Asmik Grigorian: Do your own mistakes. This is what will make you unique. There’s no need in the world of a second Maria Callas or a second Asmik Grigorian. People want to see you, with your own unique story, with your mistakes and your qualities.

Asmik also returns to three other signature title roles this season; Jenufa at the Staatsoper Berlin and the Wiener Staatsoper in a David Poutney production, Manon Lescaut at Frankfurt Oper and Salome which will be toured with the Tokyo Philharmonic in Japan. The latter will also be broadcast along with Elektra on Radio France. Further role reprises include Nastasya in Tschaikovsky’s Charodeika at Frankfurt Oper, Cio-Cio-San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Novaya Opera and Polina in Prokoviev’s The Gambler with Lithuanian National Opera. Concert performances include recitals in La Scala, Frankfurt Oper, Wiener Konzerthaus, Opernhaus Zurich, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Ópera de A Coruña and Salle Gaveau in Paris and the Aids Gala at the Deutsche Oper. Asmik has made a name for herself on both the concert and operatic platforms since her international career began with a triumphant performance in Madama Butterfly at the Royal Swedish Opera. She then went on to perform to conquer role after role including: Salome at the Salzburg Festival (described as “a Salome to end all Salomes” (Financial Times) and the Bolshoi Theater, Fedora at the Royal Swedish Opera House, Marie in Wozzeck at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Manon Lescaut at Oper Frankfurt, the Wiener Staatsoper and at the Bolshoi Theatre, Marietta in Korngold’s Die tote Stadt at Teatro alla Scala, Iolanta at Oper Frankfurt, Cio-Cio San at the Wiener Staatsoper, Chrysothemis in Elektra at the Salzburger Festspiele, Rusalka at the Teatro Real Madrid, Jenufa at the Royal Opera House and the Staatsoper Berlin, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin at the Wiener Staatsoper, Pique Dame at the Teatro alla Scala, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at Vilnius City Opera, and Senta in Der Fliegende Hollander at the Bayreuth Festspiele.

Dear Asmik, it’s a great pleasure to have you interviewed for OPERA Charm Magazine and I am very much looking forward to attend the performance of your beloved Rusalka with the Czech Philharmonic. What’s your story with this piece and how would you present it to someone who would listen to it for the first time now, on September 19th, in Prague? Thank you! My story with Rusalka started in 2009, when I was probably too young for it. Then, I performed this role again in Berlin KomischeOper and, with this production, my international career started, in 2011. It was in German! After that, I performed Rusalka two years ago in Madrid, in Christoph Flore’s productionand I won many awards due to it. We also recorded a CD. Anyway, every time I perform this opera, it manages to surprise me a lot, because each and every time I find a completely new story within it. In Prague, it will be performed in a concert form, so it’s a different thing. In this period of my life, I see this piece very differently and I am so happy to sing it in Prague with such an incredible team. At the moment, I find this fairytale more like an inner world of any human being, not necessarily a woman, between wishes, decision and various other aspects of our lives. The rehearsals were intense, but everything is going well!

You’re performing on stage most of the characters that have such pain, there’s so much suffering. What’s for you the process of getting to understand their psychology, their traumas, their lives in order to bring them on stage so accurately?

First of all, it’s about the life experiences. And the second thing is emphaty. I had enough experiences of pain in my life and I don’t think you are able to perform if you don’t have those experiences. At the same time, it’s also the ability to imagine yourself in different situations, to be empathic, to be able to feel the pain of others. Maybe this is the right mix that helps me perform those characters.

Read the entire interview here, in the 7th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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