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Soprano soliloquy - Chatting with an opera star

At 29, soprano singer Ľubica Vargicová is one of the brightest lights on the contemporary Slovak opera stage. At a corner table at Bratislava's Gremium Café, she spoke with Katarina Boďová for The Slovak Spectator.
When did you get your first break as an opera singer?
"After I finished music school, I applied to university to study under a teacher I admired very much, Professor Hudecová. But she had too many students and couldn't take me, so I decided to wait for a year and apply to her again. And it was during that year that I won a scholarship and got a chance to sing small parts on the opera stage in Bratislava. This early experience gave me my first taste of the atmosphere on a real stage, and a chance to face a real opera audience. By my third year of university I had already sung a lead role."


Ľubica Vargicová - 29-year-old Slovak opera star.
Courtesy of Slovak Opera

At 29, soprano singer Ľubica Vargicová is one of the brightest lights on the contemporary Slovak opera stage. At a corner table at Bratislava's Gremium Café, she spoke with Katarina Boďová for The Slovak Spectator.

When did you get your first break as an opera singer?

"After I finished music school, I applied to university to study under a teacher I admired very much, Professor Hudecová. But she had too many students and couldn't take me, so I decided to wait for a year and apply to her again. And it was during that year that I won a scholarship and got a chance to sing small parts on the opera stage in Bratislava. This early experience gave me my first taste of the atmosphere on a real stage, and a chance to face a real opera audience. By my third year of university I had already sung a lead role."

What roles are you singing this season? Do you have an unrealized "dream role?"

"I am now singing the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Magic Flute. Then I am Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Olympia in Offenbach's Les Contes D'Hoffmann, and then I take on two roles in Verdi's Traviata and Rigoletto. I love working on anything new - I have no concrete fantasies. Right now I'm just too busy."

Who do you listen to - do you have a favorite artist?

"I always admired [world-famous Slovak soprano artist] Edita Gruberová for her technique, discipline and confidence. She is a miracle that can't be understood or explained. But we can't forget Luciano Pavarotti. He's very spontaneous, always himself on the stage. Nature gave him a gift, and he has elevated it to the level of operatic singing. He can never be mistaken for another. I listen to his recordings before important performances, or when I'm having difficulties with my own singing."

Where else do you sing?

"I am performing chamber concerts and arias in various castles and natural amphitheaters in Slovakia and around Europe. In Bratislava, besides opera, I sing in various concert halls. But I am trying to avoid getting into the area of commercial music. I am an opera singer in the first place, and I don't change genres. So, you'll just have to visit the opera! I particularly recommend December's performances of Rigoletto or Lucia di Lammermoor."

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