In 1947 two star stars made their debut at the Arena di Verona: one was Maria Callas, the other was Richard Tucker, a New York dramatic tenor, destined to become one of the greatest opera singers of all time. Today, 71 years after that legendary night, another dramatic tenor from New York, Brian Jagde, will open the season of the Arena di Verona ...

Let’s talk about your first experience at the Arena…
I think that this theatre is a miracle. Thousands of people on the stage, technical staff, chorus members … my first time as a spectator here was two years ago, for “Aida.” The performance had to pause a few minutes for the rain. It’s truly an amazing structure. I can stand on the stage and hear my voice just speaking, it’s incredible! When you watch movies like “Gladiator,” you see these scenes at the Coliseum and you think, “They have no microphone and they speak to the public…how is this possible?” It’s possible because the construction is so perfect, the voice goes around easily. It’s amazing!

What are the risks of singing in an outdoor place?

There is always a risk. Singers sometimes prefer to hear themselves. I normally can’t hear myself when I sing anyway, because the way the resonance is produced actually makes it hard to hear but also if I listen it’s too late, the sound has already happened, so I try not to listen to myself. Outdoor venues mean no roof, no walls. Audiences want to hear you, so sometimes singers are fearful and they push. I’ve been instructed many times by every member of the chorus in this place, they tell me: “Don’t push! Trust your voice!” I sang in the past at Santa Fe Opera, and there they have a roof, so they don’t stop when It rains. It’s a unique acoustic, different than here, because the Arena has this really amazing circular sound.

Read the complete interview online
Next Article

'Carmen' at the Arena di Verona

Prev. Article

'Aïda' at Seattle Opera