Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Chat with Davinia Rodríguez

Yesterday we popped into rehearsal and caught up with Davinia Rodríguez, the charming Spanish soprano who is our Sunday/Friday Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. Like soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, Rodríguez is making her role and company debut with Lucia—but this production marks her first American appearance, as well! Before jumping into rehearsal for Lucia's famous "mad scene," Rodríguez took some time to tell us how she feels about this opera and performing in Seattle for the first time.

This is your first time playing Lucia, and now you’re in your second week of rehearsal. How is it going so far?

Well, it’s going very well, thank God. Every day I sing as often as I can, and even when I was jet-lagged on the first day of rehearsal, I wanted to sing. It’s the kind of role where I believe the more I sing it, the more I’ll make it mine, the more it will get attached to my throat and vocal chords. Since it’s a debut, I need to keep discovering things every day. I studied and prepared a lot even before arriving here, but I believe that in opera—and especially with a role this big and great—you’re always going to discover new things, even if you perform it many times. So I’m a fan of practicing often and constantly making new interpretations.

Davinia Rodríguez in rehearsal for Lucia di Lammermoor.
Photo by: Bill Mohn.

What do you think of the character herself? Do you like Lucia?

I love her, I adore her. Actually, that’s why I need to practice often because I need to separate my heart from my head, and I need to be a little more detached than I was when I first began singing Lucia. It’s a role that gets you, that grabs your heart, and it’s difficult to sing when your emotions are so moved. So I need to try and be a bit detached. But even so, there are sections I’ll be singing and my hairs will stand on end because of the music, the words Lucia’s speaking, and the love she has for Edgardo. She’s a woman who has suffered greatly for an impossible love—like Romeo and Juliet.

This is your Seattle Opera debut, but have you visited Seattle before? What are you looking forward to doing while you’re here?

Yes, this is my first time performing here, but I visited Seattle about two years ago, and I loved it. In my free days, I plan on walking around and exploring the city—and if it rains, oh well, I’ll bring along an umbrella! I plan on enjoying my time here because it’s great luck to be in a city like this.

When you’re not traveling around the world and performing, where do you make your home?

In Italy. I’m married to an Italian and I’ve lived for six years in Brescia, which is near Milan. But I’m from the Canary Islands originally, and that’s where my family is. Whenever I can, I steal away and go back to visit them and recharge my batteries.

Rodríguez working with Lucia Conductor Bruno Cinquegrani.
Photo by: Bill Mohn.

Finally, what has been your favorite thing about your time with Seattle Opera so far?

The most wonderful thing, and what makes me feel like a princess, is the affection everyone gives us, from Speight Jenkins to the people who volunteer to drive us home after rehearsal, which is one of the things I’m most impressed and moved by. I’ve never seen a company with this level of dedication, with people who want to take care of us, give us rides, and volunteer their smiles and their time. It’s a very friendly environment, which definitely helps us artists make the most of ourselves.

This is also the first time I’ll be singing on American soil, so that’s something I’m very proud of. I really appreciate Speight—who is a great man in every sense—for giving me this opportunity. It’s definitely a highlight in my career.


Anonymous said...

It's great luck to be in a city like this" (Seattle)!!
Great luck because (to a large part) the city has Seattle Opera, with its collegial atmosphere and high musical quality, thanks, in large part, to its General Director, Speight Jenkins!!
And it is also a very clean and green city, quite the opposite of Maestro C's home town of Napoli and many Spanish cities.
I hope you enjoy your stay in Seattle, Sra. Rodriguez, and that Seattle music-lovers will love your Lucia. Toi, toi, toi!!!
Win H.

Alma J. Woodbury said...

Just look at this beauty! She is not only over talented, but also a very attractive woman! I adore this compilation of talent and looks. Awesome!