Bravo Cura

Celebrating José Cura--Singer, Conductor, Director

 

Quotable Cura


José Cura is articulate, insightful, philosophic, funny.  We offer a sampling of prime Cura.

 

 

 

“But if, on the other hand, my art succeeds in planting the seed of peace within man’s heart so that it may grow there, then my life will have had some meaning.”   Anhelo

 “I am not trying to be the first tenor in the world.  ...I am just a good tenor - just that - a good, honest musician who does his work.” (The Singer)

“I’d rather prove myself on stage and think about what’s essential and basic: total, complete honesty and absolute passion.”  (Kurier)   

“No good careers are really sudden.  It’s two or three years since the world has known about José Cura, but there were another 20 before that.  I wasn’t invented by the media or my record company… I’m the result of hard work and that makes me feel comfortable.”   (Opera) 

“The music world is fond of labeling people, but at the end of your life you will have to explain to that being who gave you your talents why you were so cowardly as to not use them all.”  (The Times) 

"I like pushing things as far as things they can go in one direction, then step back to find a balance.  How do you know what your limits are otherwise?”  (Opera Now)

“I don't understand why to be an opera singer you have to be ugly and why to be a sex symbol you have to be an idiot.”  (Independent)

"I am someone who has suffered and struggled, who has resisted and still managed to get to the top of the mountain through the storm – and I am proud of all that. If being proud of all I’ve done in my life after 25 years of hard work is arrogance, then I am arrogant!"  (Vima)

"There are artists who are technically perfect but otherwise they don't give you anything. The performance is over, you go to dinner and say O.K., that was nice but let's talk about something else.  On the other hand, when the performance ends and people cry, don't stop to applaud but race backstage with the wish to touch you, then it is a different story……" (Magazin Pravo)

"I believe strongly that there is another way to do operatic theater that is based around subtlety and nuance. That's modern opera. Not Manrico entering on a Harley Davidson or Aida arriving on a flying saucer. Actors really infusing themselves in the roles with depth and characterization, that's modern opera." (Latino Post)  

 

"Operalia was very important to me because it brought me to the public’s attention.  But it did not start my career.  It had already started...."  (SME)

 

"Classical art will never die unless we kill it. If you put it under a crystal lampshade, to prevent its pollution, the air under the lampshade will be used up sooner or later with the final result of art getting strangled, though our aim was to protect it. We all – artists, music lovers, journalists - are responsible for classical art preservation. Despite all differences we are all united by a phenomenal thing – music – so by being respectful to it, let us help keep it alive." (Neue Merker)

  

“When you have the strength that I have, the conviction and restlessness, the studies and experience, many people are afraid because they feel my attitude shakes their little homes.  For some, routine represents security. For me, it is the beginning of death.”  (La Nación)   

  

“Not being able to live in my land, Argentina, (due to the distance) and being considered a eternal foreigner in my home, Spain, makes me feel as a citizen of nowhere, almost an orphan.”  (Jose Cura Facebook)

 

“Tradition should be respected, but intelligently.  Leaving aside the questions of taste or historical legacy, I don't see why every interpretation should always follow the same lines, without deviation.  Don't you think it's a shame to lock the dramatic possibilities offered by certain characters within the same cage, however gilded?”  (Verdi Arias) 

“What is it to be a servant of the music if it is not to make everybody understand that this music is as great, as fun, as any other kind of music?!”  (Electronic Telegraph)

  'If you reduce Othello to some kind of love story about a lost handkerchief, it’s dead.  Shakespeare and then Verdi and Boito are dealing with much greater issues, the story is their vehicle.  It’s about love, honour, race, politics, class.'  (About the House)

"Yesterday I said to a journalist that we need much more good than bad news in the media. If you have experienced the positive energy at this opening ceremony and saw how focused the athletes are on their sporting aim, then you know the big difference to those people who have only senseless destruction in their minds. Perhaps we will have a lot more positive news in the papers in the coming ten days."  (Duisburg World Games)

 

"Opera has a future, but it depends on us being modern...There's an idea today that a modern production is one where the audience needs a manual of explanations to understand what's going on. That's not being modern, that's not having anything interesting to say about a piece and just being weird so at least no-one will say you're copying. But from there to being modern is a long way. Modern artists have always been those who understood their society, the problems of their times and reflected them in their artistic activities, and that's what we need to do."  (Musical Criticism)

  

"To be the set designer and director for a production, in which one personally gets on stage and sings, is as exhausting as any and every fulfilling task. There is no room for giving in to fatigue; one has to be the first to arrive at the theater and the last to leave.  The only way to survive is by having everything prepared very well in advance, and not having to waste any more time and energy on issues which could have already been resolved and handled earlier. You have to develop a sixth sense, you need faith and confidence in your team and of course energy that never runs out…" (Klappeauf)

“Artists, critics, even some of the public think all opera and classical music should remain in the form as it was at its birth. I think that is anachronism. In that moment, opera is degraded to a museum piece, forced into a glass display case which kills it. Art must be able to present reality to be credible, to create a real catharsis.” (Figaro)  

 

“When a man is in a desert, dying from dehydration, and rain suddenly falls down, it is luck; but if the man does not have a glass in which to collect the water from the rain, it does not matter how hard the rain is, he will stay thirsty.” ( Novie Isvestia) 

 

 

 

 

"I simply threw myself into the Arena with a knife between my teeth and yelled “banzai,” as the Japanese do." (La Razónon on playing both Canio and Turiddu at the Arena di Verona)

“I hate the word tenor. I don't hate being a tenor, but what I don't like is that 'tenor' puts a trademark on you, from which you cannot move. You know how it goes: $10,000 reward! If you see this man, kill him! He dared to move from tenor!” (Classic CD)

“I do in my conducting what I try to do in my singing:  I try to be as modern as I can...I like pushing things as far as things they can go in one direction, then step back to find a balance.  How do you know what your limits are otherwise?”  (Opera Now)

One who appeals to everyone cannot be original. One who appeals to nobody probably does not do a good work. But if there are people who hate you and others who really love you, the situation cannot be wrong.”  (Budapest, NSZ) 

“Opera, and classical music in general, are not immediate arts. Unless you take the time to prepare for what you're going to hear, you won't enjoy it in depth.”  (Evening Standard)

“People used to say that I'm arrogant. But arrogance is the mask of people who aren't prepared.”  (Scoop)

“I think that God was always surveying and controlling my life and saying, ‘You're going to be a singer even if you don't want to be a singer.  It will take time to convince you, but you're going to be a singer’.”  (Opera News)

José Cura poses during press conference in Prague

José Cura reacts during press conference in Hungary 2001

“I’d like to say that this latest CD of mine is dedicated to my country, that our flag is on the cover, and that the CD is called “Aurora” because the most important thing I want to express is that I love Argentina. I want my fellow countrymen to know that to the entire world and with a lot of pride, in an Argentinean tenor.”   (La Nacion) 

“Look at my hands. Do you think these are the hands of a tenor? These are the hands of somebody who is alive, which is more different and much more interesting.”  (Interview with Birgit Popp)

“One of the challenges of trying to keep opera alive is to make it thrilling:  you're taking dangers, you're taking risks, you're making efforts to be different.  Nothing is more frustrating for an audience than having a singer standing open-legged in the middle of the stage, trying to make sure that every note is in exactly the same place.  It's boring.”  (Classicalnet)

“Sometimes I have been criticised because I have not stood and sung my aria at the front of the stage for the audience, and I'm furious at this.  Yes, of course, you pay for your ticket so I'm singing for you, but my character certainly isn't-he doesn't even know he's being watched!”  (Audiostreet)

“The cost of fame is high: you are always in the viewfinder of others, always on the presentation plate.”  (L'Arena)

“When I'm recording, I forget about where I am, I try to be the character.  If I have to cry, I cry, if I have to sob, I sob, and if I have to crack, I crack.  The listener must take it or leave it.”  (Gramophone)

     

“If the artist on stage forgets the audience and is so absorbed in his character that they have the impression they are observing the action through a window, then for me that is an ideal performance.”  (Rundschau)

José Cura poses for press release

“But because you sing in the tenor register, suddenly you become this creature - - The Tenor.  I'm a composer and a conductor.  But when I do those things, there is this suspicion, ‘Oh, but he's a tenor.’”   (About the House)    

“But you know there's one other thing needed for the real magic and that is the audience's energy. If the artist feels after the first 10 minutes or so that the audience can sense what he's doing, he will give his blood to that performance...that level of energy is the most perfect excitement you can have in the opera house.”  (Audiostreet)

“Samson completely misunderstood his gift of strength.  He thought his strength was given to him so he could destroy anyone who didn’t agree with him.  He may have thought he was very spiritual, but he was not.  He reduced everything to simply killing and taking.”  (Lyric Opera News)     

“I think that human beings are like fruit. When the fruits ripen past their prime and rot, they are thrown away.  That goes for humans, too.  So, I think the best way is not to ripen fully.” (Interview)     

"We are talking about problems of racism, mercenarism, treason, apostasy. We're talking about serious matters, not a handkerchief."  (Latino Post)  

 

José Cura has fun during 2001 press conference in Hungary

“...the purists say I scoop a note here and there.  I say, well I have been scooping notes all my life.  I'm trying to get better, but sometimes that is part of my way of singing.  It is my trademark, a certain kind of noise here and there.  I will never be a technically spotless singer.”  (Madison)

“[Gran Teatre del] Liceu has been the only theater to make me a proposal for 2010. I hope to be alive by then.”  (ABC) 

“In this world, courage is viewed as a sign of arrogance.  But the real arrogance is not being prepared to be who they really are.”  (Chicago Sun-Times)  

“When all this started, the first thing I said to record companies and mangers was 'I am a happy man:  I have my family, I have everything I need.  I am not rich.  I am not poor.  I am okay.  So I beg you that everything we are going to do has to be at a good time and it has to be a good thing.  If not, we don't do it.”  (Opera Now7)

“A long time ago I learned an invaluable lesson from a wine-taster. He said to me 'never look at the label before tasting the wine'. Basically, I am what I am, and I present it on stage and that's it.”  (Audiostreet)

“In Samson, in the first act, I'm a roaring beast.  In the third act, I sing almost without voice.  He is weak, blind, tortured, almost surely castrated.  His soul is talking with God.”  (The Standard Times)

 

“You have to try not to be seduced by the media machine - you are part of it but you don’t want to get caught up in it, if you see what I mean. You have to focus on what you are doing ... take care that you never compromise your integrity.”  (Audiostreet)

“I am a composer and conductor who has taken time out to sing.  I will, hopefully, return to what is my real vocation.”  (Independent)

“The stage, in our souls and in our innocence, is a place of fantasy.”  (Bomb)

“Those who speak the most do the least in their lives.”  (Poland)  

“Twenty years ago I composed some songs. Even a Requiem, but it has never been performed. At the moment that is impossible because it’s not the right time for large new projects. With the need of an orchestra of 150 members, a double choir and a children's choir this project cannot be financed. That is why my compositions will only be performed in my bathroom.” (Luister)

“When I am criticised as a result of my professional performance, that is OK.  But when the review is about the way I dress, the way I walk, the way I move my hands, that is completely wrong.”  (Electronic Telegraph)

“When I'm in an opera what am I doing?.. . I'm pretending to be in love or pretending to die or cry.  It's fantasy time.  Every artist does it.  It's allowing yourself to have innocent dreams.”  (Classic FM)

“You should have a healthy, well-controlled vanity.  Because if not, what the hell are doing there?”  (Electronic Telegraph)

"In coming to the theater," said Cura, "my thoughts went to the last two legendary interpreters of Andrea, Franco Corelli and Mario del Monaco, and I felt the heavy responsibility of having to make one’s debut in this role in the country of such great interpreters, and to find oneself in the hands of the son of one of them.  I added it all up and said, “I will find the first airplane and return to Argentina!”"  (Il Resto Carlino)

 

"I have a very expansive personality.  That is obvious!  I have trouble being held within a cage…there is much to do!"  (Forum Ópera)

 

 "I'm due to do a Turandot in a couple of months in Germany and I heard they're planning to finish with the death of Liú, which is another solution. One thing's for sure, let me tell you: Calaf without the final duet is a piece of cake! Yes, 'Nessun Dorma' is an appointment but it's solvable. The last duet, though, is a massacre; it really is very tough to sing. So if the fashion is to start cutting the last duet, there'll be a lot of happy Calafs out there!"  (Musical Criticism)

 

“I believe that it’s an obligation for the artist to surprise and not to do what is expected from him but on the opposite, to do what he feels like at that moment.”  (Radio France)

 

"I am a very pensive and peaceful person. Today I’m turning 51. When you approach a certain age when you are not old but not young anymore, to be pensive, to have wisdom, is one of the most beautiful things to achieve." (Neue Merker)

 

 

José Cura during press conference in Verona 2003           JC casual during interview in Hungary Oct 2003

 

JC emphatic in Prague during interview 2004

 

"There are artists who are technically perfect but otherwise don't give you anything. The performance is over, you go to dinner and say O.K., that was nice but let's talk about something else.  On the other hand, when the performance ends and people cry, they don't stop to applaud but race backstage with the wish to touch you, then it is a different story……"  (Magazin Pravo)

 

“I am extremely disturbed when people are in the street screaming into the phone and I am forced to listen when they are discussing family problems. The mobile phone is slowly destroying the most basic respect for other people. Why can’t you at least talk more quietly? If I am talking on my mobile phone I am almost ashamed of myself. “ (Figaro)  

 

“In never resting on the fluffy mattress of a career comfortably dedicated to always singing the same things in, almost always, the same theaters.”  (in response to the question as to where his source of motivation lies--Interview)

 

“I make a rough plan for the staging (of a recital), but the details depend on the reaction of the audience, which is my partner. When you tell the one you love that you love her, you don't always think about what you will do next, do you?”   (Daily Yomiuri)  

“I know they’ll say ‘Aha! The photographs by the tenor.’  But I don’t mind so long as people look at them with their eyes open.”  (About the House)    

“If the performer is the lion who hunts, then the critic can choose to be either the hyena who picks at the carcass that has been caught, or he can be the wind that helps the lion keep upwind and hunt successfully.” (Opera Now)

“Singing Otello in London, it's like singing Tango to an Argentinian!”  (Audiostreet)

“Take flowers.  [A] man and a woman are the same in every situation - political, commercial, etc. But when a man and a woman are alone, flowers make all the difference.”   (offering advice on dating, Evening Standard)

“That's as if you would spit a meal, which your best friend has lovingly prepared for you but which you don't like, back out onto the plate.”   (on booing a performer, Hamburg Welt) 

JC laughs during photo shoot for interview session

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JC poses for the camera in Japan, 2002

“You can sing very loud, but if you do not sing deep and dark and accent the proper words, then the whole psychological impact of Samson gets lost. It is the same in Otello...It is one thing to sing all the notes with great volume, but if you don’t have the proper color, then you lose that extra ingredient that makes the character believable.”     (Lyric Opera News)     

“There are people who have been disappointed that I don't use more of a big sound in this part, but that is simply not what Otello is about.  You just have to look at the score.”  (About the House Spring)

“Yes, I am a diva on stage.  Every artist must be.  But at home I am a normal man.  I am a husband, lover and father of three.  ...”  (The Times)

“There are two ways to arrive at the top of a hill.  You can be put there by a helicopter, and whoosh!  The first wind that comes along whips you down.  Or you can arrive at the top by yourself, making muscles as you go along, so that when you get there you are strong.  That doesn't mean you are invulnerable, but at least you are stronger.”   (Irish Times)   

“Nobody expects a writer to say that your performance was all lovely and wonderful every time, but also we have a right not to expect that writers use artists to take out their own frustrations. Critics have a responsibility, because as such they should know what they are talking about and so be able to interpret what they see in the performance and tell other people about it in an engaging way. This is an intelligent critic. But there are many who are not, and it is the unintelligent writing that kills the audiences, that puts a prejudice in their head before they come, or stops them coming altogether.”  (Audiostreet)

 

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"I am a shark and I am excited by blood." (La Razón)

“Once [Calaf] seemed to me to be a one-dimensional person but the music of Puccini is immense and it redeems him.”  (L'Arena) 

“…if I have a performance I won’t go out barefoot in the snow and challenge destiny, but I’m not a slave to my voice.  I eat when I am hungry, and sleep when I am tired, and wash when I am dirty like anybody else.”   (Bomb)

“If there is one musical experience I will always recall as the most extremely emotional of my life—as it was the first time I was really awakened passionately to classical music—it was when I performed Bach’s St Matthew Passion in 1984.  I can remember now exactly how much I wept.”  (on his first significant classical musical experience The Lady)

“I think that God was always surveying and controlling my life and saying, “You’re going to be a singer even if you don’t want to be a singer.  It will take time to convince you, but you’re going to be a singer.”  (Opera News)

"I have a sense of curiosity and an appetite to do what I have not yet done." (Pravda SK)

         

“It’s bad for a singer to think only about singing. It kills the voice and deprives it of all charisma and in addition narrows one’s sense of perception in general. One has to work against that.”  (Kurier)

“Somebody called God decided to give me all these gifts.  It is my obligation to use them.  It is just a way of earning my life.  It is not my life.  My profession has plenty of pressure but I know that is not my life.  If everything finished tomorrow, I wouldn’t die.”  (Sunday Independent)

“The family base is so important.  It’s the only way to keep yourself sane as a human being.  I mean, this life is very—no, it’s absolutely—crazy.  When you come off from a performance where there’s a standing ovation…and then you go home and have to change the baby’s nappies, you learn to say. ‘OK, the opera was fine, but this is fine, too.’  That helps me keep my feet on the ground.” (Classic FM)

“The reaction of the house does not depend on the audience but on the artist.”  (Poland)  

“Those that don’t want to listen to the truth said that the incident was that of a capricious divo.  That’s not true.  It was a valiant reaction against something that is happening inside that theatre, something bad that has to be stopped.”  (La Nacion)

“After Manon Lescaut, every opera is a lullaby for the tenor!”  (Gramophone) 

"I would not say “good luck,” because I don’t believe in luck. I believe in being prepared. Luck is to be in the middle of the desert dying of thirst and all of a sudden having a short shower on your head. That is good luck! But if you don’t have a glass to gather the water, you lose the water. The glass has to be prepared.(Classical Singer)

 

 

JC during Polish press conference     JC poses for photo for British article    JC during press conference in Poland

 

“When you dance with somebody who knows how to dance, you are very happy to relax and to be guided by that person, because that’s the magic of dancing. But when you dance with someone who is again and again standing on your toes, you have to take a decision: Either you stop dancing, many does, and leave, or you take the guide yourself.” (Neue Merker  

“To watch my wife become more and more beautiful and to see my children grow.”  (on his hopes for 2001, La Capital)  

Turandot is a work that opens new horizons to the vocalist.”   (L'Arena) 

“Whatever stories may say about me, they won't be able to say I have no guts.” (New Standard)

“When you are 20 years old physical beauty attracts you more than the personality. Everyone grows up. When you are 40, your point of view is different. I'm a happy father of three. My wife is a wonderful person. I'm more interested in one's soul now.”  (Przeglad)

“…What looks like a risk for the audience, because it's the first time they see it, is a studied risk for the artist on stage.  You never do on stage what you didn't try before.  One thing is to take risk, another to be stupid.” (Electronic Telegraph)

Boheme is a story of every day--you can do it in jeans.  But if I am going to do Aida, I want a pyramid and an elephant.  I don't want to do Aida with a tank.  This is not modernism; this is ridiculism.  It is not a word, I know.  But it sounds good.” (Vogue)

“I am in the fortunate position of being able to assure you that I am slowly losing my hair and that I have also gained some weight. This enables me to hope that my critics will start to think, well, he may not look as sexy as before, but maybe he is now a musician who is to be taken seriously.”   (Rundschau)

“I am the son of a father whose family came from Lebanon and a mother who is Italian-Spanish... but my heart is all Argentine.”   (Alface-voadora)

 

                                   

“I approach a role through the drama.  I study the libretto, analyzing the character, and then I look at the music, trying to discover why the composer has used, for instance, a particular chord.  Then I put it all together.”   (BBC Magazine)    

"I'm like a racing animal.  You can use it to do many things, but the moment it's in the track, it's happy.  I can sing concerts, pop music, do a movie, whatever.  But the animal in me feels complete, satisfied and fulfilled onstage."  (USA Today)

"I began to love all types of music because my mother was wise enough to introduce me to them, almost like a DJ. She made me understand that there is only good and bad music in the world. All other labels are immaterial. She moved from Beethoven to Frank Sinatra without remorse." (Chicago Sun-Times)

"A singer is not somebody with a crystal bird in the larynx, so [that] you can push a button and all of a sudden the voice comes out!"  (Classical Singer)

"No matter how much love and courage you put into a performance it can still turn out badly. Then the head that rolls is yours."  (La Razón)

“He is a toad from a different swamp." (El Periodico, on Otello)

"When you are an honest actor on stage, you know that the most important thing is not only the words, but the perfume of the words, what is behind, under and around the words, what is not written exactly."   (Interview)

"At the beginning every talent is only one option, one seed. I am convinced that after thirty years of hard work a strong, mature tree came from that seed. Everyone can decide whether he/she loves the cool shade or fruits of this tree, but the point is that I'm a tree, and not only a little seed."  (Gyorplusz)

"... a director should be in “complete control” even when he has others doing the sets or the costumes, otherwise, the result is a “disconnected” production in which the sets look “foreign" to the action or the costumes look “out of place” on the characters. Something that, alas!, happens more often than what we think… I like to work in tight collaboration, not only with my team, but also with the in-house’s technical people, as nobody knows their theater better than them: to ignore this factor is an arrogant mistake, no matter if you do one activity or all of them." (Das Opernglas)

 

"We do not understand today that the heavier the baggage of our life experience, the richer becomes our language of expression."  (DziennikPolski)

 

"Working without a variety of possibilities, without a multiplicity of options, is not for me. I know there are some people who are not happy with this and ask: “Why does he have to do so many things?” But by now I have come to answer that merely with another question: 'Why not?'”  (Das Opernglas)

 

 

 

 

  

“I try to use my voice not only as a singer but as an actor, and to create 'suffocated' colours in the voice.”  (Electronic Telegraph)

“I was always bizarre. Nobody was able until now to make me do things I do not want.”  (Birgit Popp)

“In Act One he is an Old-Testament Ché Guevara.  In the second act we see that Samson completely misunderstands the spiritual meaning of his life.  He was of the flesh – a man filled with animalistic adrenalin – and that is why he was so easily corrupted.”    (Lyric Opera News)    

“Operalia, which was transmitted to 70 countries, turned a young artist who lived in a restricted circle into somebody very well know and in whom many theaters were interested.  It was almost as if, after a long pregnancy, I was suddenly born.”  (Opera Actual) 

“The greatest influence of the singer on the conductor is the fact that I pay extremely close attention to phrasing, that the music is played ‘horizontally,’ not ‘vertically,’ not bar after bar, but in phrases which create another kind of energy within the music. And as I have to stick very much to phrases as a singer – because without phrasing you cannot sing – the influence of the ‘singer’ on the ‘conductor’ is very big.”  (Klassik Heute)

“Verdi was the genius. We are not. Our job is to be expressive of what he wrote.”   (Master Class)  

 

"I am ready to fight whoever insists that there are no voices today as there were in the past.  There are great voices out there, and we just need to find them and help them."  (Classical Singer)

“When I was very young and I was searching for the kind of music I wanted to perform and trying to find my style, I always turned to my mother . . .. I am so grateful to her.”  (on his early music influence, The Lady)

“When you have a conductor who is prepared, you can discuss and have a wonderful communion of work. When you have an asshole, there is nothing you can do.”  (Birgit Popp8)

“It is a complex combination of courage, technique, professionalism and most of all charisma.”   (on the secret to becoming a great singer, RemarX Winter)    

“Don't call me the fourth tenor, it looks like someone who did not qualify for a medal. Just call me D'Artagnan.”  (Il Corriere della Sera)

“A real artist is always serious about their work.  But even when you reach the peak of your technique you remain a child, you have to have a kid's 'fantasy.'” (Classic FM)

 

'Be faithful to the work and to the text, that I think is the key to the theater.  We are only tools of the art.'  (SME)

 “A true art based on beauty and harmony elevates our souls and gives us hope for the future.”  (Moscow)

"Only God knows the future. As for me, I could be happy if I can continue to earn my living by working in this privileged job: being an artist."   (Repetice)

 

“A star is a star. They are very far from the earth, with no real connection to human existence. I am not a real artist, however, if I don’t have a direct relationship with people. If I am only traveling in luxury cars or living in luxury hotels and do not know the truth about real life, if I do not take note of human suffering, then I am not a real artist. I am only a product of show business.” (Figaro)  

 

“I belong to that rare group of human beings who used to be called kamikaze.”  (London Times Magazine)

 

"Classical is a dangerous word. It's an artform with very strong connotations of technique and intellect. It's true, you can't digest it like a hamburger. [Classical is] not an obvious music... it's not pre-cooked and frozen.  Opera, wine, sex - the common factor is patience. You need to take your time."  (Belfast Telegraph)

"In Argentina ...it was the first years of the new democracy and to live in my country then was really an adventure. We had a child and I had four jobs and my wife had two jobs and even then we did not have enough money at the end of the each month. We took the risk and decided to go to Europe to see what might happen ..."   (Seen and Heard)

"An artist’s most essential attribute, his most characteristic quality should indeed be honesty. I am more honest, more genuine, when I am doing something that really engages me mentally, that touches me on the inside. I have moved among a limited number of roles and role offerings for too long [and] I am sensitive to the limitations, the finite nature of my profession." (Opernwelt)

“For years I inhaled the celebrity world until one day I had enough. I decided that I would live differently, I would do real art which is only possible to achieve through creative freedom.”(Figaro)  

 

 

"Those who are like me who are engaged in doing many things and are doing them well and are successful, all of them make certain others very nervous. They do not understand; they are jealous of it and ask, "How can you do so many things?" Of course, the question continues like this, "Why do you deal with five things, and not with just one?!" I do not think that I would be the best in everything, but what I am doing with incredible persistence, diligence and talent, I make a success of that, and that's what counts.  I believe it is better to die with happiness and satisfaction than knowing you've lived your life unhappy and frustrated. Anyway, you can never do anything that pleases everyone; you can never be the winner."  (Gyorplusz)

 

"Work, work, work, study, study, study. Never give it for granted, never cease to investigate. Be aware that the farther you get the less you know, and so start studying again and working even more."  (Opera Plus)

“I used to feel I wanted to be the angel of revenge and to cut off the heads of all the people who were so cruel to me, and the people who kept talking about me unkindly.  Then one day I thought the contrary and said to myself, “Maybe I should thank them for what they did and said, because that all pushed me to go forward and eventually reach where I am now.  I think my memories of the past of full of positive things....”   (discussing the hardships in his early career, The Lady) 

“If you have the luck in our job to be physically nice enough and you don't take care of yourself--you are stupid...What I am saying is that I might have been blessed with a certain look, but I am also a former body builder, a black belt in Kung Fu, I taught gym, AND I keep on training.  And I make sacrifices... Looking after the way I look is part of the job for me.”  (Opera Now )

“I'll be busy for the next couple of years for sure. A week ago I arranged an orchestra rehearsal that will take place on 5 May 2010!”  (Sukces ) 

“Some mornings I wake up and wonder if I am doing the right thing for the artist and me, as opposed to the career.” (Time Magazine )

“The legend you know but this is what really happened.  I said: 'I am here to sing for the people. I am not here for those whose behavior stinks.' One often says that in Spanish. It was translated as 'these humans stink.' That is simply stupid. How could I know from the stage how someone smells in the last rows? I am no dog.”  (Kurier, in reference to Madrid Il Trov)

“The need to conduct was born in me.”  (Il Piccolo de Trieste)  

 

JC poses during Stars for Europe press conference 2002    JC poses during Stars for Europe press conference 2002   JC poses during Stars for Europe press conference 2002   JC poses during Stars for Europe press conference 2002    JC poses during Stars for Europe press conference 2002

”Whenever someone needs me, I would like to be a light for that person.”  (Prinsengracht) 

“The Verdi tenor is a man who lives on the border between the light and darkness which exist in all our souls.”   (Verdi Arias) 

“Before, if one was not singing at La Scala, one would not have had a career. I have sung there several times and cannot say that it has changed my life.”   (La Nacion) 

  “I claim the right to be elastic in my career ...  I don't want to behave like a tenor 365 days a year!”  (Opera Magazine)

“I think the word 'secure' was canceled from the dictionary.”  (USA Today) 

“[Turandot] is sung because the music is magnificent, because it is beautiful, because singing it gives true pleasure.”  (L'Arena) 

“Anybody who can stand on the stage and pretend he is someone else must have folly and the heart of a child in an iron cage.”  (Vogue)

“I consider my art to be a mixture of joy and love and sufferance - that's life.” (The Singer)

“If you compare the performance with an act of love, singing is the moment you are actually making love: You are sweating, you are crying, bleeding, you are afraid, you have joy, to sing, portraying a character, it’s a very physical experience.” (Neue Merker)    

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JC poses for camera during press conference in Budapest, 2000A career is like an iceberg, most of it under water.”  (Opera Magazine)

 

“Quite frankly, my only perplexities regarded my acting for this specific role; I did not feel comfortable standing in the middle of the stage with my legs wide open planted there like an impaled potato.”   (La Stampa)

 

“The music world is fond of labeling people, but at the end of your life you will have to explain to that being who gave you your talents why you were so cowardly as to not use them all.”   (The Times) 

 

“I am not so arrogant that I will do it on purpose, just for the sake of breaking everybody's patience.  You do it to tease yourself, to provoke yourself, to investigate, to try different things, to maybe find a new language, a new formula.”   Commenting on conducting and singing simultaneously (Electronic Telegraph)

 

“An artist is somehow like a doctor who cures people's souls.”  (Pravda)

 

“I can be as loud as I want if I have to.  But I don't think shouting is the solution to performing this role.”  (LSO Living Music re Otello)

 

“I have to be careful about the press--if I have dinner with a girlfriend, they write that I'm having an affair. If I have dinner with a man, they write that I'm gay, and if I'm seen walking my dog they write that I have sex with animals.” (The Times) 

 

"In the beginning," he says, "everyone was trying to put me in the shoes of the three tenors. In the beginning, when I started, I was not myself. I was 'the fourth.' Trying to wear the shoes of the fourth tenor. For a couple of minutes, I tried. But I couldn't walk in those shoes. So I removed them....But the fact of not wanting to wear those shoes doesn't mean I cannot walk."   (Chicago Sun-Times)

 

"For me,  opera is another musical experience, one that I will be doing for as long as I can, the way I believe it has to be done: with good acting and by giving it my all when I’m on stage.”  (Vima)

 

"Working without a variety of possibilities, without a multiplicity of options is not for me. I know there are some people who are not happy with this and ask: “Why does he have to do so many things?” But by now I have come to answer that merely with another question: 'Why not?'”  (Das Opernglas)

 

"The danger of Otello is like the danger of being in touch with perfect things.  It takes you everywhere. It changes your life and what do you do then? You finish the opera and you cannot get out of the character. What can you do? That is Otello."  (Interview)

 

“It’s a wonderful way of earning a living, but real life is more important.  I’m lucky to have the security of a happy family to come home to.  Yes, I am a diva on stage, but at home I am a normal man.  I am passionate; I have seen sadness and I am a man who cries very easily . . .“  (Times)

 

"I give myself in every situation. As we're talking here, well, I'm like this on the stage, the same way as when I'm taking my wife out to dinner. I live my life with passion. Because it is too short to do all these with boredom, don’t you think?" (Gyorplusz)

 

"The task of the artist is to give people love and a positive feeling for life."   (MTI)

 

 "From 1999 to the beginning of 2004, I [was] under the harshest of … attacks from many different sources: people calling theaters to convince artistic directors not to engage me, and journalists being paid to write that I was history, that I was a falling star. But we persisted....After four years of struggle, we are now successful and very happy with our work."  (Classical Singer)

 

 

 

JC during radio interview, BBC    JC answers questions in Taiwan prior to his recital 2002     JC listens to question from interviewer in Budapest, 2003        JC at Moscow press conference, 2002

"How does the world regard tenors? Like a piece of shouting meat."  Master Class, Indiana University, as reported by the Indiana Daily Student

 

"I moved from Argentina to Europe in 1991. I worked for two or three years in restaurants—my wife worked with me, washing dishes—and we did many things that a lot of people wouldn’t even think about doing. We had a very hard life. We lived in a garage for one year because we couldn’t pay the rent, and we heated the garage with a small fire, with me gathering wood in the middle of the night!"   (Classical Singer)

“The real Verdi voice doesn’t resemble what we are constantly told it should be. To really know what it is we should read Verdi’s letters. He hated the term bel canto and refused to refer to opera in that way. Instead, he called it ‘melodramma.’ So what makes a Verdi voice? It is the artist’s capacity of conveying the message through his voice, even risking an ‘ugly noise’ when it is required by the character. In this sense, the biggest challenge in singing Verdi may be to go against the commonplace and produce a sound that conveys the drama with the same intensity and freedom of colors that an actor of spoken theater has. Stiffelio, for example, needs an obscure sound (in the metaphysical sense of the word) to be able to effectively portray the turmoil in the soul of the character. No room there for ‘sunny notes’”  (Met Opera website)

 

 "I am so happy when I have shows and so many young people coming at the end to me at the stage door.  Young people never speak about the singing, what they say is that they enjoyed it because they believed it." (Aktualit)

 

'If we continue to do Otello as they did it in the fifties, you ignore the worldwide crisis of fundamentalism of today: in 2008, the fact that Otello is a Muslim converted to Christianity opens up a whole world to investigate. After 2001 and September 11, the whole approach to a fundamentalist opera like Otello has changed.'  (Musical Criticism)

 

"Twenty years ago, one British critic wrote, "Cura should take note that classical music was not written for his amusement!" That is why my critics don’t have a high opinion of me, I do not belong to the canon, but interestingly, I can still win young people to my case! I’ve been at war with the teachers of conservatories and the critics for twenty-five years, and if God will merciful to me, I can continue this fight for another twenty-five years, and then after I headed for heaven or even hell."  (Gyorplusz)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated:  Friday, March 04, 2016  © Copyright: Kira