Interview with Daniel Oren

We are honored to be able to do this interview with the great Maestro Daniel Oren, internationally renowned conductor, present and acclaimed in theaters all over the world.

1. Retracing your career, you approached music at an early age and as early as 17 years old you were admitted to the Berlin Hochsule to study conductorship. We can say that with the music was love at first ght, do you remember the moment when it found the way into your heart?

I was a boy soprano and sang in the choir of the synagogue. It was like a good game, but nothing more. Then Leonard Bernstein came to Israel for a concert and there were his Chichester Psalms in the program. In this piece there is a solo voice, very clear, which can also be that of a countertenor. But he preferred a singer boy who still kept the child's voice, and long story short, he auditioned and chose me. It was a dazzling experience that changed my life. The personality of the Maestro, his talent, his communicativeness fascinated me and I decided, together with my mother who guided me in all my choices, that I would study music to become a conductor.

2. You studied with great Maestro Herbert Von Karajan. What is the best memory of him? The most valuable lesson?

The deepening of the technique, above all, but not an end in itself. Karajan intended it as an instrument at the service of interpretation, through which musical execution becomes Art itself. He was for this reason an extraordinary model and he was able to transmit the methodology and the inner sense that I tried to make as much mine as possible.

3. How useful was it for you to have studied piano, cello and singing before starting a career as a conductor? Do you believe that your musical path has helped you to be a more complete conductor?

Certainly yes: counterpoint and composition are the essential subjects for a condutcor, but the knowledge of the tools is equally essential. In a compact group of eighty, ninety performers and even more, only one does not have an instrument in his hands and is the condutcor. But he is responsible for everything and must know the characteristics, the possibilities of each instrument.

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The Role of The Conductor

"What is the Conductor for?" This is undoubtedly the question that any neophyte poses after having recently approached the Opera. Usually, in fact, it is not the first thing you think about, because in the first place you are fascinated by the voices and the music. You cannot understand how a human being can make such beautiful sounds or how the composer manages to put together the notes that depict our feelings in such an exact way. At first glance we do not worry too much about that man standing on the podium, we sense that he directs the orchestra but we have no idea if he only does that and above all how he manages it. This happens because his is undoubtedly the most complete and fascinating figure within the great team that gives life to an opera show.

To fully understand the importance of the Conductor, we should know exactly how the preparation in the theater works, during those weeks of individual work and in teams that lead to the realization of the performances. It is his job to put together all the parties involved to create the unit complex that we usually see. This entails for the Director an in-depth knowledge of the work that must be represented, of the historical context in which it was born as well as of the composer's will. His skill and his art must manage rhythm, orchestral sonority and interpretation.

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WHAT IS THE OUVERTURE?

Let's examine a particular topic today, not because of the actual complexity and variety of language that characterizes it, but because it is the first thing to which our attention is captured at the beginning of any opera: the Ouverture.

How was it born and what is it? It is a composition placed at the beginning of an opera or indeed an oratorio, a cantata, a ballet.

We must start from France and Jean Baptiste Lully: his scheme of the so-called "French ouverture" will be used throughout the Baroque period, both by Bach and Haendel: it is a slow introduction followed by a lively fugato style movement. The slow introduction was always repeated and, sometimes, the fast movement was followed by the return of the initial slow time with the same melodic line. The French ouvertures at the beginning of the works were often followed by a series of dances before the actual beginning of the play: we have already analyzed how the element of dance had always been fundamental in the French theater.

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"WHAT IS THE OPERA FOR YOU?" - ELEONORA BURATTO

1. What does the Opera mean to you? What does it represent?
For me, the Opera means a passion that has become my job, a dream that has become reality.

2. Why should the Opera be recomended to young people?
Because the Opera helps to get into the depth of feelings. The Opera, if it conquers you, will enchant you forever and it will accompany you on a journey made of eternal beauty. Young people need this.

3. What would you recommend to the young people who dream of becoming singers?
To find a good teacher, don't be afraid of changing if you realize that you do not get progress, don't be frightened by the sacrifices, everything does not work immediately and does not lead to anything.

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THE WOMEN OF PUCCINI AND VERDI

Speaking of the figure of the woman within the theater world, we must mention two of the greatest protagonists of the history of the Opera: Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) and Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924). The two authors have always carefully brought characterized female characters to the stage. In fact, they have always focused on the psychological and human deepening of women, raising them to real heroines.

Despite this common choice to both, we can find many differences between Verdi and Puccini in the vision of women within the events told. Verdi used to represent lunar and mysterious women. In fact, influences and themes of the romantic movement have significantly influenced the Master, such as the relationship with nature and the magic that we find in Amelia, a Verdian heroine, in search of a magical herb. These ideals, shrouded in mystery, thus propose characters subject to chance but ready to sacrifice themselves for love. Verdi's women are therefore always "novice" with love but not for this they are afraid of risking everything because of the desire of love itself.

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