Monday, June 16, 2014

Christine Goerke Balances Being a Wagnerian Opera Star & Mother

Goerke at home with a picture on the wall featuring her
with the great Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson.
(Photo: Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger)
"Goerke’s world is carefully balanced between her family and her art, which requires frequent travel — this season, to Australia, Spain, Poland and Chicago. And next month, she’ll be local as the artist-in-residence at Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y. She has never stayed away longer than 60 days — 'too long' — and video-chats with the girls every day. In her home, past the practice room where sunlight streams through a picture window to a grand piano, opera DVDs share space on living room shelves with Charlie Brown and Barbie. Goerke’s Grammy Award certificate hangs on one wall, framed crayon drawings on another. She is determined that the girls receive music instruction to enrich their lives, but how far they pursue the field is their choice. In general, she sees education as essential as the opera world goes through changes — in her words, people need to know 'that it’s not the kind of thing they think it is.' She describes the rich scores she sings as really great movie soundtracks, the emotional subtext of compelling stories — with incredible voices. 'To hear no microphones, no speakers, just unadulterated, mind-blowing, butt-kicking sound coming right at you is so fierce and it’s so visceral,' she says. 'It’s something everyone should experience once in their life and then, if you don’t like it, I’m okay with it.' The kind of sound that Goerke describes comes to very few people naturally, even if they work as hard as she has. But when she asks her colleagues if she can be heard in the audience over 120-piece orchestras, they laugh. “While some might find that daunting, I finally feel like I don’t have to hold back anymore,” she says. 'I finally feel at home.'" [Source]

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