a conversation with Piotr Beczala on his first Verismo-exploration, the Corona-quarantine and productions that make just enough.
As a radiant, posh stylists you know Piotr Beczala. But that is now a bit different. In the coming season, the Polish Star is singing his first Radames in "Aida" at the New York Met. And even otherwise, the 53-Year-old small trips to hard-to-stronger company intends to repertoire, virtually in the dark chambers of the Tenor. Is documented it all on his new CD, "Vincero!".
still at the New York Met, now in the idyllic Polish house in the forced break. How came that?
Beczala: That was a bit of an adventure. I was a day before the dress rehearsal of "Werther" to be unemployed. Since my wife and I were slightly cold, we were not allowed to fly. As we were reasonably okay, were all the flights. Suddenly, it was said that there is a connection from Chicago. So we are head over heels, sat nearly eleven hours at the airport, then to Warsaw, and nearly 400 kilometers with the Taxi in our Polish home. In New York, we were in voluntary quarantine in Poland two weeks in mandatory quarantine. The police came every day to check whether we are at home. I find it questionable, not only in Poland, that constitutional rights are enforced through the back door to be in force. And what bothers me, not only in Poland: There are experts, who are appointed by the government, and all others with differing opinions to shut up.
what's your prognosis?
Beczala: Our profession is under a big question mark. I am in a privileged Situation. But I do know that about 90 percent of the singers are fighting for their existence. Now, invoices are to be paid, even though no income is there. I am aware that there are worse fates. Companies going bankrupt, people lose their jobs and are left with Nothing – a terrible Situation.
your new Album: What does it mean for you Verismo? This is a flexible term, like Bel Canto?
Beczala: Verismo has to do for me with honest, direct, expressiverer, not artificial art and Emotion. Almost the opposite of Bel Canto, which is neat, clearly structured,. In Verismo operas, lecture, instructions are often in the score as "con dolore" or "con fuoco". For me, this is not a change of Subject, but is an extension of the repertoire.
you have told that you have overused at the beginning of their career the voice. This is now returning to beloved roles, but technically secured?
Beczala: Yes and no. I have dispensed with 20 on the advice of my Professor Sena Jurinac on Puccini's Cavaradossi and Mozart's Tamino started. Cavaradossi's arias I sang, with success with the ladies, but not the whole game. With Tamino, I would have left the impression with the ladies... You can see the Verismo itself difficult, whether you do it right. Thank God I have my wife as a critical listener. In Verismo, the sound does not have to be a self-absolutely beautiful. This has to be something Rugged, Primitive, Animal. Only when the sound is projected into the room, he wins after a couple of meters of quality and beauty. The voice seems to wallow in a kind of free space from the left to the right.
there Are Verismo roles, which is not apart from the Vocal to fit them? The Bandit Dick Johnson in Puccini's "La fanciulla del West"? Piotr Beczala in a Cowboy gap?
Beczala: The whole Opera is bizarre.(Laughs.)It is in the Verismo nothing Royal, nothing Noble from the way I used to do that all the time. If, then, the Plantagenets are the Evil, Broken. The nobles, the voice, the beauty, the roundness, the Perfumed. But everything I've included here, I could sing on the stage. Cowboy hat, or a Sicilian hat in "Cavalleria rusticana" is with me for other reasons problematic: I'm not a fan of headgear. This is also true for the cylinder.
you comment frequently about the excesses of the so-called Director's theatre. You feel comfortable in the Italian repertoire safer than in the case of Wagner, where more experiments are common?
Beczala: I don't know. So many experiences I have with Wagner yet. Maybe it is the Italian specialist even worse, because some operas are performed so often that the Directors artificially under pressure. That's why I sing so often in the United States. There, the risk is not so big that you must be in a terrible production on the stage. If you divide the exposures to Europe and America, one can deal quite well with the Director.
you recover in America from Europe?
Beczala: I have no problems even with the most slanted productions. But the need to stay in the smart framework. You can compare this with the food. In America, everything tastes the same, there are large portions, but little refinements. For a while it's fun. In Europe, the device in a Haute Cuisine which can be very interesting, but otherwise... The modern Director is almost like molecular cuisine. Mini-Steaks taste like cucumber and Vice versa, plus there are salmon trout, meatballs, and so on. From time to time, as adventure, that's okay. You can't feed it, but every day of it. You are either crazy or starved to death.
What do you miss currently?
Beczala: The audience! In the beginning it was like a holiday mood. I allowed me to relax after decades of once really. I don't need to have to. I now work two days a bit of "Aida", of songs – but without coercion. I'm enjoying it. But you must not be lazy, I need to stay in Training. Also, I am fond of in the kitchen. I just have a Corona-baked cake. There are a couple of rotten bananas and Kiwis were – and I thought: just make the best of it. I've improvised. It is not a Verismo cake, more Light from the Bel Canto.
The interview Markus Thiel led.Updated Date: 22 May 2020, 09:37