Italian soprano expresses her Francophile love affair
Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci will make her debut at the Cadillac Shanghai Concert Hall on Sunday where she will stage a recital of French works.
Antonacci has selected works such as Berlioz’s “La Mort d’Ophelie,” Debussy’s “Trois Chansons de Bilitis,” Duparc’s “La Vie Anterieure,” Poulenc’s “La Dame de Monte-Carlo” and “La Voix Humaine” to give the Shanghai audience a taste of 19th-century French music.
Pianist Donald Sulzen will also participate in the recital.
The Italian soprano fell in love with the French style of music because of her personal admiration for Gallic theater, movies and culture in general.
“I love French music, not only for the melodies but also for the poetic lyrics,” says Antonacci. “French repertoire is my favorite now, and the most important thing in my career.”
The 56-year-old speaks fluent French, which she considers quite similar to Italian, and is working on her English for her performance in Britain soon.
Apart from singing beautiful melodies with poetic lyrics, Antonacci is also into acting. She sees it her duty to show audiences all sides of a particular character, both good and bad.
After her first performance as Rosina in “The Barber of Seville” in 1986, Antonacci has played numerous roles by masters including Verdi, Handel and Bizet. She is widely known for her interpretation of Carmen in Bizet’s highly acclaimed opera.
“When I was 11, I saw the first opera in my life, ‘Carmen.’ It is one of the most beautiful operas in the world and has always been part of my soul and background,” says Antonacci.
“I saw many great singers’ interpretations before, which all became an inspiration for the role. And the movie ‘Carmen’ also inspired me to present it in a more modern way.”
Although there are no plans to play Carmen, the talented Italian soprano is excited about bringing Poulenc’s “La Voix Humaine,” featuring a woman’s last phone conversation with her lover, who loves someone else.
With no one to accompany her in the exchange, Antonacci is to take to the stage alone with a telephone and sing to the imaginary man on the other end of the line.
“It is a challenging role, as I am the only one on stage to express everything, with only music leading me,” says Antonacci. “But it will be a much interesting experience for the audience to guess what the man said, based on how I respond. I love the role so much that it is always a pleasure for me to put it on stage.”
Date: January 28, 7:30pm
Tickets: 80-680 yuan
Venue: Cadillac Shanghai Concert Hall
Address: 523 Yan’an Rd E.