Tuesday, September 13, 2011:Hungarian Butterfly
Csilla Boross enters the press conference with the dramatic flair of a classic opera soprano – full of energy, smiling, the focus of attention – and with something more. She is not afraid to look journalists in the eye. This is our cue: Something joyful is happening, and Mrs Boross wants everyone to join the party.
The Budapest native and winner of the prestigious Czech Thália Award in 2009 has been rehearsing the lead role, Cio-Cio San, in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, which she will perform one night only, this Wednesday at the State Opera Prague.
The classic story of the delicate young geisha deserted by her unfeeling American naval officer husband isn’t exactly party fare, true; but everyone – even opera phobes – deserve at least once to exalt in the deep thrill of emotion that a sublimely tragic Butterfly evokes. Mrs Boross describes the role as “difficult, but also classic, and beautiful.” Get out your handkerchiefs.The singer with the expressive face and strong gestures thinks of herself as an actress, but one who works with music, with languages, with colleagues, conductors, and orchestras.
“I can’t imagine anything better,” she tells Opus Osm in a one-to-one interview.
As a child, she was able to sight-read music so easily that she never really had to study her singing and piano playing in depth. She enrolled at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music and decided to get a diploma in teaching piano. Only one teacher was able to see a flaw in the gifted pupil who learned too easily. “ ‘You’ll never be a pianist,’ the teacher told me. ‘It’s too monotonous for you. You need complexity,’ ” she recalls.
So she studied voice at the opera studio for a year and then was awarded the difficult role of Konstanze in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio.
The feisty singer admits that she likes a friendly fight with her current agency, the helpful people who are helping her organize and improve her life. “You can learn a lot if you fight fairly, if you fight without anger,” she says. “It’s a fantastic way to solve problems. You learn other opinions, you see things from others’ perspectives.”
Yet, she also admits that she has a fear of “losing the child within. I never want to stop discovering something new,” she says.
Audiences will just have to wait until Wednesday to discover “the new” which this Hungarian Butterfly will bring to the classic Puccini standard. – oo
About Csilla Boross
A former soloist with the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest and since the 2008-2009 season a soloist with the National Theatre Brno, she has performed such classic roles as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Violetta in La Traviata, and the title role in Aida; she also performs concert repertoire.
Mrs Boross is scheduled to return to the State Opera for performances next spring; further performances remain to be determined.
Photo Credits: Top: (c) Státni Opera Praha, Ondřej Kocourek; bottom, Státni Opera Praha