Returning to the Monte-Carlo Opera with the role of Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, after the success achieved in 2021 in Madama Butterfly, what emotions does it give you?
As you can imagine it is a great joy for me, the Monte-Carlo Opera is a very prestigious stage, and working here makes me very happy, I am lucky enough to offer my Germont after the recent performances in Florence and Salerno, and I think I have found a certain maturity in this character. The work done with Maestro Massimo Zanetti and his vision of the character is also helping me a lot in this, as well as the staging by Jean Luis Grinda, which puts me completely at ease being a version that is truly faithful to Giuseppe Verdi’s score both for settings and for respect to the needs of the composer.
In this case in particular my character presents herself to the audience with her strongest and most insensitive side towards Violetta, this to protect the interests of the family, but her way of seeing the unfortunate Violetta will already change from the scene in Flora’s house in the second part of the second act, to then become paternal in the finale of the opera.
Find in this production Aida Garifullina after the recent jump in at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino what you tell us about this artist and how do you feel with her?
The jump in in Florence was so last minute that I only met Aida on stage when it was time to say “Madamigella Valery…” but here we had a little more time to work together both musically and scenically and I find that her Violetta is really top level. I love how she acts and how she sings, the passion and feeling she puts into it and I think our voices blend really well together especially in the famous act 2 duet.
After so many years you also find Javier Camarena here in the part of your son Alfredo.
Javier and I sang a lot in the years in which we were both stable at the Zurich theater, we sang Barbiere and Falstaff together above all, and I have always found in Javier a very good colleague with an impeccable technique, a very serious professional. It gives me great joy to see how much progress he has made and the brilliant career he is having today. It is a great opportunity to find him here again as a “son” and I love singing the scene of my aria in the second act with him.
You were supposed to sing only one performance on March 21 but now you find yourself engaged in all four recitals.
I had accepted with great enthusiasm to cover Maestro Placido Domingo because he is a celebrity in the world of opera, and because there is always something to learn from professionals of his caliber, now I have all the performances of this production and I want to make the most of better this opportunity because for me it is very important, to consolidate the role and to improve myself, I am proud of the work done so far and for what I hope this new adventure will bring me from a working point of view.
Monte-Carlo in a few square kilometers so much art and beauty.
You said very well, in one of the smallest states in the world, there is an abundance of art and incredible beauty, the opera house with the magnificent Garnier hall, fantastic in its decorations and splendid for its acoustics. The beautiful Ranieri III auditorium, the splendid Grimaldi Forum, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra which is also masterfully playing our Traviata. Not to mention the beauty of the city and its coast, the splendid gardens and promenades, the castle and all the other magnificent attractions of the city. If we add to all this the climate which in these days is really almost summer with peaks of 20 degrees Celsius then everything is really perfect!
It really fills me with joy to be here.