(Photo: Janacek Brno Festival)
Over the course of her career, Czech soprano Eva Urbanova has done it all. She has performed at the world’s top opera houses, sang with the greatest singers, and worked with the greatest conductors and stage directors.
However, as of yet, there is no sign of her slowing down. She has just completed a performance of “Kat’a Kabanová” at this year’s Janacek Brno Festival, in which she performed the role of Kabanicha.
OperaWire: What was the first opera you saw?
Eva Urbanová: Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride” at the National Theater, in Prague when I was about nine or ten years old.
OW: What was the first opera in which you performed?
EU: The Foreign Princess from Dvorák’s “Rusalka” in Pilzen.
OW: What was the last opera in which you performed?
EU: Kabanicha from Janáček’s “Kat’á Kabanová” in the National Theater in Prague.
OW: What will be the next opera in which you will perform?
EU: Also Kabanicha from “Kat’á Kabanová.” Also in Prague.
OW: Who was the biggest influence on your singing career?
EU: Freddie Mercury! When I was young, I was in love with him. I wanted to become a rock star and sing with him.
OW: What character have you performed most often on stage?
EU: Kostelnicka from Janáčeks “Jenufa.”
OW: Who is your favorite composer?
OW: What is your favorite opera?
OW: Name Three people you would like to invite to dinner, one of whom must have a connection with opera
EU: Emmy Destinn, Luciano Pavarotti and Montserrat Caballé.
OW: Which composer, living or dead, would you most like to have write an opera with you in the starring role?
OW: Who is your favorite painter?
EU: Gustav Klimt.
OW: What is your favorite non-classical music?
EU: Judas Priest. I sing a lot of their music on stage. I love heavy metal.
OW: If you could exchange your life with an opera character, who would it be?
EU: The Calaf from “Turandot.”
OW: What do you like most about your own voice?
EU: That I can use it to express a dramatic story.
OW: What is your favorite film?
EU: “Meet Joe Black.”
OW: What do you like most about being an opera singer?
EU: Every night I can transform myself into another character and experience it.
OW: What is the best opera house in which you have sung?
EU: New York Met.
OW: What is the best opera you have performed?
EU: Lohengrin, directed by Robert Wilson at the New York Met. I played Ortrud.