Kristine Opolais is one of the most sought-after sopranos on the international scene today, with a firmly established reputation amongst the world’s pre-eminent singing actresses, combining lustrous tone and fierce dramatic intensity. Opolais appears at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich and Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She is working with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Fabio Luisi, Kirill Petrenko and Semyon Bychkov. Kristine Opolais is known for collaborations with the Metropolitan Opera, and in the last years her appearances in La bohème, Madama Butterfly, the new productions of Manon Lescaut and Rusalka have all been broadcast in HD across the world.
Kristine, thank you again for kindly accepting my invitation, for being the Cover Artist of our 4th issue! We had the chance to chat a little during the lockdown and I think that I am also talking for my readers when I say that we discovered such a greatly inspiring person, beyond the amazing artist we have already known that you are. You also kept us posted on Instagram with your daily activities and gave us a piece of your positivity. How did you spend these last months in order to remain in shape mentally, physically, but most of all, vocally?
Thank you for having me! I think the time we are living in is a very difficult one. It’s a time for thinking and big changes for many people. There are, of course, good and bad changes happening everywhere. But if we think positively and we have love, in general, in our hearts, this kind of difficult time always turns into something better, for everyone. For me, this was a great time, because I finally had the opportunity to spend unlimited time at home with my daughter, which she really needed, as I’ve never been home enough for her. We couldn’t travel together over the last year because she had started school. This time allowed me to get to know my daughter even better, she’s changing quickly because she’s eight – almost nine. She needed me and I needed her. It was also a time that I’ve come to understand more about myself, and what is most important for me. Who I am and what I want in my future. What I accept and what I do not accept anymore. In my job, with my team, in my personal life… people show their true faces and selves in these times. I understood who really loves me and is really important in my life, and who is meant to be present for only a certain time in my life. I know myself better because I had the chance to stop and think a lot. We were all in the same situation, and we had no other choice. It was important to me not to stop singing at home. I missed singing, but not that much, so I’m proud of myself that I stayed calm and started to sing a little in my apartment. Then, I did some singing outside when the pandemic was over, and I could have a space in some music halls here in Latvia and at the Music Academy. I wanted to remain true to myself and to remind people that opera singers are like everyone else. We are all human. I wanted my fans – my Facebook and Instagram friends to really see who I am every day.
You recently had the experience of an online recital with IDAGIO from Teldex Studios in Berlin, entitled “Reflections – Italian & Russian Music”, with feature music by Clara Schumann, Chopin, Verdi, Puccini and Tchaikovsky. Tell me more about it and about our great Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, who accompanied you on this journey. It must have been a brand new experience. What do you miss the most, though, about the Live performance?
I’m thankful that I had this project with IDAGIO, because I had the chance to travel after five months of being in one place. It was a big experience already, to have this feeling and to understand how people normally feel when they travel twice a year for a vacation. It helped me to understand other people more. It was a big journey after five months of singing at home. Alexandra Dariescu is my new, dear friend, and we had a great time together. She is extremely professional and sensitive, so we had a great bond between us. She’s talented, energetic, and positive, so it’s been great to meet her. It was a fun experience for me, but of course, I miss the audience. When you do a recording there is typically no audience, and it was the same here, just the camera and audio people in the area, as well as Alexandra. I’m an imaginative person and I am someone whose soul needs energy from people, being next to me so that I can really perform. It was not easy to comprehend that there were a lot of people watching me right in the moment from home, it is a little different from what we usually do. It was a very new experience for me, and if it’s part of our future it’s a good way to perform and to stay in contact with our audiences and people who love music.
Read the entire interview here.0