Надя (dina2304) wrote,

Ambrogio Maestri answers the Gramilano Questionnaire… Singers’ Edition. Feb 092014


When did you start singing?
When I was 9.

Why did you start singing?
I was study­ing piano, and the trans­ition was natural.

Which singer inspired you most when you were young?
Mario Del Monaco.

Which singer do you most admire?
All those who have man­aged their voices well and had a long career.

What’s your favour­ite role?

What role have you never played but would like to?

What’s your favour­ite opera to watch?
I never go to the theatre because I can’t help but identify with the sing­ers and I come out exhausted, as though I’ve sung the opera myself.

Who is your favour­ite com­poser?
Giuseppe Verdi.

Who is your favour­ite writer?
Gio­van­nino Guareschi.

Who is your favour­ite theatre or film dir­ector?
Gior­gio Strehler.

Who is your favour­ite actor?
Tom Hanks.

Who is your favour­ite dan­cer?
Carla Fracci.

What is your favour­ite book?
I love bio­graph­ies and books on history.

What is your favour­ite film?
For­rest Gump.

Which is your favour­ite city?

What do you like most about your­self?
That I don’t take myself too seriously.

What do you dis­like about your­self?
That I don’t con­front prob­lems immediately.

What was your proudest moment?
When I sang Fal­staff at the Met last Decembre mean­ing that, at 42, I’ve been able to sing this char­ac­ter in all the most import­ant theatres in the world.

When and where were you hap­pi­est?
In the Carib­bean, swim­ming undis­turbed in the crys­tal­line sea.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife Valeria.

Ambrogio Maes­tri and his wife Valeria

What is your greatest fear?
Every now and then I dream that I’ve lost my voice!

If you could change one thing about your­self, what would it be?
I wish I were more tenacious.

What do you con­sider your greatest achieve­ment?
The first time I sang Fal­staff, in 2001, at La Scala, in Gior­gio Strehler’s pro­duc­tion and with Ric­cardo Muti conducting.

What is your most treas­ured pos­ses­sion?
My family.

What is your greatest extra­vag­ance?
Watches — if by extra­vag­ant you mean expens­ive — and sleep­ing with my feet out of the bed.

What do you con­sider the most over­rated vir­tue?
Hav­ing a firm opin­ion about everything.

On what occa­sion do you lie?
How much space have you got…?!!

If you hadn’t been a singer what would you have liked to be?
A cook.

What is your most marked char­ac­ter­istic?
I wouldn’t know… my skinniness?

What qual­ity do you most value in a friend?

What qual­ity do you most value in a col­league?
Calmness, and the abil­ity to enjoy one­self on stage.

Which his­tor­ical fig­ure do you most admire?
I’ve always found Genghis Khan fascinating.

Which liv­ing per­son do you most admire?
Pope Francis.

What do you most dis­like?
Those who are strong with the weak, yet weak with the strong.

What tal­ent would you most like to have?
Be able to learn lan­guages easily.

What’s your idea of per­fect hap­pi­ness?
A world without illness.

How would you like to die?
In my sleep, in my bed.

What is your motto?
While there’s life there’s hope!

Ambrogio Maes­tri — a biography

Ambrogio Maes­tri was born in Pavia where he stud­ied singing and piano.

His sen­sa­tional debut in 2001 coin­cided with the most import­ant musical event of the Verdi Centen­nial, Fal­staff, con­duc­ted by Ric­cardo Muti and dir­ec­ted by Gior­gio Strehler, which saw him in the lead­ing role at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the his­toric Teatro Verdi in Bus­setto. This inter­pret­a­tion earned him enthu­si­astic reviews from the inter­na­tional press and opened the doors of the most import­ant opera houses in the world.

The col­lab­or­a­tion with Ric­cardo Muti lead him over the next three years to debut at the Teatro alla Scala in some of the most emblem­atic Verdi roles such as Iago in Otello, Ren­ato in Un Ballo in maschera, Don Carlo di Var­gas in La forza del des­tino and Gior­gio Ger­mont in Travi­ata, thereby strength­en­ing the found­a­tions of a con­stantly ascend­ing career.

Guest of the most pres­ti­gi­ous opera com­pan­ies world-wide (Met­ro­pol­itan Opera, Opera de Paris, Cov­ent Garden, Staat­soper di Vienna, Deutsche Oper di Ber­lino, Maes­tri con­tin­ues his Ver­d­ian jour­ney per­form­ing as the Conte di Luna in Trovatore, Amonasro in Aida, Rolando in La battaglia di Leg­nano, and in the lead­ing roles of Simon Boc­canegra, Rigo­letto and Nabucco.

Loved by the pub­lic and crit­ics who con­tinue to sup­port him with the same enthu­si­asm as at the begin­ning of his career, Maes­tri is con­firmed as one of the most acclaimed bari­tones on the inter­na­tional scene.

In a reward­ing career with an abund­ance of roles Maes­tri has obvi­ously con­tin­ued to bring Fal­staff to the most import­ant stages, with Sir John becom­ing his true alter ego through in depth research and inter­pret­at­ive recit­a­tion. In fact each new pro­duc­tion rep­res­ents a chal­lenge that enables Maes­tri to study and exper­i­ment uned­ited act­ors’ and voice nuances. The con­tinu­ing ana­lysis and refin­ing of the char­ac­ter, also car­ried out by con­front­a­tion with the greatest dir­ect­ors and con­duct­ors , brings a wealth of new results.

The ten-year col­lab­or­a­tion with the Arena di Ver­ona led him dur­ing the 2012 sea­son to cel­eb­rate his one hun­dredth per­form­ance of another beloved opera: Aida. A sig­ni­fic­ant mile­stone that res­ults in a mature and com­plex inter­pret­a­tion of the char­ac­ter of Amonasro.

In these years of intense activ­ity Maes­tri has been dir­ec­ted by the best con­duct­ors of the inter­na­tional scene includ­ing Zubin Mehta, Daniele Gatti, Daniel Oren, Fabio Luisi, Ant­o­nio Pap­pano, Jef­frey Tate, Nello Santi, Mar­cello Viotti, Marco Armil­i­ato, Gianandrea Noseda, Ren­ato Palumbo,Daniel Harding…and by dir­ect­ors such as Franco Zef­firelli, Robert Carsen, Gra­ham Vick, Peter Stein, Bob Wilson, Lar­ent Pelly, Mario Mar­tone, Hugo De Ana, Bart­lett Sher…

In 2006 Maes­tri encountered for the first time the char­ac­ter of Dul­ca­mara. The Opera de Paris, plan­ning a new pro­duc­tion of Elisir d’amore, wished to assign, as in the past, the role of the con­genial char­latan to a bari­tone. The suc­cess of the per­form­ance rewar­ded this decision recog­niz­ing in Maes­tri a vocal flex­ib­il­ity that per­mits him to range from ser­i­ous to buffo repertoires.

In the last four years Maes­tri has con­fron­ted Puccini and Ver­ismo. He deb­uted in Tosca at Torre del Lago, Caval­leria rus­tic­ana at the Met­ro­pol­itan in New York and Pagliacci at La Scala in Milan. The choice of play­ing such strong and pas­sion­ate char­ac­ters came, not sur­pris­ingly, after a dec­ade of exper­i­ence. This stage exper­i­ence in fact allows him to enhance the vehe­mence of his own vocal weight without los­ing the la linea del canto.

In 2012 the dir­ector Ferzan Ozpetek, who had dir­ec­ted Ambrogio in Aida at the Mag­gio Musicale Fiorentino, offered him a role in his film Mag­ni­fica presenza. Play­ing the part of an opera singer in the forties, Ambrogio Maes­tri had a cine­ma­to­graphic exper­i­ence along­side an excep­tional cast, made up of some of today’s greatest Italian actors.

Verdi’s bicen­ten­nial in 2013 rep­res­ents the con­sec­ra­tion of Maes­tri as a ref­er­ence Fal­staff. He was Sir John at La Scala, at the Opèra National de Paris, at Zurich’s Oper­nhaus, at Salzburg’s Fest­ival, in Munich, in Tokyo, and at the Met in New York where he cel­eb­rated his 200th per­form­ance of the role. In 2013 he also inter­preted Nabucco at the Arena di Ver­ona; Amonasro in Aida at La Scala, at the Arena di Ver­ona, and in Tokyo; and Simon Boc­canegra at Turin’s Teatro Regio.

In 2014 Ambrogio will be work­ing on sev­eral pro­duc­tions such as Pagliacci in Vienna, Tosca in Bar­celona, Nabucco in Munich, Oth­ello at Turin’s Teatro Regio, Aida at Rome’s Opera. We will see his Fal­staff in Ams­ter­dam with the Royal Con­cer­t­ge­bouw Orches­tra, in San Paolo in Brazil, and in Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colon.

He will also make his debut as Ger­ard in Andrea Chen­ièr at the Per­alada Festival.
Tags: ambrogio maestri

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