On Friday Frederica von Stade will give the concert which opens the season of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. She spoke with New Jersey On-Line. Here are her words:
On her career
“I just can't believe I've had such a long career, I never expected to.”
“Starting with my generation it became a different sport, so to speak, because all of a sudden top-notch directors were introduced into the scene. There are even more out there now.”
On singing Amina in Bellini's “La Sonnambula”
“I just was in love with it – I had never heard anything so beautiful in my life. For me one of the greatest composers of aligning text with music is Bellini, and I feel very lucky.”
On bel canto
“Bel canto is the essence of classical singing: line and variation and all the skills that are needed, trills and fast singing, coloratura. It's just everything to us.
“I really have trouble finding a colleague I didn't like. Some are cooler than others, some you don't have as much in common with. But there's great camaraderie in opera. It's so much fun. People sing when they're happy; it's very often an expression of joy.”
“I just always loved France. I love the language. I love the very respectful way people treat each other. I love the architecture. I love everything about it. I'm probably just shy of bilingual, so I'm the most comfortable in French.”
On The Met
“I will always, always, always love the Met more than any place, even though I haven't sung there in years.
On music and arts education
“It kills me whenever I'm doing an orchestra rehearsal and the house isn't filled with kids. I know how much organization it takes to get them there, but it just seems like such a waste. Just going in a building like the Met or like NJPAC can change a life.”
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra: Opening Night Celebration
Where: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark
When: Friday, October 14 at 8 pm – njsymphony.org
Photo: Hans Fahrmeyer
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.