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Yasmina Hatem

10 Questions For Matteo El Khodr

Picture courtesy of Matteo El Khodr
Picture courtesy of Matteo El Khodr
Picture courtesy of Matteo El Khodr
Picture courtesy of Matteo El Khodr
Picture courtesy of Matteo El Khodr

1. How did you discover you were a countertenor?

I discovered that I was a countertenor at age 17 when it was weird for me to sing these high pitched notes!

 

2. Can you explain what a countertenor is, for those who don't know?

The countertenor is a rare male voice that sounds like a woman's opera voice: a mezzo soprano. It's a voice inherited by the 17th century castratis. Watch Farinelli the movie!

 

3. At what age did you start singing?

I started singing at age 9, but professionally at age 18.

 

4. How difficult is it to be an opera singer in Lebanon?

It's very difficult to be an opera singer in Lebanon since it's not in our culture: We don’t even an opera house to sing in. But with a lot of work and concerts, I think that it's a bit better now!

 

5. What is your best memory of your career so far?

Singing in Opera de Nancy with the famous Philippe Jaroussky and Max Emanuel Cencic, two stars countertenors!

 

6. And the worst?

Singing in a concert in Sablé Sur Sarthe in a very weird farm!

 

7. What is your motto?

An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house.

 

8. Did you take courses or are you self-taught?

I began by being a self-taught countertenor but started taking courses with very well known opera teachers in very nice academies. 

 

9. What is a typical week like for you?

A typical week? Singing exercises, gym, shopping, sheet music shopping, hours of opera studying and listening to various music, dancing, and hanging out with friends. It's very important to be well surrounded!

 

10. What’s your biggest dream?

My biggest dream? It is to sing in Opera La Scala! Actually, my dream is partly becoming true! This year I will be singing with the orchestra of La Scala di Milano in Beirut on the 28th of March! 

Picture courtesy of Matteo El Khodr

"An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house."

  • Rolfen

    Great singer, good work, and I'm glad your dream is about to be true! Enjoy it! The worst part about a dream becoming true, is that you have to find a new dream afterwards... Good luck and respect.

    March 11, 2013