This special occasion is not to be missed. Anna Netrebko is known to the most famous concert halls of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London. According to Forbes magazine, the opera soprano was awarded the title of People’s Artist of Russia in 2008, and is on the list of the world’s most influential people. On February 1, together with her husband, Yusif Eyvazov, Anna will perform one of the most beautiful opera arias at the Grimaldi Forum. This one-off performance will include excerpts from the best Italian composers: Verdi’s «Power of Destiny», Puccini’s «Turandot», Cilea’s «Adriana Lecouvreur», Catalani’s «Wally» and many others. The opera duo will perform to the symphony orchestra of Nice.
HelloMonaco had the pleasure to speak with Anna and Yusif about their upcoming show.
HelloMonaco: You will soon be performing in Monaco. What are your expectations?
Anna Netrebko: This is a wonderful country. We heard that it is very beautiful and we are looking forward to our journey.
HM: How do you manage to withstand such a tight concert schedule, and what gives you strength and inspiration?
Yusif Eyvazov: What gives us strength is, above all, loving what we do. For us, performing on the stage is more of a pleasure than work.
AN: Another thing – we feel, that right now we are going through our most productive years. However much we’d like to have a rest sometimes, we understand that these are the moments we get to perform at our peak. Another 2-3 years, and we could take it easier. I do believe that strength of spirit can be cultivated. That’s exactly what happened in my life. In order to survive in the Mariinsky Theatre, you really need to be a fighter. This kind of hardening builds a strength of spirit in a person.
HM: Tell us about your first joint album?
AN: Its songs are very lyrical, but also quite complex. I would even say that many of them may claim a well-deserved place in the modern classical repertoire. The London Symphony Orchestra took part in it. It took us a whole year and the album was recorded in four cities: Moscow, London, New York and Vienna. It is scheduled for release in September.
YE: Some of the songs in this album are almost as complex as opera arias, but its overall style is classical. The songs are performed in Italian, Russian, French and English. In addition, we are now preparing another large scale joint project where Vladimir Spivakov will perform as our conductor. The concert will be held on June 13, 2018, in the Red Square with the participation of contemporary performers and will be dedicated to the World Football Cup.
HM: What do you plan to sing together in the future?
AN: We have a lot of joint projects since our voices complement each other and we manage to sing many of our concerts together. First, we are opening the season in Milan’s La Scala, then it is «the Queen of Spades» by Tchaikovsky and the «Masquerade Ball» by Verdi.
HM: You are very present on social networks, how do you feel about them in general?
AN: For me, this is something fun. I think my page in Instagram is cheerful and even perky. That’s the way I like it. When I am having a hard time, I will not pour out my problems into social networks. My subscribers are mostly Russian women. When they watch my Instagram with colourful photos, they feel joyful too. I also post there what I see and things that are happening in my life.
YE: People need positive things; this is what they expect from us. The audience is looking for some kind of brightness, hope and light. They often tell us: «I was in a bad mood, but I saw your post and it all became easy, bright and good. » This must be the purpose and use of social networks. But we are always careful to avoid political and social posts. Our life is art, and art is above politics.
HM: What do you do when you manage to find time for a family vacation?
AN: I usually come up with a destination, and my husband does all the logistics and more practical planning. When we are out travelling, we try to do lots of walking, get our son to see as much as possible, we always take him with us. Of course, we don’t get to see everything, but we do try to spend as much time together as possible.
HM: How does your son cope with all the travels?
AN: He loves travelling, he is very sociable. This life for him is very interesting and exciting. Right now, we are planning to transfer him to a new school in New York. He can’t wait for the school year to start, and that makes us happy. He leads a very active lifestyle; we encourage all his projects and try not to limit him in any way so that he discovers and explores the world in all its colours.
HM: Which city feels like home to you?
AN: Perhaps it is Vienna where we feel very comfortable. This is a place where we have our own house. By the way, the last time we’ve been there was in February. Vienna is very calm and measured, singers are much appreciated and respected here, any musical event is a real happening. We also really like New York and spend a lot of time there.
HM: How do you usually choose an outfit for the red carpet and other events?
AN: I do not have a stylist; I choose all my outfits myself. I don’t like classical style and wear it very rarely, I find it boring. I prefer designs out of the main track and a mixture of styles.
HM: Please continue the phrase: «If not theatre, then… »
AN: Home. Even when I only have two weeks off and I do household chores, I sometimes don’t feel like going back on stage. It feels so good to be at home.
HM: You got the honorary title of Kammersenger*, does this mean a lot to you?
AN: It’s a great honor for any singer. This is the only name they now call me in Austria — «Frau Kammersenzherin». I am very grateful for this title.
*The title of «Kammersenger» is awarded to the most outstanding performers according to the Berlin and Bavarian Opera in Germany and the Vienna Opera in Austria (editor’s note).