The Art of Doing

Opera Diva Anna Netrebko: An Artist’s Interpretation

Opera’s reigning diva is as practical as she is passionate.

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click to enlarge

The Face of Modern Opera

Opera, as an art form, is nearly 500 years old with a parade of famous and infamous divas. Competing for attention in today’s celebrity-driven entertainment culture, the opera world has pinned its hopes on its latest star Russian-born soprano Anna Netrebko, who we had a fascinating interview with on “How to Be a Diva” for our book.

For our project, Art of Doing Artist’s Interpretation, we asked Russian artist and illustrator, Yvetta Fedorova to imagine Netrebko for us. Fedorova’s bold rendition captures Netrebko’s iconic status as an operatic superstar while weaving her quotes—which range from the practical to the passionate—into Netrebko’s tresses. [Click on the image to enlarge.]

Although Netrebko is a virtuoso whose psychologically complex interpretations of roles have won her fans worldwide and drawn comparisons to Maria Callas, it is also Netrebko’s work ethic, smarts and flat-out practical approach to her career that have made critics describe her as the thoroughly modern diva of the 21st century.

Her approach to her work and talent is a lesson to us all. She told us,

“When I started out, I met a lot of extremely talented singers. Everybody thought, ‘Oh, this one or that one will be a star.’ But after a very short time, many of them disappeared. Talent…isn’t enough. You have to be incredibly smart about your choices… To put it simply: Keep what you need, drop what you don’t.”

Netrebko is performing in Europe this summer and opens the Metropolitan Opera’s 130th season this fall as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

The Art of Doing Artist’s Interpretation project is a collaboration between us and imaginative artists we’ve chosen to depict the superachievers we interviewed for our upcoming book using excerpts from the book.

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