If you think rags to riches stories as impossibly fanciful think again. Anna Netrebko is often said to be successor to the ultimate diva, Maria Callas. The legendary opera icon was undoubtedly unique. Was this because Maria Callas had also enormous personal charisma? Or was it that whilst her rivals sang their dramas the American born star lived them. In Tosca, Maria Callas forgot her identity and she herself morphed into becoming the tragic Tosca.
If Anna Netrebko had not chosen a career as a soprano she would have been a great success as an actress. She can certainly play her parts with conviction. Russian born Anna believes in her role; she becomes the heroine. To watch her performance is mesmerising but be prepared for you also will become part of the unfolding drama.
You are not into opera? Download Puccini’s La Boheme in which she performs with Mexican-European Rolando Villazon. I recommend also the same opera stars’ and the opera, L’Elisir d’ Amore (The Elixir of Love). You will become so absorbed in this enchanting tale of rustic romance that you will sing along; feel grief, uncertainty, and joy in equal measure.
Described as Audrey Hepburn with a voice, Anna airily dismisses the modest start to her career. But, there is some truth in her being humbly employed by St Petersburg’s famous Mariinsky Theatre. It does help your preferred career if you start where you hope to get noticed. Valery Gergiev did so and after auditioning the personable brunette the acclaimed Russian conductor took responsibility for coaching her.
Anna did take some criticism for exchanging her Russian citizenship for that of Austrian nationality. The quintessential Russian patriot said that her doing so was entirely due to the cumbersome process of applying for a visa each time she toured.
Anna’s honours, awards, and nominations are already encyclopaedic. It is enough to say that Anna Netrebko became the first opera singer to be named in the TIME 100 LIST: Time Magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world. Ironically, Anna has become bigger than the operas she performs in; accolades don’t come any better.