Charming beginnings: Paula Iancic

In a conversation with Bianca L. Nica, the young soprano Paula Iancic talks about the charming beginnings of her career, about her first encounter with the opera, about the balance between technique & interpretation, about her experience as a member of the Opera Studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper, her hobbies, her repertoire & her dreams – about being an opera singer in the 21st century. 

Paula Iancic gained her first stage experience at various Romanian opera houses with roles such as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Micaëla (Carmen), Musetta and Mimi (La Bohème). Between 2016-2018, she was a member of the Opera Studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper, where she sung roles such as Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore), Zaida (Il turco in Italia), Maria (Der Diktator), and Flowermaiden (Parsifal), having the privilege to perform alongside great opera stars, such as Diana Damrau, Mariusz Kwiecień, Nina Stemme, Alex Esposito, Doris Soffel, Alexander Tsymbalyuk, Christopher Maltman, René Pape, Vittorio Grigolo, Pavol Breslik, Matthew Polenzani, Ermonela Jaho, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Olga Peretyatko, Alessandro Corbelli, Christian Gerhaher, Ekaterina Siurina, Ambrogio Maestri, Anja Harteros, Simone Piazzola and Jonas Kaufmann. The year 2019 brought Paula Iancic her first collaboration with Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dűsseldorf with the role of Philotis in the world proemiere of Schade, dass sie eine Hure war, by Anno Schreier. Lately, Paula Iancic added new important roles to her repertoire: Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Violetta Valery (La Traviata), Liù (Turandot) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte). The musicality and the special full lyric soprano color brought Paula Iancic important prizes, among which the Grand Prix of L’Assoluta Virginia Zeani Royal Voice Competition – Târgu-Mureș 2019.

My dear Paula, long time no see! We are so honoured to have such a charming presence in the magazine for our anniversary issue. Your experience is impressive on so many levels, so there are many questions. Lets start from the beginning: do you remember your first encounter with opera, the moment you knew this was it?

I perfectly remember the moment when I discovered opera because it’s quite a funny story. Firstly, I have to say I have loved music since I can remember, as my mother would sing me lullabies to comfort me when I was a baby. I became interested in music very early into my childhood, singing at home whichever songs I would hear and liked, so my parents hoped that it might be the start of a hobby for me. Apparently it was more than just a hobby, because after eight years of studying piano and looking for the right music genre to highlight my voice, I accidentally discovered opera music. Although it would be better to say that opera discovered me through my high school singing teacher, Felicia Fleter, who listened to my voice and encouraged me to follow this path.  I will always cherish this memory of my beginnings in this magical world of opera music because it was the first time when I felt like home while singing.   

From that point onwards could you gave us a quick chronology of how things developed in your career and what each of these milestones have taught you, building you brick by brick into the artist you are today?

For my first appearances on the stage I unconsciously counted on my instinct and my natural abilities, but step by step, brick by brick, as you said, I realized that only practice could elevate me to a great artist. A real artist grows on the stage, surrounded by good and very good singers, but obviously also having a very strong music training and acting background, which I attained primarily during my experience with Bayerische Staatsoper. Let´s not forget that without the dedication and support of my teachers, Marius Vlad Budoiu and Elena Andrieș-Moldovan, I wouldn´t have managed to impress the audition panel for the opera studio program of the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich. To finish, every performance I took part in improved my vocal technique and my general idea of what an artist should be focusing on to become attractive to the public and to great opera companies. 

Read the entire interview & many other interesting articles here, in the one year anniversary issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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