A conversation with Ekaterina Bakanova, 2nd prize winner in the female voices category at the III International Adam Didur Opera Singers’ Competition
At what stage of your career where you in 2012 and why did you decide to participate in the competition organized by the Silesian Opera in Bytom?
It was a time during which I got my first contracts in Europe. I worked at one the leading theatres in Moscow and played my first parts. When the information about the competition was announced, my teacher and great friend Gioacchino Gitto advised me to enter the contest. In my opinion, young singers have to participate in competitions as long as the age requirements aren’t too high for them. The more, the better because it’s an opportunity to show yourself, gather some experience and make new friends. It is also a possibility to meet prestigious musicians and… a chance to make first contracts.
Since the III international edition of the competition seven years has passed. Do you remember what did you sing at the competition?
I remember I sang mainly a lyric-coloratura repertoire: Rosina (William Shield), Lulu (Alban Berg), Gilda’s aria from Rigoletto (Giuseppe Verdi), The Snow Maiden (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov).
The winners of the previous editions talk a lot about the unique atmosphere of the event, full of warmth and kindness. Do you have such memories?
Oh, yes. I remember there was a very nice atmosphere and lots of people I didn’t even know kept their fingers crossed for me. I remember a young cook from the Silesian Opera’s buffet who gave me a small, glass guardian angel and wished me luck. What’s important, I still keep that small crystal souvenir at home!
You were competing with great opponents and got the second prize from a demanding jury. A great joy, maybe a surprise? Were there any other emotions?
I was very happy that jury rated me so high, I was very grateful. Pride and overconfidence are strange to me. Without a doubt, success and winning are always my aim, but I am also aware that fate can change anything in life, so I always take every triumph with joy and great gratitude. I am sure that competition and winning a prize there began a new stage of my life. It was another step towards the professional level.
Photo Georg List