Venera Giamadieva: Every performance takes a lot of emotional and physical energy and also brings a high level of responsibility – to the colleagues, the audiences, the theatres… The more well-known is the singer, the closer is the scrutiny and the higher is the responsibility.

Russian soprano VENERA GIAMADIEVA has quickly become one of the most sought-after lyric coloratura sopranos in Europe. Having studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire and on the Young Artist Programme at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, she now performs regularly at prestigious opera houses and venues across Europe and the USA. Gimadieva’s signature roles include Violetta, La traviata (the role in which she made her debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Fenice, Opéra National de Paris and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, as well as her US debut with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl); the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor (Semperoper Dresden, Teatro Real, Madrid and for her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper) and The Queen of Shemakha, The Golden Cockerel (La Monnaie, Brussels, Teatro Real, Madrid and for her US stage debut at Santa Fe Opera).

Hello, Venera and thank you for accepting our invitation! I will start our conversation by asking you how your voice feels in the present? I know that you have recently became mother – congratulations! Did you have to change something in your repertoire after giving birth?

Thank you for inviting me to this interview. Before we start, I feel it is necessary to address what, I believe, is on many people’s minds these days. Together with all decent people around the world, as an artist, as a mother, I condemn any war, any conflict in which innocent people suffer. And I hope that peace will prevail soon. I think it is important for me to say that right now. And thank you for your kind words. Having a baby was, indeed, a very long-awaited moment in my life that changed a lot in both my day-to-day and my professional routines. I feel that now my voice is showing new colours, new depth which can allow me to consider new parts to my standard repertoire.

Let’s get back to your first years as a musician – tell us, please, how your story with music and opera began. Who are those to whom you will always be grateful for your first steps on this path? What was the moment that boosted your career?

I was always led by my voice. I was relatively late to join a professional music tuition, so the choir conducting course in my music college in Kazan, and then the vocal studies at the St Petersburg Conservatoire really helped me to develop the necessary musicianship and skills. I have always been very lucky in people who seem to appear in my life in the right time and in the right place. Such were my music teachers who took me from stage to stage of the professional development and ensured that I was not distracted from the direct path to my operatic career. I would really like to name them all, but for that we will need a separate interview.

Have you ever had difficult moments, when you felt that your voice was on the wrong path, technically speaking? How did you overcome them?

This is a very good question. Many artists, throughout their career, experience the moments of self-doubt, which are often the moments of growth too. And I am not an exception. Recently, just after I had my son, and in the midst of the pandemic, I found myself in the sense of limbo – physically, mentally, professionally… Like many artists, I was stuck at home, as all my performances were cancelled, without any professional activity, practice, without any chance to sustain my professional level. It was hard to accept. But what helped me was taking time to reflect, looking at the newchallenges, like new roles, and, of course, regular vocal exercises.

Read the entire interview here, in the 2th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.


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