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.
20 December 2013 at 12.23pm | 2 Comments
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.’