Sofía Esparza: But one thing that amazed me in these great artists is their modesty and their humanity on and off stage.

Sofìa Esparza was born in 1994 in Pamplona, Spain, and began her music studies at the age of 8, at Conservatorio “Pablo Sarasate” of Navarra, in the harp speciality, finishing her instruction in 2013 in the Conservatorio Profesional “Francisco Escudero” of San Sebastián. She completed her singing studies in Conservatorio Superior de Música de Navarra, winning the “Extraordinary Final Studies Prize”, where she also obtained the Superior Degree in Musical Pedagogy, with honours. She has perfected her operatic technique and repertoire with great masters, such as Renato Bruson, Mariella Devia, Alberto Zedda and Giulio Zappa. She completed her studies by participating in the Master of liederistic “Victoria de los Ángeles”, at ESMUC in Barcelona, being awarded with the “Fundación Victoria de los Ángeles” scholarship. In recent years, she has performed the following roles in various theaters and auditoriums: Adina (L’Elisir d’amore), Nannetta (Falstaff), Anna (Nabucco), Frasquita (Carmen), Clorinda (La Cenerentola), Rosaura (Los Gavilanes by Guerrero), Inés (La mensajera by Gaztambide).  She has performed with conductors such as José Miguel Pérez-Sierra, Miquel Ortega, Ólivier Díaz, Sergio Alapont, Jordi Bernacer, Nicola Valentini, Jonathan Brandani. She took part of the 2019 edition of Tenerife Opera Studio. She performed at the Palau de les Artes Reina Sofía in Valencia with great singers such as Anna Pirozzi and Placido Domingo. She recently made her debut as Adina in L’Elisir d’amore which opened the season of Teatro Comunale di Bologna. 

Dear Sofìa, I am glad to have such a fresh & beautiful presence – Charming indeed – as the guest of this interview! Just as a ray of sun in a rainy day, which would describe exactly the difficult moment we are passing through… Today, on World Opera Day, in Italy the theatresgot closed and we are constrained to go back to talking about cancellations instead offuture plans… Anyhow, as the protagonist of the LElisir damore production at TeatroComunale di Bologna, how did you feel about coming back on stage after the lockdown, especially from the point of view of the health security?

As we all know, this lockdown brought lots of cancellations, among which also this L’Elisird’amore, but I had the great fortune to have the opportunity to eventually sing it. Turning back tothe stage has been a great joy, but we also had to follow lots of health security measures: always respecting social distancing with our colleagues, not only during the rehearsals, but also for all the performances, wearing gloves in order not to infect the stage property which was always sanitised and, obviously, wearing face masks, apart from the moments we were singing. All these measures, among others, brought the changing of the opera season of Teatro Comunale di Bologna in a bigger place, at Paladozza, the famous palace for sports in Bologna. As you can imagine, the production had to be semi-staged, with a smaller stage and with the orchestra and the conductor situated behind us. But thanks to this effort from the theatre, all their staff and all the musicians, we felt very safe and calm during the production and the performances. 

Just to change the cloudy mood for a little, tell me more about your Adina. After certain little roles, but, of course, in big theatres, with very important casts and conductors, Adina could be mentioned as your first main role. Introduce her to us!

I can say that there was a development process that brought me to the main roles, starting from characters such as Giannetta, passing through Clorinda, Nannetta, to arrive at Adina. But I also had the chance before to live the experience of being in the shoes of the protagonist in Spain, singing in the famous genre of Zarzuela. Concretely, Adina, in the conception of the stage director Pablo Maritano, is conceived as a famous cinema star of the ‘40s, in the style of Rita Hayworth, the entire action of the opera taking place in a Hollywoodian cinematographic studio of those times. Adina is intelligent, elegant and cultivated and, in this staging, very ironic: a true “tough cookie”. The aspect that I wanted to highlight in my interpretation is the sensibility that develops the character throughout the action, being capable of provoking Nemorino so much, but also of listening to his love and of realising what he would be disposed to do in order to receive an answer from her.

Read the entire interview here, in the 7th issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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