Aurelia Florian was born in Romania where she completed her musical studies (voice and piano) at the Transylvanian University Brașov. She has won several vocal competitions, among them the First Prize at the Hariclea Darclée Competition in Romania and the Spiros Argiris Competition in Sarzana, Italy. From 2008 to 2010 she was a member of the Romanian National Opera Bucharest where she sang Norina (Don Pasquale) and the title parts in Donizetti’s Parisina d’Este and Gemma di Vergy among others. In October 2012 she made her international debut as Lida in a new production of Verdi’s La Battaglia di Legnano staged by Pierluigi Pizzi at the Verdi Festival Parma and shortly after that she gave an acclaimed debut as Verdi’s Luisa Miller (under the baton of M° Daniel Oren) with the New Israeli Opera Tel Aviv where she has returned for several productions since then (a.o. La Traviata, La Rondine, Romeo et Juliette). To Teatro Regio Parma (Italy) she returned for Amalia in Verdi’s I Masnadieri as well as for Desdemona (Otello) with big success. With her signature role Violetta Valéry in Verdi’s La Traviata she gave acclaimed house debuts at Bavarian State Opera Munich, Opera Zürich, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Norske Opera Oslo among others. In 2016/2017 she returned to Bavarian State Opera Munich (again as Verdi’s La Traviata), gave her role debuts as Mimi in Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème with the NTT Tokyo and as Marguérite in Gounod’s Faust (at the New Israeli Opera Tel Aviv). In 2017/2018 she made a highly acclaimed US debut (again with Violetta) at the San Francisco Opera and gave her role debut as Leonora in a new production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore at Aalto Theater Essen, Germany. 2018/2019 will bring her role debuts as Nedda (I Pagliacci) and Roksane in Szymanowski’s Krol Roger (both at Opera Graz, Austria) as well as Amelia in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the Israeli National Opera Tel Aviv and her return to the US (La Traviata with Portland Opera).
First of all, I would like to thank you for accepting our invitation! I’m truly honored to have this interview with you. I want to start from the beginning, by asking you which was your first contact with Opera? When did you find out that Opera will be your future? I want to thank you for making this wonderful project possible and I’m honored to be part of it. Since my first days of school I have studied the piano. Sadly, I couldn’t perform because I did not feel it to be part of me. I wasn’t able to transmit any emotion, so I never performed in front of an audience. Instead, I focused on studying canto. I tried to get better and aspired to an international career.
My career started off on a wrong foot… at the National Opera House Bucharest. I was forced by the situation to leave for a better place, so I chose Italy. I worked there, I studied there, I went to auditions and I won a very important competition: Spiros Argiris, where I won the Grand Prize, the Audience Award, the Jury Award and three scholarships. Basically, this contest changed my life and opened the door to an international career.
Your lyrical soloist career started in Romania and then continued abroad. In 2012 you made your international debut as Lida in a production of Verdi’s La Battaglia di Legnano at Verdi Festival Parma. How would you describe this experience? Can you consider it a start for your international career? I have some beautiful memories from Parma. I remembered that on 4th May, 2012 I sang in a concert with Vlaimir Stayanov organized by Parma Lirica. Immediately after that concert I was invited to auditions and later I got all five performances of La Battaglia di Legnano, directed by Pierluigi Pizzi, at Verdi Festival season 2012/2013. I was appreciated for “the dark timbre of the full lyrical soprano, for the dramatic nature expressed by the efficient control of the singing and of the musical dynamics and underlined by the acting gestures”.
This debut also brought me the Orazio Tosi Award, a recognition given every year to an artist who made their debut in a leading role at Teatro Regio di Parma. After the debut I responded to the theater’s invitation and returned in the following seasons for I Masnadieri and Othello.
Read the whole interview here.0