The excitement in Turin is palpable (heh) for the premiere at Teatro Regio of Ernani (the official site is here, Creative Commons free-for-dload version of an old recording here), where Opera Chic heroine Daniela Dessì will unleash her beautiful voice (and her ginormous bewbs) in the role of Elvira; her tall dark handsum boytoy Fabio Armiliato will be the heart-stealing bandit, and our dear Bruno Campanella, very clearly the best Rossini conductor in the world right now and a he-ll of a solid Verdi conductor, will conduct the operations. The staging is by the always interesting Pier'Alli.
An interview with Campanella (who considers Ernani part of the belcanto repertorio and warns against the dangers of conducting the opera in too muscular a fashion, and he explains that the pianissimi are the key to the score) is here and one with Pier'Alli is here.
And La Stampa carries today a very cool interview in stereo with the singing loving couple.
Your favorite opera?
Dessì: "Tosca, because I see her in myself: Tosca c'est moi".
Armiliato: "Andrea Chènier, because it was my first opera with Daniela" (aaaaaaawwww that's sweet).
Your least favorite opera?
Dessì: "La Rondine. I've been asked to many times, but it just doesn't interest me"
Armiliato: "L'Elisir d'Amore, because nobody has ever asked me to be in it"
The most important asset for a singer?
Dessì: "Three qualities: patience, calm, serenity. If you're nervous, you sing badly"
Armiliato: "Brains. Many people do not think this is the case, but you mostly sing with your brain".
The favorite singer from the past?
Dessì: "Too easy, Maria Callas"
Armiliato: "Beniamino Gigli. I grew up listening to his records all the time. I still listen to them, one can only learn from him".
The favorite singer from today?
Dessì: "Mariella Devia. Extraordinary technique"
Armiliato: "Juan Diego Florez, the most reliable"
What do you do when you're not working?
Dessì: "First, I'm a mom"
Besides your partner, you'd like to sing with...?
Dessì: "Johnny Depp!"
Armiliato: "Really? OK, Monica Bellucci for me..."
Dessì: "Maybe Domingo, he always moves me"
Armiliato: "Dolora Zajic, a mezzo. She brings luck to my life, she was singing with me for my Metropolitan debut and for my San Francisco debut"
Which is more damaging for a singer, a bad director or a bad conductor?
Dessì: "A bad conductor. You can find a compromise with a director"
Armiliato: "I agree with Daniela, a bad director can make you look silly, a bad conductor will ruin your show"
Your pet project?
Dessì: "My first Norma next year in Bologna"
Armiliato: "My first Otello, next year in Malaga"
You're a couple in real life, does it help you in your work?
Dessì: "Yes, I think about Fabio and my anxiety vanishes" (ed: aaaaawwwwwwwww)
Armiliato: "Yes, of course, you enjoy your work more, the way the great showbusiness families of the past did"
Your partner's greatest quality?
Dessì: "His honesty"
Armiliato: "Her sweetness"
Your partner's not-so-great quality?
Dessì: "Can I say this? He snores a lot"
Armiliato: "I don't snore, I practice in my sleep".
The thing Italian opera houses need the most?
Dessì: "One-year-contracts for all..."
Armiliato: "Yes, with yearly auditions. Meritocracy is a guarantee of artistic quality".
***update*** Since Dessì mentions her Tosca, possibly her best role and certainly the one she's most famous for, here it is courtesy of YouTube. Consider that her interpretation is even more impressive than her plunging neckline here, and with that push-up costume that's saying quite a lot:And since Fabio deserves his share of YouTube blav as well, here's his -- frankly, standing-ovation-worthy, dang! -- "Nessun Dorma". Also check out the YouTube comments for a funny digression on Fabio's famously abundant "knödel".