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15 Questions to Ana Maria Martinez

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi! I am well, happy to be in New York!


What’s on your schedule right now?
I am presently singing the role of Micaëla in the opera Carmen, at the MET!


If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
That is a great question. I would have to say that I love philosophy and
psychology, among other passions in life. I would most likely be in the
field of psychology, incorporating music as a healing therapy for patients.
Many studies have been done, one of which is the "Mozart effect," and have
proven to be very helpful in patient treatments as well as helping children
develop stronger skills in all areas by being involved with music/playing an
instrument, etc.


What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
I would have to say, Plácido Domingo as well as my parents.


What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
I would have to say the best part is being able to do what I love most! To
sing, interpret different characters and to give this to an audience,
connect with them. The most difficult, while also part of something
wonderful, is being on the road constantly. On one hand, you are able to
learn so much by being in different countries, interacting with the people
that live there, their customs, their foods, etc. The other side to that is
living out of a suitcase and that can weigh heavy on your soul. The key is
balance -- inner balance.


What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
The world around us is in the midst of tremendous change, pressure and in
many ways, crisis. Music is part of the world and will reflect what is
happening universally. Music is brought to life by people facing, acting and
reacting to what surrounds them.

We need to keep in mind what a vital role music and the arts play in the
lives of all as far as nurturing, cultivating and in many cases, comforting
are concerned.

So, in short, the music scene as well as the world at large is in flux.
Let's go with the flow and do our best to keep it alive and thriving!


Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all
been done before. What do you tell them?

Many treasures have been recorded. BUT, for every different artist, there is
a different interpretation, a different way to touch a soul. In addition,
new works are being commissioned, created and performed, which enriches us
all on many levels.


What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your
approach to performing on stage?

Taking risks! The magic of live performance is that anything can happen. It
is delicious to witness and to create a performance imbued with total
surrender and abandon.

In my own approach, I prepare to be an instrument through which the
character can come through and do its "thing" -- hopefully that is a
positive and enriching service for the audience.


What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
A person's perspective and soulful idea brought to life through expression.


True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into
the music he plays.

TRUE! In addition to other things, of course.


True or false: “Music is my first love”
True


True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they
can really appreciate it.

False -- but I will say that getting acquainted with a piece before
attending a performance certainly enriches your experience.


You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What
would be on your program for this season?

Wow! You have certainly made me pause in reflection!
I wouldn't know where to begin!
I will give you some idea of what I would love to program:

Debussy -- any of his works, but I would have to say, my two favorites are
La Mer and the opera Pelléas et Melisande -- I would propose the latter in
concert form.

Suite from West Side Story -- Bernstein

Suite from Florencia en el Amazonas -- Catán

Mozart chamber music

Beethoven Symphony No. 6

Mahler Symphony 4

Verdi Requiem

Certainly, I would have to include volumes of grand symphonic works. From
this short list, however, I am sure you can see how much I would favor
pieces which include beautiful singing!

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?
Well .... at the risk of sounding tacky .... mine!

Recently, my first Solo CD was released by Naxos.
One of my favorite classical CD's is of the late, great Maestro Sinopoli
conducting the Beethoven Symphonies.


Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were
you at it?

I played the piano as a child and the recorder. I was pretty good at both,
but unfortunately, I was not very disciplined and did not continue my
studies with them. As a result my aptitude with those instruments did not
grow as I did. I am grateful for what I did learn from having played them!


Discography:
Soprano Songs and Arias (2005) Naxos

Homepage:
Ana Maria Martinez

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