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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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"Tu sei peggio dei tenori"

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Part 2 and part 3 of the interview. In the third part there are a few seconds from a concert in Bucharest in 1992 with Placido Domingo. That video recording is well hidden in the archives of the Romanian Television. I would really love to see it. Maybe someone finds it and broadcasts it on TVR Cultural. Mrs Luminita Constantinescu could do that. She has a very interesting program dedicated to opera each Wednesday evening at 8pm. Dreaming... dreaming...
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Your success brought you on the most famous stages in the world, Covent Garden and Metropolitan, led you from New York to Moscow, from Rome to Tokyo. Where is home for Angela Gheorghiu?
It’s an ordinary question. Romania is home for me and it has always been. There is no concert without a Romanian song. I have strong connections here.
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Paul Young, a British singer, has a song that says “wherever I lay my hat there’s home”.
Many times I say that home is where I feel well. But in time I realized that Romania is home for me.
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The success also brought you famous people in the audience: Queen Elisabeth II, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Is it possible for an artist to influence the world?
Yes, if he or she dares to. It takes more than singing.
Does he/she get involved in activities other than singing?
It’s a relative thing. The artist is like a doctor. I don’t care about the religious or political views of the audience. I do the same thing for everybody. The artist has a direct connection with people. The art is considered to be ageless so it can influence a lot.
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Let’s watch some more videos.
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I’m speechless. And the applauses are real. You don’t have to be an opera expert to recognize the value. Tonight we’re not experts but we bow our heads in respect towards what you’re doing.
In 1994 BBC cancelled all the programs in order to broadcast La Traviata live from Covent Garden. After the show George Solti declared “I was very touched. She was great. This girl can do anything”. Is Violetta your favorite character so far?
Hmm, no. She's not the only one. I find myself in many other characters. I’m lucky to be able to transform myself such as the ones in La Boheme, La Rondine, Turandot and others.
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I asked you if you like the music of Jacques Brel and you said yes.
Sure, I like his music. He composed beautiful music with amazing lyrics. I wish I listen more often to Romanian pop songs with interesting lyrics, not only a nice melody. I always say that the classical music is for the soul and the other genres are for the body as we feel the impulse to move.
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How do you get along with pop music?
We’re in good relationship. I always liked it. I’ve never been to disco. Well, you can’t have everything in life. I took care of my voice. I never thought of smoking. I buy CDs very often. Wherever I am I want to find out what’s new in music. I like good music no matter what genre it belongs to.
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You were born Angela Burlacu. Then you married Andrei Gheorghiu. You divorced but you kept his name. Later on you married the Italian tenor Roberto Alagna with whom you formed a musical couple labeled as “a huge package of energy, passion, spirit and beauty”. How much does the personal life influence the professional one?
It depends on each one’s personality. I and Roberto always tried to make a difference between Angela, Roberto and Angela&Roberto. We considered that there was a third artist. We had different ideas and repertoire. When I take a role I have to know everything about it before signing. I ask why, what where, what for. I’m responsible for everything and I like to feel good wherever I am.
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You performed with Roberto Alagna but also with other great singers: Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, Jose Carerras. Has the little girl Angela Burlacu ever dreamed of singing on stage with these legends?
Yes. I never thought I won’t do what I do. It was a sort of duty for me. I felt like being pushed from behind.
Does self confidence help?
Everybody around me told me I’ll become someone. I had a lot of support from my family and teachers. It was like a springboard for me.
And you always have to trust yourself and to wish to be the best, to sing with the best.
I was very determined and was very sure of myself. I worked a lot and I was always aware of what happens around me in the world of music.
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Let’s see some more videos
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I’ll ask some stupid questions now. How is it to sing with Luciano Pavarotti?
It’s difficult for me. There are so many important people. There are 20 years of singing, of emotions next to great artists, colleagues that I respect and I share so many memories with. They are part of my life and they are all my friends. I don’t know how it happened but they entered my life at the right time. Seeing Luciano impressed me because he’s no longer with us. I’m very sorry. But his talent and his spark of genius touched me. He was also very hilarious. He always found something funny to say. I remember that we met backstage after one of his concerts in Los Angeles. He told me “I want to organize a concert only with tenors at the Metropolitan. And I’d like to invite you too”. I said I was not a tenor. And he replied “you’re worse than tenors” (tu sei peggio dei tenori).
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There's more to follow. Soon.
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4 comments:

  1. Linda Smith3/2/10 8:52 PM

    It is interesting that an opera singer is invited to appear on commercial television in your country. Here, in the the United States this seldom, if ever, happens anymore. In fact, Angela's appearance on the Kennedy Center Honors broadcast is the first time in a long time I've seen an opera singer on commercial television. In the US, opera can only be found on public television every now and again. Back in the 1950's and '60's viewers had the opportunity to enjoy opera singers on shows such as the Bell Telephone Hour and the Ed Sullivan Show. Even Maria Callas appeared on Ed Sullivan and did a scene from Tosca. But no more, sadly.

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  2. @Linda. TVR1 and TVR Cultural... are public stations. TVR means Romanian Television. Antena 1 and Pro TV are commercial televisions. But only last year she started to appear on TV. If I remember well, there was that interview in Spring, "Profesionistii" on TVR1. all the others were after her concert in Bucharest, in September.
    it's good publicity. But I wish the reporters do some research before asking those questions.

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  3. Linda Smith3/2/10 10:02 PM

    Thanks for the info Irina. I wonder if she had been invited to appear appear before this year but declined? I would think that she'd have been on TV more in her own country over the years. I guess sports and reality TV are more popular than opera everywhere you go. TV was better back in the '50's and 60's:)!

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  4. Am vazut si eu ...splendida ca intotdeauna:X

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