Music & Me with … Gabriella di Laccio- 01 May 2021 -
Image by Anatole Klapouch: Gabriella di Laccio, Soprano, BBC Most Inspirational #100Women2018, Founder & Curator @donne_uk – Equality Activist
In this interview Elizabeth chats to the world-renowned artist, whose upcoming plans include the concerts with world premières of new works by Nicola LeFanu, Kristina Arakelyan, Joanna Ward and Anna Appleby just after the Summer (fingers crossed). Most immediate plans include hugging as many friends as she can once the pandemic is over!
When were you first introduced to music?
Music was always part of my life, even though I don’t have any professional musicians in my family. I have been singing since I was very young, at home first, then at the school choir. I remember singing the first song when we had to harmonise together and my reaction was: ‘Wow, this is really amazing!’ The combinations of different harmonies really made an impression on me and I had the same feeling when listening to classical music on the radio or on TV.
Tell me about your favourite teachers
The teachers I remember the most are the ones who encouraged me to dream, to push my own barriers. I had a wonderful teacher in primary school who made us read one book per week. He always told us stories of amazing people and I was very inspired by that. I grew up in Brazil and the dream of becoming a professional classical singer was not the most common, so I always attached myself to everything and everyone that would inspire me to believe it was possible.
What are your fondest musical memories?
Singing with my sister at home when we were children, singing my first opera, every time I go on stage and feel that I have done my best as an artist to bring music closer to people.
What is your favourite TV theme tune and/or film soundtrack?
Gladiator, The Cider House Rules and Top Gun 🙂
What was the last music download/ CD that you bought?
La Muse Oubliée. Pianist Antonio Oyarzabal presenting works by thirteen different female composers, most of them pianists.
Imagine you have been given £250 to spend on anything music-related. How will you spend it?
Private sessions with a sound engineer to teach me more about recording and producing music.
How do you balance music with your other obligations?
A combination or extreme organisation combined with last minute deadlines chaos and a lot of hard work. It’s hard to set strict times to creative process, so I have to be as organised as I can with everything that is non-creative to free time for the important part of being an artist.
What is happiness?
To do what I love, to be able to inspire people, to feel that you can make a difference, to have people I love and who love me in my life. I feel extremely privileged and grateful for being able to do what I love. Every time I am on stage is a moment of happiness that I never take for granted.
Image: Artwork for Wiegala
Notes: Gabriella recorded the lullaby Wiegala by Ilse Weber (1903-1944) and it was launched just before the beginning of the pandemic. Ilse Weber was Jewish poet who wrote songs and theater pieces for Jewish children. She was voluntarily transported to Auschwitz with the children of Theresienstadt and killed in the gas chambers. Prisoners testify that she tried to comfort the children by singing her lullaby Wiegala. Pianist and composer Catarina Domenici wrote a new arrangement of this moving piece in 2019 and together with soprano Gabriella Di Laccio, they pay homage to all heroes and heroines of the Holocaust with this video.
Donne, Women in Music: https://linktr.ee/donne_uk