the camera. Between you and the camera it’s a sort of chemistry. 
Same with the microphone. But it’s not my merit here. 
Any other films in your future plans?
I don’t know. I’m not an actress. People ask me and I say yes when I believe I should be part of the project. I had all sorts of strange offers. 
Maria did that amazing Medea..
It’s not that amazing. She is amazing. 
Is she too far away from the music?
No, she is tremendous. But the movie is not a success. Making a movie requires professionals in the field, people that could understand her huge power. They chose her for a powerful movie. The opera is difficult, voice breaking. She did it, but I disagree. Regarding the movie, it’s a question of personal taste. It didn’t convince me. Maria is wonderful and she could have done any movie she wanted. But fate decided otherwise. 

We move forward to Neda. Neda wasn’t a special role in Maria’s career.
She sung it a few times. She sung many times Traviata, Norma. She did all the others maybe once or twice. I liked Neda a lot. I also liked the way she sings it. It’s like campaign. I enjoy listening to her singing effervescent roles with a genuine voice, playing young girls, when it’s not a drama everywhere. Drama was so natural to her. When you’re born with this dramatic feeling you don’t have to add to many things. You just have to be aware of it. When she did some funny roles such as Adina I think she had a lot of fun. 
You enjoyed doing it too.
I did it twice, both times with Franco Zefirelli’s direction. I sung it with no other but Placido Domingo at Covent Garden and Dima Hvorostovsky was my partner, Silvio. And then I sung it in Los Angeles with Roberto Alagna. There were great places and I had the best tenors. 

And we got to Delilah.
There’s a story here. I doubt Maria would be happy knowing that EMI released this aria. When she started recording Samson et Delilah, she only did three arias. She didn’t want it to be released. EMI has never released it as long as she lived. 
But Angela Gheorghiu sung it.
Yes. Later on EMI released the opera. Her sister considered that it would be a pity for the public not to listen to her singing this part. She sings it beautifully. I think of it was something sensual, excellent and I promised myself to record it on the first occasion possible. I wanted to record a part that I’ve been singing millions of times in the shower. 
I’m sure that all the choices are yours.
Always. It has been like this for 20 years now. If there’s something wrong I can say it’s my fault.
And this is how you have a good night sleep.
Exactly. It was a choice.

Besides the arias we’ve already listened to talked about (La Boheme, Faust, Il Pirata, I Pagliacci, Samson et Delilah and Medea) on the CD there are also arias from La Wally, Le Cid, Andrea Chenier, Adriana Lecouvreur and… Habanera.
Habanera is an aria re-written, if I may say so, by the composer. I sung the original version, which is not this well-known one. The composer wrote something less interesting. He realized it and replaced it with this dance, this Spanish folk song. He had never been to Spain but composers have knowledge. So he composed this Habanera. Nowadays many people have no idea where it comes from, they think it’s part of a commercial, or pop music, or maybe Celine Dion or some other pop singer sung it. Habanera has always been a point of attraction for all the lyrical singers, mezzos or sopranos. I’m one of them. I’m soprano and have never had mezzo qualities. Roberto, with his French origins, persuaded me in doing both Werther and Carmen. I’m happy I accepted. I sung Habanera hundreds of times in my concerts. I like it very much.
Its tessitura is not too low.
No, it’s ok. 
Confortable for soprano voice.
It belongs to French music where sopranos are not mezzos and mezzos are not sopranos. It’s something in the middle. It’s a very beautiful aria. Carmen is a mezzo part. I started up the project at Metropolitan Opera New York but I thought I shouldn’t take the role away from mezzos. I should leave some things for them too. (Laughing). No, I had my personal reasons back then. But who knows… maybe…
It would be great!
Physically I don’t look too bad. The role is interesting.
So Medea is not part of near future plans..
No. I consider that the composer didn’t understand the soprano voice. He didn’t write well enough. This part is voice breaking. I don’t want to step on an unhealthy territory for my voice. I don’t like experiments so I avoid them. My voice is at stake. Maybe I would like to sing some other kind of music, music that I appreciate, that can be an enjoyable experience.
For sure the virtual duet with Maria Callas realized for this CD was a unique experience.

When was this CD actually recorded?
Half of it was recorded at Abbey Road in London and the rest of it in New York. I did it last year, in 2010. 
You worked a lot to make it.
Everything involves a lot of work. I remember the recording session for Madama Butterfly. I sung more than 2 weeks, 3 hours every day. 
A recording session lasts for three hours. During the recording sessions in New York for “Homage to Maria Callas” EMI forced me to finish the CD. They put me in a situation I’ve never accepted before and I’ll never accept it again. I accepted to take part in Romeo et Juliette rehearsals at the Metropolitan in the morning and in the afternoon and in the evening I had to record for the CD. After a week I got a bad cold because of running from one place to another. It came the moment when I had to choose between these two activities. Not only that, but I also had to admit that I need a break to rest. That was the reason I cancelled those Romeo et Juliette performances. I went to many doctors. But thank God I managed to finish recording the CD. At first I thought I might be able to do it, I won’t catch a cold. Romeo et Juliette has a very… interesting direction. I disliked it profoundly. One year before I wanted to withdraw but Placido got upset with me and asked me not to cancel. But the destiny made it happen. You can’t get away what you’re afraid of. 
I was at the Met that March and people were talking about your two cancellations. Let’s face it; everything you do becomes conversation topic right away. Your celebrity status can harm.
Don’t ever think that I’m at home relaxed after a cancellation. I have a reason. I accept I’m not in good shape and I won’t make the audience suffer with me. Why would I do that? I’m aware and conscientious. I’m upset. I don’t throw parties. It’s a sad situation and I take full responsibility. Between two bad things I choose the less harmful one. It’s very hard not to feel good and to have to go and sing. It’s very difficult.

** to be continued **

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Part I - Music and pure emotion with Angela Gheorghiu. Interview on Radio Romania Muzical

The interview realized by Luminita Arvunescu was broadcast on December 24, 2011 on Radio Romania Muzical. I enjoyed it so much that I thought many of you would feel the same. So here it is, translated from beginning to end. Great choice of arias. Hadn't listened to Ave Maria in a while. The main topic of conversation is "Homage to Maria Callas", with comments on some of the arias. Lots of "whys" and all get an answer. In between the q&a's there are the arias they have previously talked about. And many others (including some carols), as you'll hear. It's two hours long. But you'll see that time flies faster than you want to.

One sound was enough and lots of opportunities showed up, as you well know. Nowadays only one syllabus she utters is necessary to turn a lock into dust. And only one gesture, her famous movement of the right hand that hundreds of opera goers love, can make armors fall, royalty wait for her and head of states appreciate her. And most of all, it can get standing ovations from a packed venue, thanking for everything she gives, music and pure emotion.

What singing means to Angela Gheorghiu, what her expectations from the audience are, how she feels like when she cancels a performance or she makes mistakes, what kind of music she listens to when she’s not listening to opera and where she’s going to spend the holidays, you’ll find out from this interview. Not only she offered this interview exclusively for you, my faithful listeners, but it turned from a conversation related to the release of the latest album with EMI, “Homage to Maria Callas”, new projects and the reconciliation with Roberto Alagna (a topic I tried to approach but she quietly stopped me) into one remembering the Christmas time in Adjud. She confessed that it’s a very dear memory to her. 
No matter where I am I try to recreate the Christmas spirit from Adjud for myself, my family and my friends. I try to bring somebody to sing a Romanian Christmas carol for me. She doesn’t have to wait too long for somebody to sing her a Romanian Christmas carol. Roberto can sing the most beautiful one. Any idea? (n.r. “O, ce veste minunata”)

If I have the opportunity to participate in a Christmas concert, for sure I’ll sing a Romanian Christmas carol. Last time I sung a carol was two-three years ago when I was in New York for La Rondine, the first opera broadcast in cinema in Romania. It was a concert at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue in New York. I agreed to sing Catholic music on one condition to sing “O, ce veste minunata”. If they let me feel good in my own way, then they’ll have an enjoyable evening too. Tonight we’re together. Because Angela told me that holidays should be spent with friends. And here she’s always among friends.

I’ve been listening to you for years and all the time I feel you tell me much more than the story of the character you’re impersonating. Many people feel the same. I couldn’t say what overwhelms me. Maybe you can help.
I hope that every time you listen to me you feel my emotions. I’m nervous both on stage and in the recording studio. I want to make you believe in what I believe. With each character I give a part of me. I pay a tribute for this. I share my life with everybody else. I’ve been packing and travelling for 20 years, people are waiting for me as if I was born yesterday. I’m 46 and I have nothing to hide. Everybody knows when and where I was born and what my mission is.

And you’re fully aware of this.

Is it true that pain, defeat, joy and dream can all be seeded in a tear? Sure, if it springs from pure emotion and express the endlessness in music.
When I was young I never thought of the future, what I would do, where I would be. I just did everything without asking myself questions. 
And you’re still not making plans
No. Well, sure that I have a schedule for the next four – five years. This is how it works.
So many years ahead…
Yes, I need to have a schedule. All the artists with an international career have the oblivion to know for sure that in four years they have to be in a certain place at 10am to start the rehearsals.
But you don’t think of what will happen in four - five years
When I decide singing a role and it’s there, in my schedule, then I have no doubt I’ll do it.

It happened the same with Angela’s latest CD, “Homage to Maria Callas”, recorded last year. No doubts, no reservations. Sure as all her decisions. It has the great virtue of inviting to audition not with respect or admiration as it happened with other CDs, but with total acceptance. Because it was created out of love for Maria Callas and for the public. 

From the beginning I said that “Homage to Maria Callas” represents Angela Gheorghiu best. I think that it represents your past, present and future. Is it correct?
In a way, it is.
Let’s see what past, present and future mean.
It all started with Maria’s “Habanera” and for the first time it was possible to create such a duet in opera. We’re colleagues at EMI and this counted a lot. There were many things that supported the idea. When I first heard the idea, it seemed unreal. I had initially started working on a CD of Romanian music and had already recorded four or five song. Then this Maria Callas idea showed up. 
Was it EMI’s idea?
Yes. They didn’t give too many details. Only that they wanted something related to her. I thought it shouldn’t be something too dramatic. It should be something that we could sing together. We knew there would be a video too so we wanted to present a feminine imagine for both of us. We like to cry when watching opera. It’s an endless source of tears and emotions. I accepted to do Habanera and it was technically possible. And the fact that we are colleagues at EMI was another reason. The result was impressive and I’m glad I did it. When Maria was my age she had already stopped singing so I wanted to bring a true homage to her. That’s why the repertoire is eclectic. I didn’t want to record songs she performed only on stage or only on recordings. Each aria had its own story. There was a reason for choosing them. 

We’ll speak about each aria you included on the CD. And we start with La Boheme.
La Boheme is the story of my life. 
What I liked most is that it’s not the first aria but the amazing “Donde lieta”
It’s my first successful aria. At my audition at Royal Opera House I only performed this aria. And I persuaded them. For me La Boheme means London, Covent Garden, my private life.
Listening to this aria I figured out that this CD totally represents you. La Boheme was less important for Maria Callas but it meant a lot to Angela Gheorghiu.
It was a curious moment. In order to sing La Boheme you need…
Warmth and simplicity…
And a certain way of living. I lived La Boheme. It means my falling in love, my second marriage. For sure I was in love with my first husband, Andrei, but La Boheme brought a change in my life. I made my debuts with La Boheme. I’m so connected to this opera.

Let’s move on to the second aria, Marguerite’s aria from Faust. What does this aria mean for you?
It’s typical French music. 
And the Jewel Song?
Marguerite is a very difficult role. Many of my colleagues, Maria included, avoided it by all means. Because you have to be able to advance from this aria in the second act towards the final act and the most dramatic moment of the opera. It’s an endurance role. Sometimes the opera seems endless, same as Romeo et Juliette. And because French composers love to have ballet in their operas, it is even longer. So you have to be prepared to watch all of it.
** to be continued **

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Angela's life, a fairy tale. Interview on B1 TV

The entire interview is on B1 TV website. Two hours, commercials included.

Enjoyable. On a second thought.. even more than that. Of the interviews on Romanian tv I’ve seen lately this one gets the first place. For the atmosphere, the tone, the smile, the questions (with some exceptions). 

I appreciated that the interviewer, Robert Turcescu, did some research and managed not to be intimidated. He said only one “wow”. We forgive him. He led the conversation from the point of view of the person who knows some things and wishes to find out more. This invited to long and explicit answers.

There were some ideas worth sharing, especially in the second part. The first hour or so was mainly about childhood, years at the conservatory in Bucharest, cancellations, 5 year planning, experiments… 

Starting from her meetings with presidents and other famous people, Angela was asked if she was really impressed by somebody. They are two Romanians, the baritone Nicolae Herlea and the soprano Eugenia Moldoveanu. Good to know she experienced that where’s-the-closest-wall-to-lean-on-in-order-not-to-fall-down feeling when meeting the person she admired most, situation that most of us had to deal with along the years in her presence.

She said she’d like to sing Orthodox religious music in a concert, with orchestra, in a church. Agree. If you saw "The Romanian Journey", that's the idea. Catholics are open to such things and it’s always a pleasure to attend the Sunday service at Stephansdom when I visit Vienna precisely because of the concerts that take place there. Why wouldn’t the Orthodox church do the same?

Then the topic of not having a proper concert hall in Bucharest showed up. Many people performing at George Enescu Festival this Fall complained about the acoustics of the Palace Hall. Angela said she fully supports the idea of building a cultural center and will do her best to raise awareness. Great idea! Lots of luck, as the start will be tough knowing my fellow Romanians.

"Would you consider performing at the National Opera Bucharest?"... silence... silence. "Maybe...". Not very convincing. 

Oh, it's always a pleasure listening to Angela talking about the Royal Opera House and the people working there. She has sparks in her eyes. She mentioned the smell of the dust on stage. I only know the smell of the stage spread in the venue when the curtain raises. Gosh, I sooo miss it.

A friend of mine asked me: “did you notice the audience? Lost in time and space. Why were they there?”
Having the exercise of watching tens of her interviews, in between the lines I pay attention to details. So I asked her in return: “did you notice her shoes?” Couldn't help it. My favs ;)

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Interview in BBC Music Magazine, January issue

Does anyone have the magazine? Would be great to know what they talked about. Thanks!

As mentioned in the BBC Music Magazine Newsletter, Angela Gheorghiu talked to James Naughtie about the intensity of performance, why men find her difficult and about Maria Callas.

The January issue is already on sale.

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Interview on B1 TV, Jan 3 at 8pm

This interview was recorded in Bucharest last year at B1 TV with Robert Turcescu and will be broadcast tomorrow, January 3, at 8pm (GMT+2).

"Sub semnul intrebarii" at B1 TV has online streaming available.

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