Angela Gheorghiu (57) is a soprano. Her performances with her second husband, tenor Roberto Alagna, were legendary for their chemistry. He continues to delight audiences with leading roles in opera houses around the world. Born in Adjud, Romania, she lives in Switzerland with her partner Mihai, a Romanian dentist.
I was a really happy kid. Sometimes I was so happy I thought it couldn’t last. Everyone looked at me differently because of my voice. I was a child prodigy. I realized that my voice made people happy and could make them cry. I could see the change in people’s faces as I started singing. I was the girl with the beautiful voice all along.
Choose three words to describe yourself.
Honest, passionate and ambitious.
What drives you?
i really love life I’ve had so many difficult moments in my life story, but I have this ability to move on very quickly. You have to turn the page.
Describe the Romania of your childhood.
We had a beautiful house, a garden and animals, but we were so young that we didn’t realize that we lived in a harsh communist country. I didn’t realize how difficult it was for my parents to get food or that you had no right to say anything political.
And after the fall of the Ceausescu regime?
In my opinion, nothing has changed except the freedom to leave the country. My country has not changed at all in mentality. I still haven’t made my debut in my country.
Who are your role models?
Romanian soprano Hariclea Darclée. Puccini wrote Toska for her. I’ll be playing it at The Met in New York soon.
Best advice given?
A wonderful teacher taught me to protect myself and take care of my gift.
Best advice you give?
Take care of your voice and your soul. If you are not good in your soul, the voice cannot go on. Your behavior can destroy your voice in a day. Be a little selfish with yourself and learn to say no.
Why are you an opera singer?
I am completely satisfied with this art form. If you want to be an opera singer, you want to sing operas, the whole role. I always work for the good of achievement. When the curtain rises, it has to be perfect.
You are 57 and still singing leading roles. What do you attribute your longevity to?
Some sopranos with wonderful voices sang well into the ’70s, like Mirella Freni. She found roles that suited her. i am the same I refused to sing la Traviata 10 years ago. In my career I’ve only said yes because I don’t want to sing too much. I want to keep the freshness of the voice.
Her mother was a seamstress. Is that where your love for fashion and glam comes from?
I am a real artist and a real woman. I like beautiful dresses, I like receiving flowers and I like being admired. I go in front of people to be admired and to make them dream. I’m not afraid of applause.
You decided not to have children because of your singing. Tell us about this choice.
I made that decision when I was 23 years old. It was a very difficult decision, but I made it because no doctor can guarantee that your body will not change after giving birth. You could lose your voice. I also believe that artists’ children have problems because their parents are not there for them. They can’t do the school run when they’re out. It’s a gypsy life.
Your partner Mihai is 20 years younger than you. How does that feel?
As a woman, it’s fantastic. It’s so beautiful to look at someone who has that look in their eyes. He loves everything I do. I don’t feel older. He makes me feel natural. he is an angel
Angela Gheorghiu performs with the NCH Symphony Orchestra at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on October 14th. nch.ie
https://www.independent.ie/life/i-was-a-child-prodigy-everybody-looked-at-me-in-a-different-way-because-of-my-voice-opera-singer-angela-gheorghiu-42047934.html “I was a child prodigy. Everyone looked at me differently because of my voice’ – opera singer Angela Gheorghiu