Lucia Popp interview February 21, 1981 in conversation with Howard Hart
Part 1 of 2
This is the first of the two-part interview with Lucia Popp. In it she discusses her recording of songs by Dvorak, Prokofiev, Kodaly, and Janacek. She explains how she relates to the sentiments in the songs through her national and ethnic heritage. She goes on to discuss her two roles in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, where she began as the Queen of the Night and later, as she jokingly mentions, she became younger and performed the role of her daughter Pamina. She mentions her first voice teacher and stresses how important it is to have a very good teacher, likening it to having a very good surgeon in an operation. Finally, she discusses her favorite operatic role and this concludes the first part.
Part 2 of 2
This is the second installment of my two-part interview with the great Czech soprano Lucia Popp. This part of the interview begins with Ms. Popp discussing the role of Anita, the titular character in Jules Massenet’s opera La Navarraise. She speaks about how she was a late replacement for another singer on the recording and how much she enjoyed making it while also recognizing that she would never sing the role live on stage. She then discusses how she began her vocal studies when very young and it was believed that she was a mezzo-soprano. It was soon discovered, of course, that she had instead a lyric coloratura soprano voice and it was as such that she began her career. Lieder was very important in her career and she considered it to be an essential part of vocal discipline. At the time of the interview, and at that point in her career, she estimated that her work was evenly divided with one third opera, on third recitals and lieder, and one third recordings. It was a great joy to do this interview with Lucia Popp. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with her during the time that she was in New York. She was an incredibly delightful woman and a great singer. This interview is a cherished memory that I am very grateful to be able to share with you.