Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diana Damrau Returns To The MET Post Pregnancy

Proud Mutter in Vienna  (Photo: Johannes Ifkovits/Opera News)
ON: Speaking of things in opera happening for real, talk to me about singing Schweigsame Frau while you were pregnant with your son. It sounds as if it was a wonderful success for you. Was that fun, to do that?
DD: Oh yes!

ON: How long was it between that series of performances in July and the birth of your son?
DD: My son was born the third of October. And my last concerts — after the Schweigsame Frau at the end of July — were in Salzburg, with Mozart arias on the 14th and 15th of August.

ON: Wow. You obviously put a premium on keeping in really good shape, so that must have helped your ability to keep singing. Do you feel any different now as you start going back to singing?
DD: I admit that I have not sung a note yet. Except cradle songs. [Laughs] Before he was born … after about the fifth month, I really felt very strong. I never had problems with breath — I could move all right, and breathe. As for Schweigsame Frau, by that point we couldn't hide [my pregnancy], so as you probably have read, [we] made the character of Aminta pregnant, which gave another dimension to the whole story. It was beautiful for the whole production and for the opera.

ON: You and your husband [bass-baritone Nicolas Testé] are both singers. Can you tell yet whether or not your son sounds like a singer?

DD: [Laughing] Yeah, he sang with me and my husband his birthday song. We both sang "Happy Birthday," and he was singing "Wa wa wa." For the moment now, he's just cute. So we will not force him to sing anything. Maybe he'll be a conductor and tell us what we have to do. [Laughs]