It has been another rich summer of quality music on the Adriatic coast. TCN’s Danni Matijaca caught up with the stars of one of the nights of the year in Trogir, soprano Anna Samuil after a great performance at Kamerlengo Castle.
Internationally celebrated soprano Anna Samuil, gave a very passionate performance in Kamerlengo Castle this Friday, and since this was her first visit to Croatia, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to chat with her.
You’ve performed in some of the most renowned opera houses in the world including the New York Metropolitan, La Scala in Milan, Berlin, Valencia, Tokyo and we finally got the chance to see you perform in Croatia. What are your first impressions, are you satisfied with the concert and the venue?
Yes, this is my first visit to Croatia and I must say I am completely amazed. The country is beautiful, people are so warm and friendly and the atmosphere here in Trogir was perfect. My husband and I have many friends from Croatia and I can tell you right now that I will come back very soon as a tourist, not for work. It is a great feeling to perform in historical venues such as this 700 year old castle. The acoustics are great and I am very happy with the overall performance tonight.
You fought the clouds and airplanes tonight but those are the pitfalls of performing in open venues. Is it more difficult to perform in recitals or operas, since in recitals there’s just you and the piano player (who just happens to be your husband) and no ensemble to lean on?
Recitals are harder. You don’t have the support of the rest of the ensemble, tyou don’t have a set behind you, there are no costumes, ballet dancers, you get maybe two dress changes if you’re lucky, you really have to get into each song and every aria wholeheartedly and change the mood and atmosphere in a blink of an eye so I have to say it is a very challenging process. However, I love recitals because they are much more intimate, I perform with my husband and we really feel each other throughout the concert. Not to mention that there are absolutely no barriers between us and the audience.
No matter how good the acoustics are, performing in the open is always unpredictable but judging by your flawless control of both pianissimo and fortissimo tonight, you tackled this performance with the same gusto and passion you display on any of the world stages.
Well, thank you, I really do approach each concert exactly the same, regardless of if I am performing in La Scala, the Met or here in Kamerlengo Castle. My audience always deserves the very best and I am very lucky to have my husband by my side since I don’t even have to signal him anymore during the performance, he knows exactly what I am doing next and what I want out of each song just by listening to me breathe.
You finished tonight’s performance with a piece by Croatian composer Josip Hatze – Serenada. How long did it take you to learn the piece?
I got the sheet music when I arrived to Croatia, so three days ago. I looked it over, connected well with it, and called my very good friend, Croatian singer who is also performing at Berlin opera Evelin Novak. I asked her to help me because I wanted it to be perfect. So, she recorded it for me and sent it through WhatsApp. Yes, I do admit it’s somewhat crazy to perform a song you’ve never heard before in a language you don’t understand but I love a good challenge. I think I did well because the audience enjoyed it.