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An interview with Nadia Krasteva:

San Diego Reader: What can opera audiences do to get the full opera experience, to get beyond the sets, costumes, and music?

Nadia Krasteva: When I go to the opera it is always helpful if I first know the music--if I don't hear the music for the first time in my life at the performance. It is difficult to like everything the first time you hear it.

The first time is like getting to know someone. The second and third time you expect to hear cetain melodies and you know what you like and what you enjoy to hear.

Of course, I like to know about the story as well.

If you know more about the composer and his time then you can understand what is happening in the music and the story. You can find the beauty in the way it's written.

The more you know, the better.

SDR: Does it help to know the great singers who have performed the roles?

NK: Yes, mm, hmm.

If I'm learning a new role it is always nice and helpful if I hear a little bit of this signer or that singer while I'm learning. Not only singing it but also their stage choices. I want to see how more than one person I like presents the role because everyone has their own way of feeling different situations. Sometimes that can help me find the way I want to do the role.

SDR: Who are some of the singers you admire?

NK: Elena Obraztsova is my favorite. I love the color of her voice. I also like a Bulgarian soprano named Ghena Dimitrova. Do you know this singer?

SDR: Yes! She might be the greatest Turandot ever.

NK: It is sad that she died so young but Dimitrova is definitely one of my favorites.

SDR: What about Dalila? Is she evil?

NK: No I don't think so. She does what she does for revenge and for her people.

SDR: True. Samson has killed a lot of Philistines and ruined their crops etc. I can see why she wouldn’t like him.

NK: Yes. The one thing is I think she goes too far in the third act when she starts making fun of him and laughing at him. Dalila is like everyone else. She is good, she is bad.

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