Saturday, April 29, 2017

Interview with Elena Xanthoudakis, SLO's 'L'elisir d'amore' - 19 to 22 May 2017


As Adina for Scottish Opera

The Singapore Lyric Opera has scored a coup with soprano Elena Xanthoudakis in the role of Adina for their upcoming production of L'elisir d'amore. She is a much sought after performer with numerous competition wins and has a CD (Jewels of the Bel Canto – Arias Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Rossini) recorded with no less a luminary as Maestro Richard Bonynge at the podium.

Bel canto and especially Donizetti is a specialty of Elena's. In 2016, she sang the title roles in the composer's Anna Bolena (Melbourne Opera) and Pia di Tolomei (English Touring Opera) in addition to debuting as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Winslow Hall Opera). She will perform Pamina again in New York City later this year.


Other roles she has performed are Miss Schlesen in Satyagraha (English National Opera and Opera de Quebec), Lisa and Amina in La Sonnambula and Frasquita in Carmen (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden); Gilda in Rigoletto (Opera Queensland), the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera de Quebec and Winslow Hall), Clorinda in La Cenerentola (Glyndebourne), First Niece in Peter Grimes for Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome); Jemmy in Guillaume Tell (BBC Proms) with Pappano, Adina in L’elisir d’amore (Scottish and Victorian Opera), Euridice and Genio in L’anima del Filosofo (Pinchgut Opera). She covered Gilda in Rigoletto and Countess Adele in Comte Ory for The Metropolitan Opera, NY.

Elena has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber and Royal Scottish National Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, Sydney Philharmonia, Tasmanian Symphony, Melbourne Musicians, St Petersburg Camerata, Orchestra de Quebec, British Music Festival, Melbourne Symphony, TrioKROMA, Oxford Philharmusica, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Krakow and Poznan Filharmonia Orchestras, Mozarteum Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Elena has won over 80 first prizes in Competition and Eisteddfodau across Australia. International prizes include the Tait Memorial Trust Vocal Prize, the ‘Maria Callas International Grand Prix’ (Oratorio/ Lied), the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg. Elena is a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Artist.

(Information taken from Elena's website http://elenaxan.com)

Here, we discuss her portrayal of Adina in her upcoming debut in Singapore. Check out our conversation below!




As Maria Stuarda
The Mad Scene: What do you like about L’elisir d’amore?

Elena Xanthoudakis: I love to play the arch of the character's development - or the ' journey' that Adina goes on - from an over-confident and maybe self-centered girl to a caring and more sympathetic character who learns what love is.

The Mad Scene: What is the role of Adina like, musically and dramatically speaking?

Elena Xanthoudakis: Singing Adina is like a real joy, like being at 'play'! The music itself is bubbly and light, with gorgeous melodic lines with a witty kick about them - which suits her character!

I have performed Adina a number of times including for Victoria Opera in my home town of Melbourne, in Zurich and my favourite production for Scottish Opera with the theatre director Giles Havergal - from the famous Glasgow Citizen's Theatre.

I love working with theatre directors so I relish those experiences - I always love putting new productions together, from the different aesthetics to the dynamic of working with new cast and conductor - to creating a new world for the audience to experience too!

Everytime you perform an opera you find new things about the character to explore; and it is my job to make every performance fresh and to live in the moment! To feel things for the first time - everytime!

As Anna Bolena for Opera Australia

The Mad Scene: If someone has never seen an opera before is this a good place to start?

Elena Xanthoudakis: L'elisir d'amore is one of the best operas there is to take beginners to! It has playful melodies, good humour - it's fun and has a great love story! It's perfect!

The Mad Scene: How would you describe Donizetti’s music to opera newbies?

Elena Xanthoudakis: Donizetti is one of the greatest 'Bel Canto' composers but if you don't know what that means - it means he writes beautiful melodies in a Romantic style! I believe what Donizetti excels at, is capturing the 'drama and the characters emotions in the shapes of his melodies. We know just what they are feeling and just what they wish the could say but can't find the words! He is a master.



The Mad Scene: How has rehearsals for this upcoming SLO production been so far?

Elena Xanthoudakis: First  day of rehearsals! Its a huge cast! I got to hear some lovely voices and the director knows what he wants, so that is always good  I think  it will be a great show!

The Mad Scene: How has your stay been in Singapore so far?

Elena Xanthoudakis: Well I'm a bit jetlagged, having arrived from Glasgow via London only three days ago! I have already tried some great food here and there is loads of variety! I can't wait to try more and more things! and Singaporean cuisine too. I am so excited to be here!



Catch Elena Xanthoudakis as Adina in The Singapore Lyric Opera's production of E'lisir d'amore on  19, 20 and 22 May 2017. Teo Kaixin performs as Adina in the matinee show on 21 May. Get your tickets at SISTIC!

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