Talking with singers: Andrea CarèInterview
Following his Royal Opera House debut in 2013, Italian tenor Andrea Carè brings his signature Don José back to Covent Garden next month, starring opposite Gaëlle Arquez in Barrie Kosky’s “intense” production of Carmen.
It was a treat to chat with Carè about sharing the stage with superstar colleagues, and the value of trusting one’s instinct.
Why do you sing professionally?
I sincerely believe there’s not only one reason. I myself never decided or planned to sing professionally; I never thought I would manage my developing in a way that I could make this form of art my job.
I studied, I developed, I enjoyed, I got inspired by music and singing. And one day, people around me made it clear that this gift - sustained by my continuous efforts - had a big value, and made me understand that, in order to preserve the gift and the investment of time and money that I and my family did since my first step, I had to find an agent and to build a career. I think no one can choose to sing professionally. It’s a journey and a calling until you’re in.
What kind of man is Don José? What do you think are some misconceptions about his character?
I see Don José as a passionate man, surely too passionate. But I also see him as a really normal human being. Obsession in love can be fatal for every one of us; it can lead us to complicated and wrong paths of our state of mind.
Also, circumstances and environment can enormously affect enormously reactions and our perspective of things around us. I think that Don José is not a complete victim of his fate, and he is not an evil man. I think he is a fragile human being that happened to meet the wrong group of people in the wrong moment in his life.
How does it feel to share the stage with colleagues like Plácido Domingo? What do you observe and learn?
It is my second time performing opposite Maestro Domingo. The first was in 2013 for my debut at the Royal Opera House, as Ismaele in Nabucco, and this time it was the past December for my house debut in Valencia as Don Carlo.
For Don Carlo, the pressure was higher knowing that I was going to have two duets with him, and knowing how famous and masterfully beautiful have been his live and studio recordings of this character. Still now, Plácido Domingo is an example of the perfect use of the voice. It was hard to be inside the character since I was thinking each second how amazing was his singing.
If you could sing one role from outside your voice type, which one would it be?
I have many roles that I would like to sing but they are not yet in my voice type. But one that I know for sure is Filippo II in Verdi’s Don Carlo.
What do you know now about the singing career that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
I guess my answer should be everything and nothing at the same time. I think that everything I learned, I had already heard about - but never understood or believed it until I lived that precise experience for myself.
Something I learned above all is to go on, no matter what. In our careers we always meet people that “possess the truth” or “know better” than us. That is often frustrating and can cause doubts inside of us.
We should learn to stay strong and always trust our instinct.