Krišjānis Norvelis: Opera Festival is special to me!
Stardom, a son and Special Award
When asked if he turns out to be a record-holder of the festival performers, Norvelis replies calmly that, indeed, he is. Norvelis performs at Sigulda Opera Festival from 1997, so it would be the sixteenth time. He will sing at the stage and celebrate those great years by singing two Verdi arias from opera „The Troubadour” and „Simon Boccanegra”. The latter was produced in the concert form last winter and shown at Great Guild Hall.
„I have great memories about ”Troubadour„, as well, because Ferrando was my first big role. Dainis Kalns gave it to me in 1998. I did well that year,” says Norvelis.
When asked about the reason he still joins the festival, he answers: „I am born in Sigulda, so Opera Festival is a nice return to this city. When I studied in Jāzeps Mediņš Riga Music School and later in Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, I dreamt of this possibility. It was the fourth or fifth year, I guess when I thought that Opera Festival is the best that a singer could possibly get!” Norvelis admits he has flown together with this festival, with the organizer Dainis Kalns and all those artists who show at the event. „They are my artistic family, in a way!”
Norvelis notes that „The Elixir of Love” by Donizetti was his stardom ten years ago in Sigulda. He then sang together with Anna Netrebko who has turned out to be a world-class artist. „I sung Dulcamara for the first time, besides, it was quite a success: I received a Special Award from Dainis Kalns for my performance.”
But my son was born soon after „La sonnambula” show. My wife came to this performance, we arrived home around 3 a.m., and he was born at 04.00 a.m. So it's one more special day for me related to Sigulda Opera Festival."
When telling about this year's festival, he regrets he hasn't had the chance to join „Otello” show. He has a concert to sing in Ventspils the same day „Otello” has the general rehearsal. „Still, it turns out I am gonna be the only Latvia representative at the Gala, therefore I will present not only our White House, but the whole country,” smiles Norvelis.
Time for students and Figaro
Opera Festival is not the only event where Norvelis is involved in this summer. Entrance exams in Academy of Music has just finished where Norvelis was among the comission members who were auditioning the new singers (Norvelis is one of the lecturers of the Academy- edit.).
Norvelis is really glad when commenting the exam results. "Very strong singers applied this year. Besides, they were clever and erudite enough which, to be honest, is not very often seen amongst vocalists. Several strong tenors and baritons performed at the competition. It's good, Latvian National Opera needs them.
I hope that Opera House will receive loads of new singers after three years or more. Though, it's tough, the profession in general, the long road towards the stage. It can only be achieved with great patience."
But those are not the only plans for Norvelis this year. Just about now, on 5 and 6 September, the new, 150th, season of Latvian National Opera will start. "Finally, we will get the production of "The Love for Three Oranges" by Sergei Prokofiev, I find this piece quite interesting. Also "Troubadour" by Verdi will be shown," tells Norvelis about the new season. He has planned a role on Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro".
"I won't play Figaro this time, it will be Bartolo, because everything has its own timing!" smiles opera singer who is especially glad about the fact that possibly two of his academy students will join, to him they seem very promising singers. "It has been a rich summer, the new season also seems great. You should go to Sigulda this week, and, of course, Latvian National Opera in Riga!" resumes Norvelis.