Mojca Erdmann is a beautiful soprano from Hamburg, Germany. Her love of classical music has influenced her latest album “Mostly Mozart” and she is receiving rave reviews wherever she goes. We chatted with the singer in this recent interview:
Your album “Mostly Mozart” features you singing the songs of Mozart, what is it about this genre and artist that you love?
I grew up in a musical family, my father is a classical music composer and flute player. So classical music was always around me. Of course, I also listened to other types of music – I love jazz for example – but classical music and especially Mozart’s music goes directly into my heart and soul.
Mozart was a genius and the magic of his music is not possible to be described by words. If you haven’t listened to Mozart, I urge you to give him a try.
How did you get started as a singer?
I’ve always sung and started as a small child as a member of children’s chorus. At the age of 14 I got my first private singing lessons and suddenly it was very obvious for me that I wanted to become a professional singer.
As a singer you can put all your emotions through your voice and into the music and can reach the audience directly.
You are from Hamburg, Germany, how would you describe the music scene over there?
Hamburg is a very open-minded city. It has its big and famous harbour and was always influenced by different kinds of people and cultures.
Now that the new concert hall “”Elbphilharmonie” is built (a huge hall with the view onto the harbour), this will hopefully bring a lot of international artists and orchestras to this beautiful city.
Are their many opportunities for those with a passion for singing in Germany?
Yes, I think there is no other country in the world that has as many opera houses as Germany does. We also have a lot of wonderful orchestras and concert halls, so you can have work as a singer in Germany.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
To combine this already with the next question – having done a half marathon! Ok, and professionally, I am very grateful and happy having recorded my first solo album “Mostly Mozart” for the label Deutsche Grammophon – DG is the oldest and most prestigious classical label in the world so it’s an honor.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
Yes, I like doing sports a lot – jogging, Yoga, cycling, having nice walks through beautiful nature. And I love to watch good movies, not only new releases but also films by Bergman, Tarkowsky, Fellini… During my travels I read a lot. And whenever I am at home I try to meet my friends.
What’s one crazy thing we wouldn’t know about you?
Should I really tell you?! Ok, when I did my driver’s license I wrote the initials L and R for “left”and “right” on my thumbs… I always mix it up… but I got my license with the first trial!
Where do you get your music inspiration?
Nature is very important for me and whenever it is possible I try to spend time outside at beautiful places – in silence. And I love paintings and go to museums in almost every city I am visiting. The “Prado” in Madrid is a wonderful place with many inspiring works.
Who are your favourite artists right now?
I like Sting very much! And there is a jazz band called Quadro Nuevo, they are wonderful.
Tell us about your work on the MS Europa cruise ship…
I will perform three times on this ship, one Lied recital and one opera concert, both with piano, and then I will sing two operetta arias with a small orchestra. It will be very exciting, I guess.
It is my first time on a cruise ship and I will spend three weeks on it, from Sydney down to New Zealand, then up to Fiji. It’s the only 5 and ½ star rated cruise ship in the world so is very luxurious.
Do you prefer performing live opera or recording an album in a studio?
It is very hard to compare these two things. During a live performance there’s the staging, the costumes, the audience which makes it all together complete. The special moment cannot be repeated. When I do a recording I have to imagine the staging and the situation the character is involved in during this aria.
So I am much more concentrated on myself. There are no other singers acting with me but of course I am in direct contact with the conductor and the orchestra and we can also repeat an aria or special phrases until we come to our “perfect solution”.
What’s next for Mojca Erdmann?
When I am back from the cruise I have a variety of different concerts in Spain, recitals in Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, a concert tour with works by Gustav Mahler to Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
In summer we will record a new recording of the opera DON GIOVANNI for Deutsche Grammophon and from September until November I will stay in New York. I’ll have my debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Zerlina in a new production of Don Giovanni.
What does being a woman mean to you?
First of all I am so glad that I as a woman live in the present time and in our western culture where I can live without restrictions and punishment. Living as a woman is wonderful, I do not always have to pretend to be strong as men often have to do – or as they think they have to.
I am no fashion victim but it is nice to buy new dresses and shoes – and fortunately as an opera singer I really have the possibility to wear them…