What a thrill @ perusing our June 28th weekly supplement of La Repubblica delle Donne to find an article on American mezzo-soprano, Nicole Piccolomini. La Piccolomini was kind enough to share a few words with Opera Chic about her opera-ballet, Padmâvatî, which opened the 51st Spoleto Festival this past weekend to rave reviews...even from Corriere della Sera's toughest music critic.
But we are srsly loooooling @ the La Repubblica writer and editors, who mistook "Bayreuth" for "Beirut" when Nicole shared her thoughts on tackling the next Wagner milestone (having already successfully passed two season with Deutsche Oper Berlin and continuing for a third this Fall). See below:
...canta Wanger meglio di una teutone, essendo in forza stabile alla Deutsche Oper di Berlinio per la seconda stagione di fila. Palcoscenico wagneriano per eccellenza. "Dopo Beirut, naturalmente." Un altro festival a gestione familiare.
....She sings Wagner better than a Teuton, and has been a steady force at Deutsche Oper Berlin for two seasons in a row. Wagnerian stage par excellence. "After Beirut, obviously"? Another festival with a similar administration.
Anyway, here's a nice translation of Nicole's interview:
The headline reads, "La Piccolomini, the young voice from New York, and the star of Padmavati, the premiere of an opera that begins a new deal."
Here's the rest.
Prepare yourselves to get familiar with Nicole Piccolomini, Italian American form New York: it's the appeal, fatally and vocally, of Padmavati, the opera that opens the 51st Spoleto Festival (June 27 - July 13).
Nicole, whose family originates from Bari, knows that she shares her last name with popes and humanists. To be at Spoleto, for her, "Is a dream. I'm a girl from the United States, I don't come from a family of musicians. Since I was a little girl I loved the musical and wanted to dance. Opera fell into my life a bit later." Nicole, who loves The Sopranos [the show] ("I don't get it why the Italian community protests it. If it's something you don't like, don't watch it!").
Her maternal grandfather loved Lanza and Caruso: like this, she describes: "For me, my mother put on opera records under my pillows when I was a baby: Scotto, Tebaldi, Callas, Te Kanawa." When she was a good teenager, she totally listened to Mariah Carey and Sade. It's useless to expect that she would turn up her nose at crossover. She says, "I believe that classical music in stadiums is a good thing, it opens up music to a new audience."
Padmavati, an opera by Albert Roussel with libretto by Louis Laloy, directed by the wizard of Bollywood, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, at Spoleto for its Italian premiere, is an example of the perception that the bourgeois Europeans of the 1800s had of the exotic India. "Mine is the classic female opera figure, a princess that stops everything for love, a stupendous musical part, perfect for me. Also I can't wait to play one of those rebellious heroines that kills her own man: like Dalila.
Nicole, we've got our eyes on you! O_o