Born in Uruguay to Italian ancestors, Ms Siri began her vocal studies at the ENAL Montevideo, completing them at the Paris Conservatory and with Ileana Cotrubas in Nizza and Vienna. The recipient of the 2017 Oscar della Lirica in the category Best Soprano performed her first operatic roles on the stages of her native country and in Argentina, making her career breakthrough in Europe in 2008 as Leonora in Il trovatore at the Teatro Carlo Felice of Genoa under the musical direction of Bruno Bartoletti. Having established herself as one of the leading singers of the Italian repertoire in Italy, she moved to Verona in the mid 2000s and later acquired the Italian citizenship. Ms Siri rose to international fame when triumphing in the inauguration of the Teatro alla Scala’s 2016/2017 season, making her debut in the title role of Madama Butterfly conducted by Riccardo Chailly. She immediately became one of the most requested interpreters of the role of Cio-Cio-San. Ms Siri’s rich Verdi repertoire includes more than ten roles, from the composer’s fierce early dramatic coloratura warriors such as the latest addition to her repertoire, Abigaille in Nabucco, Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari or Odabella in Attila, to titles such as Il trovatore, Simon Boccanegra, Un ballo in maschera, La forza del destino, the French and Italian versions of Don Carlo as well as Otello. Most recently, Ms Siri caused a stir as the tragic protagonist of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2021 in a new staging conducted by Daniel Harding, proving “to be an interpreter of the highest order, not only for her lush vocality but also for an emission that ideally recalls Tebaldi’s full and resounding sound” (Opera Áctual).
Montserrat Caballe was the first soprano that Maria Jose Siri listen to for the first time as Adriana Lecouvreur. She was amazed by the beauty of the music, the femininity of the singing and the power of the character. Maria Jose knows Adriana well and says that they are both in love with theater – the soprano, with opera, while the character, with acting – which is found, anyway, at the roots of opera. “When one studies deeply the text & the music, he or she learns to think and move as the character. Then, there is the stage director that decides the features of a certain character. But a soprano has to know exactly what kind of woman wants to impersonate”. The soprano confesses also that the monologue is, in her opinion, the hardest part of this role for any opera singer that hasn’t studied acting. But since the challenges motivate her a lot, she also says that the monologue is also the part she loves the most. Maria Jose hopes to be soon back on stage as Adriana Lecouvreur and we definitely share her thought.
Dear Adriana, thank you for accepting my invitation! It’s an honour for us being able to interview such a famous woman as you are, an artist in the true sense of the word. How are you? How do you feel in this historical moment that we are all passing through? It is also a pretty tough moment for you, as an actress, right?
In this period I am very confused, because ever since I was a child, I‘ve been doing tours and being on stage is my life. So for me living like this makes no sense. I’m looking for inspiration, but I don’t feel motivated. It is only in that magical place where I feel alive.
Tell us about you, Adriana… How would you describe yourself in a few words?
Io l’umile ancella del genio Creator.
Read the entire interview & many other interesting articles here, in the 3rd/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.0