Soprano Rachel Harnisch

Press & Media


Interview Rachel Harnisch with NZZ am Sonntag

As soon as we say goodbye, Rachel Harnisch sends an encore by e-mail with a quote from Maria Callas. It is a commitment of the century-soprano that despite great peace she was often plagued by the destructive power of not always being able to give the best. The voice is a secret full of dark surprises, there is nothing left to do before the performance, but to trust God.

Anyone who has talked about the opera and thus about triumphs and tragedies knows why they are tearing these Callas words into tears: Harnisch wants to sing more than he wants to sacrifice himself to music, in spite of her marijuana-like timbre. Their supposed insecurities are sometimes enchanting: when a sound is sung and hovered at dizzying heights, it is far from clear whether it will be a sweet cheer or a bitter lament - whether happiness laughs or disaster threatens. Great vocal art seeks this difficulty, walking on this ridge as if it were a broad wall.

But with all the violet-scented words that one could invent about this singer, she confesses herself soberly:

«The stage is a workplace and not a sanctuary. I am allowed to reproduce beautiful music, but that is no more sacred than the performance of a doctor. On the contrary. "In doing so, she delights far away from the far too often celebrated image of the diva, which nobody believes in, has insight into the business. The daily fight for rejoicing and roles belongs to Harnisch's profession. If you are over 40 years old and not Anna Netrebko, in the scene is considered old, waiting - and hopes for offers. Accept? Decline? Again standing at the crossroads?

Singers as puppetsAll this concerns the 44-year-old Rachel Harnisch, a singer who has worked in Milan, Paris and Berlin. But even such singers can not plan their own career, although it would be necessary to adapt the roles of the changing personality and voice. In the opera world, even the director of the Small Town Theater determines the life of his ensembles. It's even more tricky on the free-lance market, where Harnisch moves. "Singers have become puppets," she says dryly and adds: "Unfortunately, one recognizes this also in terms of quality." It is important for an opera production to be the one who stages and what happens all around. Anyone who conducts is less important. "And then you cast the lead role with a 25-year-old Russian, who has just won five competitions. The candy pot is huge, but there is much much the same in there. The human or the artist behind the voice is less and less interested. A singer who is just a singer bores me. "

Anyone who replies that any director in the world is looking forward to working with her reaps: "Maybe, but no one sets heaven and hell in motion after working with him. Famous directors have their calendars full, accept those singers who are presented to them, or say, 'No, they're not.' "

So it is the agencies that bring a singer to the big houses