Man’s psyche is constantly evolving. This psyche resonates in the voice, so it is natural that as long as a man is young, thirty years old, the simplest is to categorize him as a lyrical voice. It happenned to me also, that I sang a role before my time; for example, I wasn’t ready for the Prince in Rigoletto at the age of thirty, and I regretted afterwards having sung it, as, at the time I sang a lot of Mozart.
Just when I have played the role of Barinkay in the Gypsy Baron, which was also too early. But I had the freedom to sing and play as I knew it best at the time, so I could pull the role – so to say – over to myself.
A more mature voice would have been needed, but I solved it. Anyway, in Hungary, unfortunately, there are less and less teaching-oriented musical directors who could say to a singer: ” You should not sing this now, but five years later, although you should start learning it right now, because it would be good to let this or that role mature in your throat.” There are very few skilled professionals who could say yes, your voice is still small compared to your soul, but you have to go in that direction.
Therefore, you have to sing (also for existential reasons) many things. So the distillation process – which ultimately tells us what would suit you best amidst of many tasks – is slow. And then we haven’t talked about the selection of the market, since I have heard several times at auditions, that we are going to call an Italian singer for an Italian role, Russian for Russian, and not asking me for the aria that I sang better than the the others who were selected just because of their mother tongue.
I believed for a long time that the Italian repertoire was mine to sing. And to this day, when I have to sing Italian and German roles alike, they say, that my voice is suitable for both. But in the last five years, slowly, the natural “distillation” has shown that the Wagner roles found me. Let me tell you though, I have always been more of a long distance runner, than a sprinter. And, it seems, that I have to wake up and forget some of the roles I dreamt to sing; five years ago I would have run to get Count Almaviva, but I have already grown out of it.
But each role is different. I’m not alone with the idea that for every role one has to learn to sing again. We have often talked about this with many of my well-known colleagues. Anyone who sings every role the same way is a swindler. The cavities of our body and our energy are used in different proportions by each one of them. I have long thought that dealing with a role is just like the process of concluding a friendship. Each role is differently our friend.
But in order to become true friends, that role must also get to know my strengths and weaknesses (what to expect from me and what certainly not), and vice versa.