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Listen: Ermonela Jaho - 'I don't think to control myself when I sing'

The Albanian soprano tells BBC Radio 3 about the appeal of Manon, and the tragedy that inspired her enthralling performance in Suor Angelica.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

20 December 2013 at 12.23pm | 2 Comments

Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho recently spoke to BBC Radio 3′s In Tune ahead of her upcoming Royal Opera performances in Massenet’s Manon.

One of Ermonela’s notable triumphs was her performance in Suor Angelica, as part of Il trittico at Covent Garden in 2011. She revealed to presenter Sean Rafferty that it was an opera that she only studied for the first time on the plane to London to begin rehearsals. ’I accepted [the role] because I knew the aria ‘Senza Mamma’ but I was so mistaken because the the whole opera is something unbelievable,’ she said, ‘It was such haunting music. I felt that music in my blood.’

‘I lost my mother in that period and somehow I couldn’t cry,’ Ermonela said of what inspired her enthralling performance as the nun who believes she has lost the one family member she loves most. ‘I didn’t want to show that to other people and somehow it came out. It wasn’t Ermonela the opera singer, but Ermonela the human being. It was like a catharsis, I was in another world.’

‘When I was a child the only thing that made me feel free was music and singing. I’m so lucky to find a way to express myself through singing - I don’t think to control myself.’

Ermonela will be swapping Suor Angelica’s habit for the more luxurious dresses of a Parisian courtesan in Manon, a role she’s relishing performing: ‘The appeal of Manon’s story comes from her human desire to have everything – she wants fame, she wants love, she chases everything that she thinks will make her happy.’

Manon runs from 14 January-4 February 2014. Tickets are still available.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

20 December 2013 at 12.23pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged BBC Radio 3, by Laurent Pelly, Ermonela Jaho, interview, Manon, Production, Suor Angelica

This article has 2 comments

  1. Denis Ribeiro responded on 20 December 2013 at 6:26pm Reply

    Her Suor Angelica was simply sensational for ALL the right reasons. Absolutely stupendous!

  2. Tony Boyd-Williams responded on 23 December 2013 at 3:38pm Reply

    My wife and I heard her Manon at La Scala in 2012 with Matthew Polenzani as Des Grieux..ROH audiences have a treat in store , especially if they have yet to see this brilliant production from the talented Laurent Pelly

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