The Baritone Andrè Schuen Performs at the Salzburg Festival

André Chuen is a young, fast-growing Italian baritone who brings an innate musicality to his playing. Schween was born in La Val, a small village in Suttirol, a mountainous region on the border with Austria, where he grew up speaking three languages: Ladin, Italian and German.

This summer, Schoon, 38, will star in the film as Count Almaviva. salzburg festival A new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, which runs from July 27th to August 28th. With rehearsals underway in late June, he spoke in a video call about his own career and his upcoming performances. The following conversation has been translated from German, edited and condensed.

You come from a remote region and are part of the culturally and linguistically minority Laden tribe. How did this background influence your music formation?

Since childhood, music has always been the most important thing. So did my father, who got his love for music from him.

I must remember that 100 years ago the people where I came from were very poor. Before tourism, they were all farmers who made their living from fields and cattle.

My grandfather acquired a small collection of musical instruments, which my father passed on to us. So my father played the accordion and clarinet, my two sisters played the violin, and I played the cello, and we grew up with music, including many folk songs.

we made music together as a family And we put together a program about legends, related to our Laden national story. Kingdom of Phanes. After that, I was in a band and covered everything, including punk songs.

You weren’t listening to Schubert alone in your room.

Not at all! Quite the opposite. For example, when I was 13, soccer was everything to me. I was on the team. My parents never forced me into a musical direction. If I said I wanted to be a carpenter, I would have been a carpenter.

When did you start playing the cello?

when I was about seven years old. I studied cello for 12 years. I knew she liked to sing, but it never occurred to me to sing classically. One of her sisters told me, “You sing very well.” Why don’t you try it? “

So I auditioned for voice at the Mozarteum [University] in Salzburg. And so it happened. Without thinking too much about it, everything went together nicely.

What can you get from singing that you can’t get from playing the cello?

I think it has a little to do with the fact that you are an instrument yourself and you don’t have to pick up and practice anything. And, of course, there is the added element of text. I think opera singers have more parameters. It’s not just about singing.

This summer, you will be appearing as Count in Figaro. The title character also sings many times. What is it like to be upstairs and downstairs in this opera?

Personally, I like to sing Earl. He’s never been a positive character, but that’s exactly what makes him interesting. He has more layers than Figaro. He has a soft and seductive side, but he can also be aggressive or hot-tempered, so you need to switch his emotions quickly.

Most recently, you sang the Count in Barry Kosky’s acclaimed comical and edgy Viennese production of Figaro. Will Salzburg director Martin Cusezi show us another side of Figaro?

absolutely. [Kusej] I don’t want to reproduce the work as intended [Mozart’s] time. He tries to bring out something relatable that still moves and concerns us today. But I don’t think he’s looking for that through comedy.

You recently sang Wolfram for the first time in Tannhäuser. How was it to sing such a meaty Wagner role?

I was affected. For Wagner’s other roles, see where my voice takes me. But Mozart will probably remain an important part of my repertoire until the end. Earl is a role that you can still sing at 60, so it’s not a role you want to retire.

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