Rubén Amoretti has a wide and versatile bass voice with a brilliant and beautiful timbre. The combination of his commanding vocalism and musicianship, jointly to his elegant stage presence and theatrical abilities has enabled him to portray a broad variety of characters, such as Don Giovanni, King Philip II in Don Carlo and Mephistopheles in Faust. This bass acquired his musical skills in Switzerland and the United States and he adopted his refined technique thanks to his lessons with Professors Dennis Hall, Carlos Montané and Nicolai Gedda.
Dear Rubén, first of all, I want to thank you for accepting my invitation! You are one of the opera singers that have had an incredible life and career path, about which I am really looking forward to finding more! But in the beginning, tell us when did you start singing? I started singing when I was very young, but back then I was singing a Latino-American repertoire, such as bolero, tango and Spanish songs. At the age of 24, I became interested in opera. I went to Madrid for a performance of Les Contes d’Hoffmann where I had the chance to listen to the tenor Alfredo Kraus. It was a revelation for me. This is when I decided to study opera.
I usually ask this question, but for you it has a totally different meaning and purpose: how would you describe the development of your voice throughout your career? At the beginning I was a Lirico-leggero tenor. I studied in Switzerland and in the United States under the guidance of the great tenor Nicolai Gedda. I did lots of concerts and I made my absolute debut as Arlechino (I Pagliacci). From this moment, my career started. I joined the Zurich Opera House’s ensemble, where I had my debut as Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia). My career as a tenor was going very well, I was singing in Bilbao, Wien, Rome, Madrid roles such as Tebaldo, Nemorino, Alfredo and many others. Because of a hormonal problem, my voice suffered some changes. This problem was caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland. Basically, this disease makes you never stop producing growth hormones and this phenomenon has made my vocal cords grow over the years, making me become a bass. I had to stop singing for almost four years, have a surgery that was a success and then start self-teaching how my new voice works. It was a long and difficult road.
During these tough times, have you ever thought about giving up on singing for good? Many times I have thought about quitting. Those were difficult times. My artistic life had collapsed. I was in a dark tunnel with no way out. It was all over for me. This is what I was thinking. In fact, I stopped singing for almost 4 years, but I had to do something… I went back to singing the repertoire that I have always sung since my childhood: bolero, tango and Spanish music. I created a musical group called Lyrical Tango and we had lots of concerts in Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, etc. When I became aware that my voice had become a bass voice, I started studying by myself to adapt the technique to my new voice. This is when I listened to all the recordings of the great Italian bass Cesare Siepi. He was a great teacher for me through his recordings. Then, I slowly went back to singing in the theaters with my bass voice.
Read the entire interview here, in the 3rd issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.0