Dream start: After his brilliant debut in London in June, he’s following with his first solo CD, a TV production, other debuts. Ursula Ehrensberger spoke with the charming over-flyer. (Excerpts from the interview)
Mr. Grigolo, we meet here in London during an acclaimed series of performances of "Manon" with you and Anna Netrebko. Is the impression deceptive, or do you actually feel in the French music and language particularly well?
That is absolutely correct. Just yesterday, Maestro Pappano said: "Vittorio is half French," This is also true to some extent, because I have attended a French school as a child. I have learned to read and write in French, so I sometimes have the feeling that my French is better than my Italian.
This part seems to be optimal to not only your voice but also your personality...
Yes, I think it is also important to have the "physique du role." This helps not only the singer who sings the role, but also the person who is watching him. The emotions, which one gives to the person embodied on the stage in this way, are reflected again in the enthusiasm of the public.
For you is Des Grieux a weak or very much in love man.
For me he is a diplomatic man. He succeeds - perhaps as he lies to himself - to escape from reality by using extreme situations which lead him to behave diplomatically to the outside world. In the sense that he if he cannot have the woman he loves, he wants to become a priest, rather than be with other women. On the outside he appears very strong and diplomatic, but it is a very big lie. Inwardly, he still always thinks of this woman, sees her picture in front of him, although he is a priest. Therefore, he succumbs immediately to the temptation when he sees her again.
How did you feel about it, to stand together with Anna Netrebko on the stage, who is considered "the" Manon of our day?
I very much enjoyed it! Between us is the right "feeling", we breathe together. It is the first time that we sing together, and yet it feels as if our voices would be married for life. It was a kind of engagement during the rehearsal and a wedding at the premiere. What is particularly important for me is that she is very happy. She has not in all the years of hard work lost the joy of singing, but also to be emotional and to arouse emotions in others.
In your last interview for "The Opera Glass," about a year ago, you still had regrets that a classical CD recording had not worked out yet. The call was not heard: Soon after you signed a record contract, now your first CD appears ...
Yes, I have worked very much for this CD. It is a recording for Sony, which will be released in September. It's called "The Italian tenor," because I have chosen exclusively Italian arias. It should be something like my business card because I have not yet recorded my classical repertoire. So when I see an opera lover somewhere and he is enthusiastic about my performance, he will perhaps on the way want to see what there is to buy from me on record. Now he will find this CD on the shelf. In the future I will also include other things, for example, from the French repertoire. But I was born in Italy, so my voice has the Italian cantabile, this easy phrasing, light and simplicity, as is typical of Italian voices. Therefore, it was almost like an obligation, with my first CD to show where I come to prove my "italitanità.
[As usual, this is translated from Opernglas. We are trying to keep current. I especially like his comments about Netrebko. He already has crossover CDs.]