Interview with Sondra Radvanovsky, Ekaterina Gubanova, and Hibla Gerzmava — Part 2

To launch a special interview series for the Show One Blog, we are happy to welcome three internationally renowned opera stars: Sondra Radvanovsky, Ekaterina Gubanova, and Hibla Gerzmava. They join us from their homes to discuss the opera productions they’ve been listening to during quarantine. Visit our instagram page (@show_one_productions) for the video version of the interview. 

Radvanovsky, Gubanova, GerzmavaWhat full opera did you watch/listen to during this quarantine? Were you featured in it? What did you enjoy most/least about it? 

Hibla Gerzmava

I had a lot of time to watch many things, not only operas, but a lot of movies and TV series. I read a lot. For some reason I don’t like watching operas that I sing in because I’m never 100% satisfied with the performance. I always find flaws that I take close to heart. I watched a lot of concerts and dramatic plays presented by theatres online, but it’s all become kind of tiresome.

Light jazz music at home helps to relax. Thanks to the isolation, I got back to my grand piano. I’ve been singing some classic songs from the history of Russia, from the Great Patriotic War, ballads and songs loved by my family. We have always been fond of singing and somehow I am recalling all the songs. I’m looking forward to starting rehearsals, studying for a new part, and practicing my role from Simon Boccanegra for the Vienna Opera. Hopefully these performances will take place. There are a lot of plans in the works. The most important is for everybody to stay safe and healthy. Hopefully this shelter-in-place order is lifted eventually.

There is no doubt that it will be a completely different new life and I believe that there will be a lot of pros in it. I believe we will find something useful and positive in life post-pandemic. It shouldn’t be worse than it was before. 

The sad thing is that we have been isolated at home for a long time by now, I am not accustomed to it at all. We were travelling a lot all over the world, new theatres and new operatic parties. Now just staying at home is very difficult. But at the same time I’ve had time to review and re-evaluate some priorities, stereotypical life perceptions, my point of view of many things have changed dramatically. As I mentioned before, we should take good care of our health.

(Svetlana, my dear friend, let me wish you incredible success, it is such a pleasure to spend time with you. What a terrific concert Katya and me had in Canada, you and your team did a great job to make it so warm and triumphant. I appreciate  all your efforts and treasure our friendship, you, Maria  and Irina are my American-Canadian beloved girls. Love you so much and I’m looking forward to seeing all of you again soon. Let me wish you to be surrounded by real friends and great people, to fill you with joy and make your life comfortable. )

Sondra Radvanovsky

I’m gonna have to be honest and say…none. Sorry. Not an exciting answer, I know, but I really needed the silence for these last few months to calibrate my brain. I have music going on in my head all the time anyway, so I don’t need to listen to it. But now I’m starting to work on Verdi’s Macbeth, so I’ll be listening to that, as well as the new recital program that I’m putting together. 

Ekaterina Gubanova

I know from my friends that the broadcasts have been very useful and it’s been a great thing. It’s good that the agents had so much in store for this kind of emergency. I personally avoid watching myself, it terrifies me because I’m super self-critical and I’m rarely super happy about how I’ve done. When I watch myself it makes me embarrassed, laugh, angry because a certain note or a certain movement didn’t go as well as I thought it would go. Certainly watching  myself is a lesson. I only watched my own scene from Die Walküre from the Teatro di San Carlo production, because it is the freshest and most up-to-date production of the broadcasts that I’ve done. I didn’t terribly dislike watching that, otherwise I usually don’t watch myself.

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