Latvian opera star Elina Garanca has been critically heralded for her sexy, scintillating Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, has just released her latest CD with Deutsche Grammophon entitled Habanera, and has a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice, so it’s incredible to think that her mother used to tell say she’d never make it as an opera singer, and when Garanca listens back to her early recordings, she finds it hard not to agree. During a radio interview Leonard Lopate asked the superstar singer if it was just a matter of training, or maturity, her response was it’s maturity, training, body control, self confidence. She also explains how she got over her shyness and her fear of not being good enough. Born in Latvia, Garanca began singing lessons at the age of 17, but didn’t really have full control over her voice until she was about 25.
Richard Eyre’s production of Carmen was originally designed to showcase the talents of Angela Gheorghiu alongside her soon to be divorced from husband Roberto Alagna, but she pulled out due to “personal problems.” Fortunately for Garanca this meant Carmen was all hers, but not without the fear of replacing such a huge talent in a completely new production created for the opening of The Metropolitan Opera season, while being broadcast live in HD all over the world.
How does Garanca feel about operagoers who pirate recordings of live productions? She downloads bootlegs from fans and listens to the recording a day later as education for her future work.
Click on the tiny audio link above the ultra glamorous photo to listen to the full interview with Elina Garanca on The Leonard Lopate Show.