x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

'Emotion is as important as the tune'

q&a The German soprano Maria Glück shares her experiences with classical music and her desire to instill a love of music in the next generation.

The soprano Maria Glück teaches singing in Dubai.
The soprano Maria Glück teaches singing in Dubai.

The German soprano Maria Glück will be accompanying the UAE Philharmonic Orchestra at the Emirates Palace tomorrow. She shares her experiences with classical music and her desire to instill a love of music in the next generation.

My mum is a music teacher so I started singing as soon as I was able to produce sounds. I was a member of Bavarian Singing Academy, a programme for gifted young vocalists. It is paid for by the Bavarian state, which tries to encourage people to become professional singers.

I think there are two sides. There is a community worldwide which loves classical music and that is totally passionate about it. On the other hand, it is very difficult at the moment, especially for opera productions, to reach out to the people. Some of the artists and singers are living in their own world, so the productions are sometimes pretty strange. For people getting close to this whole genre, it is just very difficult to understand what is going on there. In my opinion, if you stay a little bit more mainstream or old-fashioned - huge emotions, nice dresses and beautiful stories - it is better to keep more people interested. It is important to have a good first experience with classical music. It is better introduced at a young age. There should be some more opera productions made, especially for kids.

Vocal chords are like muscles, so when you do professional singing it's like being a professional football player or ice skater. You have to warm up. For singing, you always start low at a soft pitch and with not too much pressure. Then you just extend the vocal range to the high notes to the deep notes, then you become louder. What I hate about being a soprano is that you can't really party because the high notes are the first ones that leave you if you had too much fun. If you have a lower voice it is not that sensitive, but if you have a high voice you always have to be careful. If you catch a cold, it's good for a deep voice because then the voice becomes even deeper.

I always try not to get into a kind of crazy following of one singer because people tend to start imitating. One of my favourites is Renée Fleming because she has a perfectly trained voice that is technically spotless but still capable of carrying emotion.

It is amazing how much energy is going on there, especially with Philipp (Maier). I really wonder where this man gets all this energy and power, because he's kind of a lonesome fighting warrior. He is creating a philharmonic orchestra and choir. If you look to other countries that have a philharmonic orchestra or choir, there is always public support because this is the only way to make these things happen. But they are totally on their own.

I had one music teacher who was an old man and almost retired. He had been on stage for at least 40 years. He taught me that at the end it's not so important that you are 100 per cent perfect on every technical aspect because if the emotion is carried on, it is another dimension. It is more important to be honest with the audience and to really share inner emotions than to only concentrate on hitting perfect tunes. It is just about giving the audience a great time and if the audience feels that you are trying hard they are very forgiving. If you are snobby and you think that the audience are just there as decorations for your performance then it will never work.

UAE Philharmonic Orchestra, 8pm, tomorrow, Emirates Palace, West End Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Tickets Dh125-175. Call 04 367 6520 or visit @email:www.boxofficeme.com