Talking with singers: Nahuel Di Pierro
Argentine bass Nahuel Di Pierro's operatic calendar is as busy as it is varied; in recent seasons, he's been onstage to sing everything from Colline (La bohème), Assur (Semiramide), and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), and this summer he takes on Leporello (Don Giovanni) at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
Next month, he sings the final Rosenblatt Recital of the 2016/17 season, June 5, 7:30pm at Wigmore Hall. He'll offer up an eclectic program of picks, from Monteverdi to Berlioz.
We spoke with Di Pierro ahead of his London visit, about patience in the rehearsal room, and the distilled performance setting of a pianist and singer in recital.
Why do you sing professionally?
I decided to become an opera singer when I was 7 years old. I was singing at the children choir at the Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires, and I remember the first time I performed on stage with Menotti's Help, Help, the Globolinks! I had a big shock. I was totally amazed by the stage, the costumes, the lights, the orchestra, the soloist... I think I went a little crazy at that moment... I will never forget it... That's why I sing...
What do you find uniquely challenging about singing recitals, compared to a role in a staged opera?
What I find difficult in recitals is the fact that there is no drama, no theater, there is no character to play. It's only two people (the singer and the pianist), sharing poems and music with the audience. You have to reach peoples sensibility using just your words, and you need to build a tension during the recital, in order to go somewhere with the songs that you choose.
How do you stay sane and healthy while working on the road?
I don't know! That's always a very difficult thing. I think that getting a good sleep, and drinking water, it helps. But we all get sick from time to time. I try not to think about getting sick... I try.
What do know now about the singing career that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
That the first musical rehearsal when you start a new opera production (often in the morning) will never be satisfactory enough for me, and that there is plenty of time to keep searching a developing during the 5 or 6 weeks or rehearsals. I have learned to not stress so much before the first rehearsal.
If you didn't sing for a living, what do you think you would do instead?
Stage director. It's something that I always dreamed of becoming one day.
Nahuel Di Pierro's Rosenblatt Recital is June 5, 7:30pm, at Wigmore Hall. For full details and to purchase tickets, click here.