Metal in the constellation of Björk, Beyoncé and opera singer Marina Viotti

“I had three incredible women as role models. My mother in the first place: she was a violinist, and that’s how she met my father, a conductor. She was late for rehearsal, my father saw her and everything started between them. I’m the eldest of four children and I was born almost in the orchestra pit. Baby, my parents put me next to them for rehearsal. It was part of our life, we used to listen to music all the time at home, we used to go to see my father conduct. baby and mantra My first musical memory is by Ravel, I must have been 3 or 4. My father directed it to Lucerne, where he took up the position of chef. Strange coincidence, my first professional contract would also be with the opera troupe in Lucerne. Even today, I could sing all the airs of the different characters in this Ravel opera that I heard over and over again.

When my second brother came, my mother stopped working. He then made sure that we could accompany my father on his visits while he was at school; He ran this organization. She was also the one who consoled us on his deathbed. He has given us an unimaginable strength in this grief. I am very grateful to him for the understanding he has always shown towards us. She never judged me even in my goth or metal phases, always supported me through my many life transitions before finding my path. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mother do anything; It always goes on.

Read also: Marina Viotti: from metal rock to lyrical singing

“Majo”, my maternal grandmother, was an admirable woman despite a very difficult life, as she had lost many children. It is a model of resistance and resilience. He developed great strength from these sorrows and never complained. It was she who gave me a taste for reading, for knowledge. He had an incredible memory for books and I have strong memories of his vast library. But I do resemble Anita, my grandmother on the Italian side, physically and in character. He was a very happy, very warm person, who used to laugh all the time and spoke very loudly. As soon as we hurt ourselves, it was the end of the world… the Italian side, then. At the time of my singing studies at the HEMU in Lausanne (high school of music), I lived with her. She used to sing bhajans all day, because she was very religious.”

Björk the Singular, Beyonce the Businesswoman

“Björk is the crush of my 20s. The absolute embodiment of the artist, her extraordinary looks, her singing, and the mystique she has developed around her. She is such a unique singer, you can’t copy her. Even today, She continues to make solo music projects of chilling radicalism. One of the first songs I included in my personal projects was titled Yoga, Last year, when she was at Montreux Jazz, I did everything to try to sing a duet with her, but it’s impossible, she’s inaccessible.

Read also: Björk, Telluric and Robotnik

With Beyoncé, what fascinates me is that she is not only an incredible artist, but also a business woman, which I aspire to be. A woman who manages her career and her family at the same time. Some time ago I saw a documentary dedicated to him. We see her breastfeeding her twins before going back on stage and dancing. she has that side Jurisdiction,

Floor Jansen, Immersion in Metal

“It was a friend who introduced me to symphonic metal. At 18, I was a flautist and played in an orchestra. I made a loud thump. Seeing Nightwish’s vocalist, Flor Jansson, on stage, I Told myself: That’s great, you can be a woman and come in a leather or black latex outfit, swinging at an insane vocal level in dialogue with the audience, who responds, who pogots, who dances. The next day, I formed a band! My dad built me ​​a rehearsal studio in the garage. It was my first band, Lost Legacy. At first I wanted to play bass, but I was useless. When asked, I said why not and essentially did what I had known since I was very young, opera.

Read also: Marina Viotti, Opera Singer of the Year: “I dream of playing in Hellfest”

Then I had another band, Soulmaker, with whom we toured and recorded. I was able to write my own lyrics and channel the anger I had after my father’s death into singing. This was my therapy. Ultimately, this experience was very helpful for the rest of my career in the opera world. Metal is a very masculine universe, when you come on stage, you always have to prove yourself. And when you are a singer, the whole show is on you; You have to fascinate the public, take it forward. I left the group when we were really starting to take off. I was 25 and lyrical singing also attracted me. I was already too late, I couldn’t wait any longer. My biggest regret is that I didn’t get to play Hellfest. But the energy of this music helped me a lot for opera. Even today I listen to it everyday.

Heidi Bruner and Brigitte Baillez, Visionary Teachers

“At 25, most singers are already stage trained; I was starting from zero. I left for Vienna, telling myself that it was the land of music and that I would find a teacher. I submitted my files to all the conservatories and I was refused everywhere. There, it was a bit of a pain, because I had given up my group, my marketing studies and to sing my country and nothing worked. You have to imagine that in one of the most conservative countries in Europe, I was with my spacers in my ears, my tattoos, my piercings and my tights with holes… They saw me coming and I lit up immediately. But I didn’t realize it. The only one who wanted to give me lessons was Heidi Brunner.

Her first condition was that I do a vocal cord exam because, she said, “I’m not sure you can still sing after all these years of yelling in a band.” In fact, I didn’t just sing, I also did garjana (throat singing). But everything was fine. I remember the surreal scene where he asked me to sing my metal so that he could understand my technique. And in the middle of this big Viennese living room I started shouting and singing my songs. He then realized that I innately had a lyrical technique. We worked together every day. Then, I joined Brigitte Ballet’s class at HEMU, and it was she who opened the doors to the lyrical world for me. It is thanks to him that I was able to take my first steps at the Opéra de Lausanne.

Jesus, Nietzsche and Buddha, Spiritual Guides

“My father used to read us the Bible every night before we went to sleep. Then we discussed the message and how we can apply it in our daily lives. Regardless of whether or not you are a believer, the Bible is an extraordinary book held together in its teachings of love, tolerance, and forgiveness. As a kid, they called me Mother Teresa at school because I spread the word. When my father died, I clearly had a problem with Jesus, because his death was unacceptable. I was 19 years old, I had to pass my graduation in a few months. Then, I left to study philosophy, hypokhagne and khagane at the Lycée du Parc in Lyon. Managing grief, depression, and concerts every weekend, I don’t know how I was able to follow this course.

Read also: Friedrich Nietzsche, pioneer of the post-truth era

I think that was an important help in holding literature and philosophy. Nietzsche in particular, with his idea that you become the best version of yourself when you fall down, because you only cling to your strengths. I’ve been reading his correspondence with the composer Peter Gast. What I love about this philosopher is his passion for music. Nietzsche, Jesus, Buddha, today I am in between these three. At the moment, while I am rehearsing a quiet little role in Paris, I like the time it leaves me to enrich myself with other things. I am also in the process of co-authoring with philosopher Gabriel Halpern a book on hybridization in art and music.


Born in Lausanne to a family of musicians in 1986, Marina Viotti began her career playing the transverse flute. After trying her hand at jazz, gospel and heavy metal, the singer took up lyric singing and trained at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne. Known for her warm mezzo soprano timbre, she is now invited to the biggest international stages.

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