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Interview with … Petr Nekoranec

Interview with … Petr Nekoranec

Petr Nekoranec‘s first album “French arias” is our favorite record of the moment. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard such a brilliant tenor voice, with an astounding French diction.

Before going on tour at the end of the year with Cecilia Bartoli herself, Petr Nekoranec is about to debut at the Bayreuth Baroque Festival next September. For sure, we will hear about this tenor again in the near future !

Photos : Zolo Matuska

Can you tell us about what decided you to sing and about your debut ?

I am coming from an absolutely nonmusical family in a professional sense of the word. But we do come from Moravia where we grow our own wine and where is wine, there is singing. So, I was surrounded by music but never on a professional level. I started to study piano at the age of 13 and half year later I was discovered by my first singing teacher, Ms. Arnostka Zemanova, because what I could not play on a piano I sang. Without me realizing people were always asking me to sing something and so I did. I went through high school choir, through conservatory with my teacher at that time Jarmila Chaloupkova.

After that, straight to opera studio in Bavarian State Opera in Munich ; Lindemann Young Artist development program of the Metropolitan opera was following right after. But my opera debut took place at the age of 20 as Vašek in Smetana’s Bartered Bride on children’s project, on the New scene of the National Theater in Prague lead by former soloist of a national theater Jirina Markova.

How would you define your voice at the moment?

I would compare my voice at this point to a good red Burgundy wine. It’s reaching a point where it’s mature enough to give you all the colors and richness of Burgundy wine but still need little bit of a time and hard work to reach its full potential.

How was the experience of being a member of Bavarian State’s Opera Studio and of the Stuttgart Opera Company ?

I think the approach of each singer is very individual in their needs to succeed and to reach their full potential. I spent six years as a member of Bavarian State’s Opera Studio and the last two years as a soloist of the Stuttgart Opera. For me personally the idea of a freelancer makes me happier but as I said, I believe this is a very individual topic and each singer needs to decide for himself what makes him happier.

How did you live through this difficult period of confinement and of successive cancellations ?

Difficult, as every artist on the planet. My contracts were canceled or rescheduled. Thanks God, I was still member of the ensemble in Stuttgart, so I was not starving or having a terrible financial crisis.

That allowed me to use this time to fully concentrate on myself and my voice. It is strange, but during normal times it was very hard for me to find a calm time, where I could study vocal technique to the extent, I was suddenly able to do it during a Corona pandemic. I know, it sounds very strange, but I am very grateful for this break and I think I made it the best out of it.

Your first album is dedicated to French Opera. Why did you chose this repertoire ?

The difficulties of French language and the huge range of nuances which are required from the singer were overwhelming. That is the reason why I had been avoiding this repertoire for a long time. Until my singing teacher Antonio Carangelo told me “Petr you have to sing French repertoire and your first CD should be only French Arias”. So, I did because you don’t say NO to your maestro. Through this process I discovered the immense beauty of this repertoire and I fell in love with it. I hope French music will make a big part of my repertoire in the future.

You’re about to take part to a recital tour with Cecilia Bartoli. Can you tell us more about this project?

It is a project of a concert tour and I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be part of it. The dream comes true for me to be able to make a music with this amazing singer, musician and person, who Cecilia is. I am not sure if I can see exactly what will be part of the program but I can assure you that there will be unforgettable concerts.

Would you like to sing Baroque opera or with period instruments ?

Absolutely yes. My first role in this musical style will be role of Asprando in Carlo il Calvo by Nicola Porpora, which will be premiered at the Bayreuth Baroque Festival this year. I would add that I’d like to challenge my voice with different styles and periods. It’s helping me to stay always sharp and active in vocal technique.

What are you main projects ?

Next year, I will come back as a guest at the Stuttgart Opera to do my debut as Elvino in Bellini’s La Sonnambula and then come back for a production of Barbiere di Siviglia. Next will be my debut in Salzburg in Mozart’s Il Re pastore. And of course in between, I will do oratorios, recitals and last but not least the tour with Cecilia Bartoli.

Which artists would you like to work with ?

I would say that I don’t have ambition to work with big names. I think I am the happiest if I’m surrounded by big names, small names or middle names as long they are doing music with heart and passion… then I am happy and fulfilled.

Apart from music, do you have any hobby ?

I love to do yoga and physical exercises to keep my mental and physical strength, so that I can perform on stage as best of my abilities each time. This goes unfortunately against of my second passion and that is food. I like to make it and eat it which is not the best combination but it gives me pleasure comparable to singing. In general I’m trying my best to enjoy life and make the best out of it not only for me but also for the others.

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