Getting to know big artists in the opera world and having the chance to talk with them is a privilege that we will always treasure. Along the way we met incredible human beings and artists at the same time, some of them having such an important and special place in our hearts. In our 1st anniversary issue, we had ILDAR ABDRAZAKOV as our cover star, and imagine how grateful we are to have him on the cover for the second time! If music can’t create beautiful and strong connections, what can? We don’t want to keep you waiting, because we know how much you love Ildar and his voice so we will try to make an introduction as short as possible. In this conversation with BIANCA L. NICA, he talks about his most important concerts and productions from the last year and a half, including the upcoming ones. He will soon perform a very challenging role, Boris Godunov, and Bianca wanted to know what is the biggest satisfaction that this role gives to its interpreter. Performing it at La Scala means that everything is thought out down to the smallest details, so if you are curious about the production, cast, context and so many other things about this opera, you should better keep reading. It is very interesting to discover how he sees this role from the vocal and also the dramatical point of view. It is said about Ildar that he is the bass with the perfect technique. Is there a secret behind the flexibility of his repertoire? When is the proper time to approach a new role and how does he manages to perform it so accurately, so passionately, and perfectly? We recommend you a cup of coffee because this interview is a lesson and a roller coaster at the same time. Enjoy!
Dear Ildar, you were the cover star of our first anniversary issue, which was such a huge honor for me – a dream come true! Thank you for having accepted my invitation again! Thank you for having me again on the cover of OPERA Charm Magazine! We haven’t chatted in a while and many things happened since then! Let’s catch up! How was the last year and a half for you?
Indeed, lots of things happened in the last year. Let me check my schedule (laughs). I think in April 2021 I was in the middle of the rehearsals for Boris Godunov in Montecarlo. Then, I performed Don Giovanni at the Bolshoi, Messa by Beethoven in Salzburg, conducted by M° Riccardo Muti, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Wiener Staatsoper. I also did my debut as Gremin in Eugene Onegin. In December I was here, at La Scala, for the 7th of December big season opening with Macbeth, and the concert on December 20th, with my dearest pianist Mzia Bakhturidze. At the beginning of this year, there was Italiana in Algeri with Cecilia Bartoli, in Zürich, Attila in concert at ROH and again, with M° Muti in Salzburg, Prologo from Boito’s Mefistofele. I had my debut in Arena di Verona this summer, in a concert alongside M° Domingo. I performed a lot of Boris Godunov with M° Gergiev at the Mariinsky and I had a tour with my Festival alongside some very promising young singers. Meanwhile, I did also lots of concerts, among them the most recent one took place at the Hungarian Opera in Budapest.
Last year you celebrated the 20th anniversary of your debut at Teatro alla Scala with Macbeth and a recital on December 20th. In these 21 years, however, you performed 15 operas at La Scala. How do you deal with the huge amount of emotions of the season opening?
This is my 6th opening of the season at Teatro alla Scala! The audience of La Scala has been welcoming me so warmly since day one. I have always had a great relationship with the public here. And this is not so obvious when I am part of a production but during the recitals. Then I know they are there for me when I step on the stage and I see the house sold out. Sometimes they scream things like “come back more often” and I talk to them. I remember that I once said “what an honor to be back to La Scala” and someone from the audience answered, “the honor is all ours”. What’s there left to say?… Such a warm welcome for a foreigner is rare. I’ve been feeling at home at La Scala ever since I stepped on this stage for the first time.
Read the entire interview here, in the 9th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.0