Przy okazji bostońskiej premiery “Niobe” Steffaniego w portalu http://www.hometheaterhifi.com ukazał się wywiad z Filipem przeprowadzony przez Jasona Victora Serinusa. Z tego wywiadu interesujący (odwiedzających, jak pokazują statystyki naszego blogu) wątek głosu kontratenora.
Jason Victor Serinus: Are you an alto or mezzo-soprano countertenor, or are you a soprano?
Philippe Jaroussky: Oh my god. I have to say that what’s difficult for my voice is that my color is more suited to soprano. I have quite a light voice. But the range is more of a mezzo. That’s quite difficult, because sometimes people think I can sing very high, and propose I sing things that are too high for me.[…]
JVS: As a countertenor, do you sing in falsetto, or are you simply extending your full voice upwards.
PJ: Falsetto for me is a terrible word. It’s like ‘false voice.’ I don’t like that expression. It sounds like something artificial.
For me, I’m singing head voice, like a soprano or mezzo-soprano. You don’t say a soprano is singing in falsetto. For me, it’s the same mechanism as a woman. But I don’t think I use the falsetto voice.
For me, all these things about mechanism are not the most important thing for me. I try to keep the natural sound of my voice, and to sing with as much freedom as I can. But I don’t ask myself about the different mechanisms you can use. I’m trained really to keep the truth of what I want to do.I know for a lot of people, countertenor singing is a mystery. But I think there is no mystery inside. Before the appearance of castratos there were countertenors. And if you listen to a female artist speak, she doesn’t speak like she sings. For me this is absolutely the same thing.
Maybe I think that because I always had a teacher who was a woman. I always worked, not to imitate her, but she was always showing me examples with a soprano or mezzo-soprano voice. She always tried to work my voice in that direction while of course keeping the specialty of my color.
I don’t know. There is a huge interest in countertenors now. I think in part it’s because we dream of the lost castrato voices. But we have to keep in mind that the technique was quite different because the voices were quite different. The castrato had the same vocal chord size as a boy’s. It was different.
JVS: When your voice first changed, were you singing tenor? When did you first sing countertenor?
PJ: I never sang in a boy choir. I was a violinist, and I started to sing at 18, which is quite young. I had this very small soprano voice, like a boy. When I started with my teacher, who is still my teacher 14 years later, she thought I was a good musician who perhaps had the capacity to become a countertenor. I told her, ‘Trust me. I’m sure I will be a countertenor in the future.’
It’s very curious that I said that at the age of 18. But I could project how my voice would sound after I worked on it patiently. Even she was surprised two years after to realize my voice had gotten better and better and had the capacity to sing in concert.
In the beginning, the voice was very light, small, and high. I remember that four or five years ago, I was convinced that my voice would get lower and lower, like a contralto. So I started to sing low parts. Now I realize that my voice didn’t change so much. I’ve kept the high notes I had when I was young, but the voice has changed. […]