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Interview with mezzo-soprano Martiniana Antoine

Monday, 30 October 2023 , ora 10.53

The charitable Royal Concert, organized by The Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation, will take place on Wednesday, October 25th at the Romanian Athenaeum. It is a fund-raising event for the Young Talents program, also a part of the Foundation. On this occasion, the mezzo-soprano Martiniana Antoine, one of the protagonists of the concert, told us more about her presence on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum.

For starters, Martiniana Antoine, I would like you to tell us more about the period when you were a recipient of the Young Talents program'sscholarship, issued by The Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation. How did this period affect your artistic journey?

This period had a strong impact on my starting career. I had to move to Bucharest from Iași, since I enrolled atthe National University of Music in Bucharest. I was a recipient of the scholarship for two years, starting with 2015, and it was truly helpful because I could have never participated in contests abroad, prepared for masterclasses, or organized masterclasses abroad for that matter, since I simply did not have the money. During those years, I managed to take part in masterclasseswith a vocal coach from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, alongside Tereza Berganza, a well-known soprano; I also participated in two international contests. The first one was in Paris, the George Enescu Competition, where I received second place. A year later, (also in France, Avignon) I was a contestant in the Jeunes Espoirs Contest, where, to my surprise, I received first place. All these accomplishments meant so much to me at the time, as, besides the financial help from the foundation, I realized that that was the road I was supposed to tread on. I met extraordinary artists who guided me on the musical side, but also in life. I would probably not be where I am today without receiving a scholarship from the Young Talents program.

You are going to hold a concert at the Romanian Athenaeum on October 25th, which is a part of the charitable Royal Concert, dedicated to raising funds for the Young Talents program. How are you feeling, as this is your return to the Romanian stage, considering you settled in Germany a few years ago; and what convinced you to be a part of this project once again?

First of all, I want to mention that I am very nervous. I haven't performed in front of a Romanian audience for about five and a half years. Be assured that I received the invitation with open arms. It is a thank-you concert for what the Young Talents scholarship meant for me. I am also deeply honoured by the fact that I will be performing alongsidetenor Ioan Hotea and the Romanian Youth Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Gabriel Bebeșelea - one of the mentors that I have met within the foundation and who, I believe, actually influenced my journey in an exceptional way. During one of our mentoring sessions, he mentioned the Rossini Academy in Pesaro. I talked to him about it afterwards and I told him that this is actually the repertoire that I play most often. Back then, I had never heard of the Rossini Academy or the Rossini Festival in Pesaro (the city where Rossini was actually born in). Hence, I auditioned. He helped me with the scores and also with advice. Next year, I had my debut on an opera stage at the Rossini Theatre, a part of the Rossini Academy, and, afterwards, I went back to the festival three years in a row.

What will you be performing during the 25thof October concert?

The program has a bit of everything. The first part will be represented by the music of Rossini, which brought me and mister Bebeșelea together. I will be performing the Aria of Rosina. Together with Ioan Hotea, we will sing the duet from Cenerentola. Afterwards, I will be presenting a few pieces from Bizet's music; I will be performing the Chanson boheme from Carmen. Moreover, we will also beinterpreting Granada by Augustin Lara. And, since it was difficult to find duets for our voices, me and Ioan transformed the canzonetta Non tiscordar di me in a duet.

Photo credit:
Madalina Purdila

Interview by Ioana Țintea
Translated by Adelina-Maria Mănăilescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu