LITTLE BIG PORTRAIT of JOSÉ CURA
Tannhäuser, Opéra of Monte-Carlo 2017, Director Jean-Louis Grinda @ 2017 Alain Hanel OMC
Tannhäuser, Opéra de Monte-Carlo 2017, mise en scène Jean-Louis Grinda @ 2017 Alain Hanel OMC
OUR QUESTIONS TO JOSE CURA
You sung Wagner for the first time and in French! How would you describe this experience?
It was like climbing a mountain! Not only the sheet music is very long, the vocal complexity was huge and there was quite a long text to learn.
How do you get ready for a new repertoire and for a role like Tannhäuser?
Usually, I start by studying the libretto, and then I focus on the music to understand how the composer wanted the words to sound. In the case of Tannhäuser, the whole process was very long, because I really struggled with learning the text. May be because many times I had the feeling that the words were not always in harmony with the music. It had never been so difficult to learn a role.
How have you discovered your voice?
When I realized that my vocation was music, my dream was not to sing but to be a composer and conductor. It is only later because it was impossible to make a living as a composer and conductor in the 80’s in Argentina that I started opera singing. At the beginning, I was singing in choirs, weddings, malls. I realized then that I could never make progress in Argentina at that time, so I decided to go to Europe. What happened then is part of the legend.
Tenor, you are also a conductor and a director. What do you enjoy the most?
I can’t answer this! It’s a bit like if I asked you which one of your children you love the best. Each of them is linked to the other by music. Then, each of them is also unique. I enjoy them all very differently, but the pleasure is equally strong for all of them.
You are also, a guest teacher at the London Royal academy and you teach master classes on a regular basis. Is transmission essential for Opera to continue to exist?
Transmission is essential for survival of the human race in general
You frequently perform in Monaco. How do you feel on the stage of the Opera of Monte-Carlo?
I have a very good relationship with Monaco. Not only I really like the team of the opera of Montecarlo who is very talented and friendly, but I also like the principality itself and its people. Monaco is one of the place in the world where I feel the best.
What do you like in Monaco? An inspiring place? A favorite restaurant?
I am not a fan of restaurants. I prefer cooking, and have my meals at home. In Monaco, I am lucky, as my friends know I do not like to go to restaurants, so they invite me for dinner in their home! When I am in Monaco, one of my little pleasure is to start and finish the day by looking at the sea. My dream would be live in Monaco a few months per year.
What are your projects?
Just after Tannhauser, I went to Prague for the first performance of the oratorio I composed « Ecce Homo. » Then I went to bonn to perform and direct Peter Grimes. I am also directing two new shows, Nabucco in Prague and « Fanciulla del West » in Tallinn both planned for 2018. In addition, I am currently writing the libretto of my first opera. Last, but not least, my new album, « Love Songs » from Dvorak just came out. It is my first release on digital platforms as an independent producer.
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