Klosters Music: On 2 August, you will perform a Mozart Opera Gala together with the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Riccardo Minasi at “Klosters Music 2020”. What was your first contact or your first personal encounter with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?
Christiane Karg: The first encounter was quite early. My father is a great opera fan and classical music was always there. As a little girl I sang all the parts of “The Magic Flute” in my children’s room. I found Pamina the most boring at the time.
When I was five I wanted to become a singer and I can still remember my first Salzburg Festival, which I was allowed to experience with my parents as a seven-year-old. On the programme: The Magic Flute. Fate was kind to me and I was later allowed to study at the Mozarteum. In the Mozart year 2006 I graduated with a Master’s degree and made my debut at the Salzburg Festival with Mozart.
Mozart is a constant companion.
KM: There are arias from various Mozart operas on the programme. Which Mozart opera or opera part are you currently working on?
CK: Very fresh is the part of Contessa di Almaviva (“Le nozze di Figaro”), with which I made my debut last year at the Hamburg State Opera under the direction of Riccardo Minasi. In January I also sang this part in the Felsenreitschule with Sir András Schiff at the Mozart Woche in Salzburg.
“Così fan tutte” is now at the top of my pile: I should have sung the part of Fiordiligi at the Bavarian State Opera in June. Now the production has been postponed to September.
KM: What was your most moving moment as an opera singer, what was your most curious?
CK: There were so many wonderful moments, I can’t name the one that was most moving. But one that changed and shaped my life a lot was a stage accident where I broke my knee during a performance.
KM: This is not the first time you share the stage with the Basel Chamber Orchestra. How did you come together with the orchestra?
CK: The first project was “Les Illuminations” by Benjamin Britten. I have fond memories of this project, which brought me back to my Bavarian home in Neumarkt.
KM: “Klosters Music” in 2020 is all about Ludwig van Beethoven. What do you associate with Beethoven?
CK: Above all, of course, the Ninth Symphony. The soprano solo is one of the works that I probably sang most often and that you never get tired of. Unfortunately, Beethoven wrote far too little for the vocal part. I never sang the part of Marzelline in “Fidelio” on stage and so, apart from songs and folk songs, the wonderful concert aria “Ah, perfido!” remains for me, which I love to perform.
KM: You are performing for the first time in the mountain village of Klosters in the Swiss Grisons. What does that mean for you?
CK: I am curious. There aren’t so many new cities and festivals where I haven’t been a guest yet. At the beginning of my career, cities like London, Paris, New York were incredibly exciting and thrilling.
In the meantime I am very happy to be able to perform far away from the big city. I am looking forward to the peace and quiet and nature and to a new, relaxed, excited audience.
KM: Which of your future engagements are you most looking forward to and why?
CK: I think that at the moment all artists are looking forward to performing again. My profession is my childhood dream and I have always loved it. The forced break made me realize this once again.
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