Charming beginnings: Federica Guida

Federica Guida began her musical studies at the Conservatorio Alessandro Scarlatti in Palermo where she obtained a second level diploma in Opera Singing with honors and mention. She emerged as a winner of numerous international competitions, including the Aslico Prize, the Beppe de Tommasi Prize and the Clip di Portofino Prize, which allowed her to make her debut at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, La Scala in Milan and the Wiener Staatsoper, where she was a member of the soloist ensemble for the 2019/2020 season. She has performed roles such as Despina in Così fan tutte at La Scala, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi (the film) directed by Damiano Michieletto, Gilda in Rigoletto directed by Leo Nucci and conducted by Placido Domingo. Her next engagements will see her debut the role of Musetta from La bohéme at Teatro Massimo di Palermo in December 2021, in three productions at Teatro alla Scala, including her debut in the role of Oscar in Un ballo in maschera next May and in the role of Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles in October 2022.

Hello, Federica! Thank you for accepting our invitation. It’s a pleasure to have the chance to chat with you, one of the youngest opera singers in career – you are only 25 years old and you conquered so many important stages already! You had to jump in as the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte on the stage of WienerStaatsoper and it was a success! Do you consider that moment your debut? What does it mean to be ready for such a challenge and what does it take, in terms of practice and preparation, to be ready at such young age?

Yes, I consider my jump in as the Queen of the Night my real stage debut. I had been with the Vienna ensemble for three months when it happened, months in which I went to the theater every day to go over with the pianists the roles I was soon to debut. Among them was the role of the Queen that I was preparing for the beautiful production of Die Kinderzauberflöte that the Vienna State Opera puts on every year in the aftermath of the Opernball. When I was asked to jump into the production, I had no hesitation about what to do; there were those who believed that I could carry out such a difficult role at short notice, I certainly would not have backed out! I thought that some trains only pass once in a lifetime and you have to take them without second thoughts! I am very grateful to those who believed in me. The constant study of technique and music and the introspection of the characters are the key to be ready, accompanied of course by a bit of healthy madness that is what distinguishes us artists.

You were also the winner of Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino in 2019. What’s your advice for the next generation of singers when it comes to singing contests?

Well, I suggest to start from smaller contests to understand mainly your own level and the level of the others. In order to choose the best contests, listening to the previous editions or to the singers who have already won can be a good comparison to understand if you are up to the level or if it is better to wait a bit more. This also helps to understand what the jury expects and what aspects of a singer are most valued. Certainly the skill, but also musical precision, intonation and interpretation. You have to be sure of yourself. Since these are competitions, I avoided listening to those who were performing before me and in the days leading up to the performance, I avoided any form of stress or distraction in order to concentrate.

Read the entire interview here, in the 3th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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