Italian mezzo-soprano Anna Maria Chiuri studied at the Arrigo Boito Conservatory in Parma before perfecting her technique with Franco Corelli. She is now one of the most sought-after mezzo-sopranos in the Italian, German and French repertoire, appearing regularly at leading opera houses both in Italy and abroad. Her repertoire is extremely wide-ranging. She has sung Fricka (Das Rheingold and Die Walküre), Eboli (Don Carlo), Clytemnestra (Elektra), Herodias (Salome), Amneris (Aida), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Mistress Quickly (Falstaff) in a concert performance under the baton of M° Zubin Mehta in Tel Aviv, Azucena (Il trovatore), Annina (Der Rosenkavalier), the Princess of Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur), Preziosilla (La forza del destino) and Frugola, the Princess and Zita in Puccini’s Il trittico under the bottom of Mº Riccardo Chailly at Teatro La Scala. She made her Salzburg Festival debut as Herodias under the bottom of Mº Franz Welser-Möst. Among Anna Maria Chiuri’s many successes on the concert platform there are Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Mostly Mozart Festival at New York’s Lincoln Center and at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Verdi’s Requiem at the Rudolfinum in Prague and in Washington, DC, Bruckner’s Te Deum under Mehta at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream under Yuri Temirkanov at the Teatro Regio in Parma, Mozart’s Requiem under Mehta in Florence, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Belgrade Philharmonic and with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder at the Ravello Festival, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with I Virtuosi Italiani in Verona and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen under Michele Mariotti in Parma’s Paganini Auditorium.
First of all, thank you for accepting my invitation and I want to wish you a happy birthday also with this occasion, since on October 3rd you celebrate your birthday! I would also want to start with this question: at this point in your life and in your career, in a quite difficult for the world of the life performance, what are you wishes or your dreams for yourself?
This is a difficult year and I don’t think everything could go back to what it was. I don’t think that the virus has the entire guilt. We have buried our heads in the sand for too long pretending not to see. The world of opera has been sick for some time. Art is, first of all, respect for art itself and it is also the conservation of a capital that must be able to teach our children how to face the future. We let ourselves be dazzled by profit and now we are at a crossroads: persevering means destroying everything – even if by now the rubble is greater than what it still manages and remain standing. But we can still do something useful by rediscovering humility and the strength of sincere collaboration without personal interest. I just want this for me and for everyone else.
You graduated the Arrigo Boito Conservatory in Parma and you studied with Maestro Franco Corelli. Could you share with us the most precious advice or notable memories of the conservatory period, some anecdote of your teacher or of your beginnings?
I studied at the Arrigo Boito Conservatory in Parma and at the same time privately in Milan with M. Corelli. It was a wonderful period of study: the Conservatory trained me as a musician and M. Corelli shaped my voice and soul. Franco Corelli was one of the most important and loved opera singers in the world, but I was able to know him in private. His technical teachings were fundamental, but even more important was discovering his humility and his dedication to art. His total respect for the composer and for the stage. He was a man in the service of theater and opera. His greatest teaching was the sense of absolute duty towards an opera and its composer. He was a devoted believer and we often went to the Sanctuary of Santa Rita in Milan. He did not like to talk about himself and his successes. He was a simple man and he adored Belcanto; he was romantic, but also very strong. He was not influential and he was not worldly, an anti-divo.
Read the entire interview here, in the 6th issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.0