Tara Erraught: "My job is to tell a story."Interview
Before she dives in to the Komponist in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos in Munich, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia in Berlin, Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught stop in London, to sing at Wigmore Hall in the Rosenblatt Recitals Series. On March 6, 7:30pm, Erraught is joined by pianist James Baillieu and clarinettist Ulrich Pluta for a program of Schubert, Mozart, Rossini, and more obscure picks by Louis Spohr and and Franz Lachner.
We spoke with Erraught about how she gets into the trouser-role spirit, and the acute differences between singing opera, and giving a recital.
Why do you sing professionally?
At my very first singing lesson, I learned that my job as a singer is to tell a story, to transport people into the world of the song. I love being able to take an audience on a journey, be it in opera or recital, your audience is there to experience something, and it is your job to bring them on the journey. It’s very exciting!
Do you have any roles with whom you identify or connect closely?
I had the pleasure last season to debut the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and even my close friends would tell you, that her character is so very close to my own, it’s amazing! I also adore singing Hansel, as I feel like I play exactly as my brother was when we were children, and let me tell you, boys have more fun! (They don’t care about keeping their clothes clean, or sitting up straight, or how their hair looks… they just eat, play and are merry!)
Do you have any tricks for playing male characters?
I usually try and wear flat shoes during the entire rehearsal period. Whether at rehearsals or privately. I do a lot of yoga to loosen my hips and shoulders, and I sit differently, I am very careful not to sit and directly cross my legs…little habitual things.
What do you find is different about singing a recital versus singing a role?
An opera role is singing one person’s story in detail over an evening’s performance. In an opera you sing someone else’s story, imagining their experiences. A recital is a selection of stories, colours, languages, composers… using only the singer’s own life experience as colours. It’s also a much more intimate performance opportunity to work with the energy coming from the audience.
If you didn’t sing for a living, what do you think you would do instead?
I think I would have gone into the hospitality industry, as a hotel manager or something along those lines. My parents are both chefs, and I believe our industries are strongly linked together. Each evening a new audience, different taste, a performance.
Tara Erraught performs at Wigmore Hall, March 6th at 7:30pm. For details and tickets, click here.