Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ten Questions With L'ubica Vargicova

Rigoletto is around the corner and our singers start arriving over the weekend for the first day of rehearsals on Monday.

Joining us for the first time is Slovak soprano L'ubica Vargicova who sings Gilda in this production. Before jumping on the plane that will take her and her family to San Diego, L'ubica was able to sit down and answer 10 Questions from us here at Aria Serious.

Yes, they're the same 10 questions we always ask, but really it is answers that are important. But if you have your own question you wish to be asked in future installments, submit in the comments section and we'll take it from there.

So, without further ado, 10 Questions with L’ubica Vargicova...

SDO: First, welcome to San Diego Opera! We are very happy you are making your Company debut with us as Gilda in Rigoletto. Before we begin, is there anything new in your life that you would like to share with us?

L'ubica Vargicova (LV): I am happy to be here, thank you for inviting me.

In every season there are luckily some new things. In the past two years I visited again some very interesting countries and opera houses, like the Opera Festival in Aix en Provence (The Magic Flute), the Royal Opera House in Madrid (Tales of Hoffmann) or The State Opera in Hamburg (La fille du regiment) or Theater an der Wien. At home in Bratislava I hade the premier of Ariadne auf Naxos in the role of Zerbinetta, and of course I continue in singing my roles in Traviata, Lucia d Lammermoor, La fille du regiment in my home theatre, the Slovak National Opera.

SDO: You sing Gilda with us, a role you have sung before.. I am wondering if you can tell us a little bit about the character?

LV: My professor used to say, that I am a coloratoura soprano with a sort of “teardrop” in the voice, and according to this has she also always chosen the arias suitable for me ( Violetta, Gilda, Sonnambula ). As she said, this voice is perfect for the lyrically-dramatic parts of the “suffering heroines”. And though I am a joyful and optimistic person, on the stage I like acting in tragedies surrounded by beautiful music. And so is Gilda- a gentle, open heart young girl, honest and straight in her feelings and prepared to sacrifice her own life for her love.

SDO: Is there a part of Gilda that you relate to?

LV: The scene of Gilda’s death is a true challenge, at the final of the opera, for which I have to concentrate very strongly and “save” my energy, as well, since the scene before is very difficult , in order to sing and act credibly and at the same time a beautiful touching moment.

SDO: Is there a moment in this opera that is a favorite of yours?

LV: Verdi’s music is very strong. All parts of the opera are naturally and logically connected, like a perfect puzzle. Sometimes I do not even realize, that I am singing. It is like living the story. I like Rigoletto as it is, including the parts where I do not sing. I think this is Verdi s best and most impressive opera, without a mistake or weak part.

SDO: Tell us about your introduction to Opera? When did you first hear it? What made you realize this was the path you wanted to pursue?

Rather unusually, only after my attendance at the Conservatoire in Bratislava. Before I learned piano, playing and singing meant for me folk songs and popular songs. Actually I just followed the wish of my mother, and I was lucky enough to have these wonderful teachers at both secondary school and university. They help and teach me up to now.

SDO: Being a professional Opera singer you spend a lot of time traveling, meeting different people, exploring new locales. What do you like best about this aspect of your job?

LV: It is definitely far away from a boring job. Sometimes I have to decide within a couple of hours and change plans completely sometimes for days or even weeks. For me, as a mother of three children this means a lot of improvisation in our family life. But I am lucky also in this: I have a perfect family which helps me in every situation. I prefer to take my family always with me. I am happy if we are all together discovering new countries, new people. I always look forward to meet new colleagues; I can learn a lot from, to gain new experiences and to find new friends. However I also value when I feel the happiness and satisfied joy of the audience, immediately after the performance.

SDO: What do you like the least?

LV: I am bit stressed of this eternal fear of getting tired or sick and the following complications. I also must confess, that I am not always in a laughing, singing mood, but I have to. It is sometimes difficult to have this perfect timing, and forget about real life and real problems. I am also often stressed of a huge feeling of responsibility or stage fright. But if I am physically O.K., all this disappears in the first couple of minutes.

SDO: We (begrudgingly) must admit there is more to life than Opera. So, do you have any hobbies?

LV: My hobby is my big family, the kids and everything in connection with them. I love being surrounded by them, being together somewhere in the countryside.

SDO: Is there a book you are dying to get people to read?

LV: Unfortunately I do not have enough time for books. I read fairy tales to my youngest son Jacob and I learn from school books with my older ones, and we like reading encyclopedias. I only can recommend all “children books” to you…

SDO: What is in your cd player/iPod right now that is not Opera related?

In my privacy I prefer silence. Of course there is always a CD on our cd player, now it is Ariadne, the opera I last sung. Prior to each performance I usually memorize the role by listening to the opera performed by one of the excellent well known singers, in order to collect energy and feel the atmosphere of the opera.


Arthur said...

It was a pleasure to read this interview with one of our favorite sopranos. My wife and I spend several months each year in Bratislava and always look forward to Ms. Vargicova's performances, whether as Violetta, Zerbinetta, Lucia and Marie (La fille du regiment). We are hoping to hear her in other roles, especially Amina in La sonnambula. A wonderful singer and also a down-to-earth family person.

Anonymous said...

She really is a gem.

Anonymous said...

Last week I heard her sing the role of Marie (La fille du régiment) at the Hamburg State Opera. She was wonderful.

Keep up the good work!