Italian opera: Interview with tenor Stefano Secco after La bohème in Turin

Article about Italian opera originally published by l’Italo Americano on September 4, 2015 by Lina de la Torre:

The Teatro Regio in Turin just finished presenting its great summer opera lineup. They presented La bohème in early July as part of their Best of Italian opera series, which also included The Barber of Seville, La traviata and Norma.

A couple of things distinguish the opera experience in Italy from the standard opera experience in the US. The performance of La bohème in Turin presented Italy’s advantages well! First, there was a mixed-age crowd with plenty of younger attendees and enthusiastic chatter about the opera at the intermission, as opposed to the usual chatter one hears in the US, which is just as likely to be about sports, the events of the day, or some other non-opera related topic. Also, the applause for the arias in Turin was supremely well-timed and did not interrupt the performers; the appropriate expression of bravo, brava or bravi always complemented the applause.

It was especially nice to have a lead role sung by an Italian with magnificent diction like Stefano Secco, who interpreted the role of Rodolfo, a role he has performed quite often. On opening night Stefano received a stirring round of applause and a chorus of bravos from the capacity crowd after his first aria as well as generous applause at the end of the show as part of the cast. After the performance, he graciously consented to a short interview where his remarks were very candid, passionate, and insightful.

What changes do you bring to the role of Rodolfo now that you have become so accustomed to performing it?
There are so many changes. Rodolfo was the first role that I ever interpreted. My debut was in Parma and I performed there again in 2000. By then I had performed in La bohème at least once per year, maybe twice per year, for fifteen years. I realized that during that span of time I had experienced so many different directors and conductors with so much variation. I would say that I always try to find new solutions, to improve upon the areas I find deficient, and above all to improve upon my past performances. I would say it is very much a work in progress.

Continue reading interview…

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