German soprano Nadja Michael talks: today's la Repubblica carries a big interview with la Scala's latest Salome (premiere next tuesday -- it's the beautiful if chilly Salzburg staging by Luc "I Am So Minimal I Am Almost Disappearing" Bondy).
Interesting bits from the (East) German lady:
"I was a swimmer, since I was a child, for the East Germany team. Then in the juniores team my coaches began talking about steroids, and my parents pulled me out of the team. Winning was everything for the DDR, it was a political thing".
The 37 year old glacial Hitchcock blonde discovered singing at 18 but didn't take professional lessons until she was 21. She started as a mezzo but then switched to soprano ("I had to learn 14 parts for soprano in 2 years").
No such luck.
In closing, Michael tells the story of the worst night of her life, seven years ago: when, during Aida in Berlin, Giuseppe Sinopoli died on the podium.
"I was on stage, right in front of Sinopoli when he fell to the ground. It was horrifying. He had such clarity of vision, so many projects. He was so inspired, and then he left us".
Dang. We really wanted to make fun of this Puritanical, all-dressed-up Salome, but now we miss the great Maestro Sinopoli so much.
Ciao Maestro and thanks for all the great recordings that you left us.