Nov 24, 2008

Ermonela Jaho answers my questions

Ermonela Jaho, the young Albanian soprano, who recently impressed me so much in Anna Bolena was kind enough to take the time and answer my questions [1]. May she be sure of my gratitude for that.  

1. What is your favorite role so far and why?
I would say Violetta. La Traviata was the first opera that I attended in my teen years and it also was the reason I started singing. After all these years nothing has changed as I always find on it new dimensions and many times myself.  

2. Seeing you perform Anna Bolena recently in Lyon, I thought you would make a very interesting Lucia. Is this role one of those you would like to perform one day?
It definitely is on my wish list. Considering a lot of interpretations of it from many known sopranos I think I would be able to bring something new to it especially on the emotional part.  

3. What roles would you like to add to your repertoire and why?
Many of the roles I’d like to add will become reality very soon but to mention a few will be Madame Butterfly, Lucia di Lammermoor, Luisa Miller etc.  

4. What has been, so far in your young career, the most memorable moment for you?
Interestingly enough it was at a performance of Richard Strauss’ last four songs. After the last song the public stood still for a minute as it never wanted that music to end. It was a wonderful feeling to be a part of it.  

5. What was is like to substitute for Anna Netrebko and premiere at Covent Garden? Same question with Ruth Ann Swenson and the Met?
The pressure was immense on all directions. I had to overcome a lot of obstacles due to the short notice and complete lack of rehearsing time. I also did not know how the fans of another famous artist would react of a substitution and if they would give me the chance to prove myself. Considering that the biggest opportunities lay close to the greatest difficulties I tried my best of the circumstances and offered in both occasions my truest Violetta.  

6. Do you have mentors and if so, can you say a few words about them?
As the saying goes “a smart person knows how to learn from everyone.” My mentors include my husband, my teacher, my manager and many others. Luckily we all share the same artistic values and try to bring out in my singing what touches us all as human beings.
7. Which singers do you admire the most and why?
The times of admiration I would say are almost gone and it is being replaced with a sense of learning from every great interpretation done from almost any great soprano. I do have a weakness for the heart and passion that Callas put on many roles though.
8. Can you speak a little about your future engagements ?
To list a few; Madame Butterfly, which I will debut in Philadelphia this upcoming season,Turandot in Philadelphia, Traviata in Lyon, Clemenza di Tito in Avignon, Thais in Toulon, Traviata in Zurich, Norma in Florida,Traviata in Covent Garden, Anna Bolena in Trieste etc....

[1] Some might have advertised this post as "an exclusive interview" which frankly it is not because by all means, I'm not a journalist of any kind. I just asked the questions I wanted answers to, quite honestly, and apologize if some of you think they are very unoriginal.


ChristinaLuise said...

Thank you very much for posting this interessting "interview" =)

Extatic said...


Anonymous said...

thanks for the interview - and I'm glad to hear Ermonela Jaho is returning to Covent Garden!

Extatic said...

Isn't she pretty interesting indeed... I'm glad she's coming back to Lyon too!

Ruben_nyc said...

I saw her this weekend in Philadelphia as Liu in Turandot. She was certainly the star of the night.

She was greeted enthusiastically by the crowd.

Great voice, great performance.

Extatic said...

Glad to hear that!