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The power of the voice

Anna Prohaska

Anna Prohaska (photo: Holger Hage Deutsche Grammophon) Anna Prohaska (photo: Holger Hage Deutsche Grammophon)

Since her opera debut at the age of 18, the soprano Anna Prohaska has enchanted audiences worldwide with her voice and her dramatic talent, both on the opera stage and in the concert hall. In conversation with Lydia Rilling, she talks of her artistic versatility and the programme for her residency at the Philharmonie in the 2017/18 season.

Literature plays a key role in your three concerts at the Philharmonie, especially in your «Shakespeare & Music» programme. Do you have a close relationship with Shakespeare?
Shakespeare has been with me my whole life long. My mother is English and studied English literature before she became a singer. For us, Shakespeare is a regular topic of our conversations. He is the universal writer on every subject, whether philosophy, history, or even music. It is wonderful for me to return to Juliet and to so many great memories in this programme. In one of my first public performances, at the age of 16, my brother and I sang the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet five times in succession at the Potsdamer Schlössernacht, with me standing on a balcony six metres up. We interspersed it with Dowland and Purcell songs accompanied by a guitar. That was all the more amazing because we were just the right age for Romeo and Juliet.