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4 dic. 2012

ROLANDO VILLAZÓN: MUSIC IS THE BEST WAY TO REACH GOD

Rolando Villazón como Des Grieux, en la Manon del Liceu - foto: Antoni Bofill

Ésta es una muy interesante entrevista publicada en alemán en la página Kath.net, de la KNA (Agencia  Católica de Noticias),  que difiere en parte de su contenido de la mayoría de entrevistas promocionales. Muchas gracias a Hannah Glaser, que la ha traducido al inglés especialmente para el Blog Villazonista.


Music is the Best Way to Reach God

KNA: Mr. Villazon, your new CD is all about Verdi. What is so very special about him and his music?

Villazon: Verdi was a genius. He did not create music to show off, to demonstrate how brilliant he was as a composer, but to convey feelings to other people. Therefore people loved him for, 200 years ago, and therefore they still love him today. Those who do not know him ought to watch one of his operas and they will love Verdi for the rest of their lives.

KNA: Is Verdi your favorite composer?

Villazon: Verdi is one of my favorite composers. As a listener, as a singer I cannot live without Verdi. I will sing Verdi all through my life. Verdi is very difficult to sing, he demands a lot of singers and musicians, but he also is very rewarding. That is awesome for an artist.

KNA: What would you tell Verdi if you could meet him?

Villazon: Of course I would thank him – for all of it! (laughs). And I would talk with him about life. Many artists see Verdi like a father or even a grandfather. He shows love, opens his arms, nevertheless he was a character of respect. Wagner as a composer is not as near to us as Verdi, he is more a captain, an officer, someone you would die for. And Mozart for me is like a close friend: If we met I would throw a cake in his face and so would he. And then we would dance together and drink. All three are geniuses. But special with Verdi is this intense love of people. When we listen to him, we love him. You have to open your ears and your soul to feel Verdi.

KNA: Is music a way to praise God?

Villazon: Music is the best way to reach God and to talk to God, to feel God because music is a language without words. We understand “Ave Maria” without words because we feel it. Each human being has an idea or a feeling of God, this is not easy to describe. First of all it is: “I don’t want to be alone”. I think someone who believes, gains energy from God. And what he or she wins in that way is also in the substance of music.

KNA: What is God for you in this context?

Villazon: I do not believe in an antropomorphic, human-like God. But we human beings always search for community. Sometimes we also need someone who says: go on, you can do it. I think lots of people are looking for a God who hugs and protects us. But people also need a God who says: Life is a gift, use this gift! Don’t cry! Or cry but then get up and move on, even if the water is up to your neck. When people come together to talk about God and to sing, then there is the idea, they are somehow outside their bodies, all souls united in this special moment. Music gives us the feeling that we can tear down all barriers and that we can reach one another.

KNA: After so many performances, do you still get the jitters before you go up on stage?

Villazon: I am nervous. I ask my children: Give me energy! We call it “the white fire”. When they are with me, they touch me with their hands on the chest, but it also works through the phone. They are two wonderful little human beings whom I love, they are so full of life and seriousness. What I do on stage then in playing, playing is very important in our lives. We try to reach the people, to be an instrument to make time stand still for some hours.

KNA: How did your life change with your two sons?

Villazon: Life is different when you have children. You have the responsibility to prepare two young human beings for life. Some day we will have to say goodbye to them. It is a wonderful love you feel for them, a love that does neither need to hear “Papa I love you”, nor “thank you”. That is like the love of Christ, love that does not ask to get something back. You should not think too much in terms of education. You can simply play and every now and then you think:” Oh, was this a mistake? Will they have to see a shrink some day?” They are number one in my life. Someday I will be alone at home with my wife and I hope we will have a good relationship to the kids and their families, and that we perhaps will play chess together.

KNA: Do your children also change your view of the world?

Villazon: You live in a different world when you learn about the questions the children have. Sometimes I think:”Oh this is a very good question and I don’t have a clue about the answer.” Children are very serious and try to understand the world. For example they ask: “Why are there poor people on the street and rich people in the opera house? Why do rich people spend their money on opera and not donate it to Africa?” And then I wonder what I can do that we have a better world in our small garden. Children are fresh air, they come into this world and you have to rethink everything. If something doesn’t go as it should in my life, I recognize that through the children.

KNA: What would you be today if you had not become an opera singer?

Villazon: Probably I would be clown. I am an ambassador of the “Red Noses”, we go to hospitals as clowns, bring joy to children, who are ill. I could be a clown 100 percent, but I could also be a writer or a stage director.

KNA: Long ago you wanted to become a priest and you lived in a cloister in Mexico for one year. Why didn’t you continue that way?

Villazon: My view at religion changed. I lived with the monks for one year, and I am still fascinated by Jesus. I have read a lot about Jesus, but also about Konfuzius, Socrates, Buddha. Why I did not become priest? Not to marry is very difficult I guess. If I may say that here, I would like to suggest that this should be different in church. Women were very important in the life of Jesus. And I think there should be female priests, too. As far as I am concerned: I simply felt that I would not have been able to live the life of a priest.

Translation: Hannah Glaser

7 comentarios:

  1. Catherincita4/12/12 19:10

    Merci Hannah pour la traduction de cette interview précieuse de Rolando .Après cette lecture, je reste, une fois encore, admirative devant la profondeur des propos, la lucidité, l'intelligence de la réflexion et aussi la merveilleuse sensibilité de l'artiste et surtout de l'homme.
    Ce qu'il dit au sujet de ses enfants me touche profondément.

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  2. Interesante entrevista en la que una vez más nos asomamos a la inteligencia y a la sensibilidad de Rolando. Al margen de eso, debo decir que estoy cien por cien de acuerdo con sus ideas sobre la iglesia y las mujeres...
    Gracias Hannah y Teresita!

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  3. What a wonderful interview. I agree that women should be allowed to join the priesthood, and priests should be allowed to marry. Women were very important in Jesus' life. We forget that some of the most incredible people we admire-- Jesus, Gandhi, King, even Tolstoy, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Jonathan Swift, Zola, maybe Verdi, yes, even Barenboim, and so many others-- were political. They weren't just good people, prolific writers, they were also political.
    Young people are very idealistic-- most of us lose it as we get older. But there is something beautiful about youth. I'm so glad that Rolando has a great relationship with his boys. When Rolando says the quality of his love for his children is very fine, I believe him.
    Rolando could have been a world-class clown. He is a world-class clown. He is a stage director. He will be a writer.

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  4. Ce qui me touche beaucoup dans cet interview c'est la sincérité qui émane des réponses de Rolando, des sentiments qu'il éprouve vis à vis de la religion , mais surtout du profond amour qui l'unit à ses enfants.

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  5. Rolando's way of loving God, talking to God is something I entirely understand and share. I have a good friend and she is a Swedish priest :) and am happy to see that such a great artist thinks this is normal. Of course, I did not expect anything less from the deep thinker who is Rolando!

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  6. Merci Hanna,
    Quelle belle âme ,quel homme sensible;humain;profond et plein de sagesse .
    Sa relation avec ses enfants est très émouvante et touchante .
    Je le rejoins complètement sur le mariage des prêtres et de la place des femmes au sein de l'église .

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  7. What a deep, human conversation! It confirms again that Rolando is a believer, with a great love of art and the human. Especially of course for his wife and children. Rolando is a great exception among opera singers, without denying the other good qualities. But I think such a sincere and deep conversation, so full of love, is probably only possible with Rolando.

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