Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
A dream – I was 5 years old – in my dream I was standing on a big stage – an opera stage – and I sang – OPERA – I was shocked because I wanted to be a ROCK STAR!
Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
I was 8 years old and every day I would listen to opera music on vinyl that I would borrow from the library with the goal to sing all this kind of stuff, in reality later perfectly….at the opera houses… like the Queen of the Night, Konstanze, Fiordiligi, Donna Anna (by Mozart), Elisabeth from Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and and more… most of them I have sung!
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
I am my own boss and I create everything myself. I founded my own agency, my own Italian orchestra, Amici Veneziani, I create my own projects and recordings. I have to fight hard for a better quality, for a better relationship between the musicians, for more LOVE between the artists !
And this year I even produced and promoted my own concert at the Berliner Philharmonie in order to present my new album MIO CARO HÄNDEL. It was a huge responsibility, but I made it!
Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?
My Mio Caro Handel concert this year at the Berliner Philharmonie with my Orchestra Amici Veneziani and the splendid audience – unforgettable moments, full of love and energy.
Which particular works do you think you perform best?
I love Baroque music. Händel is my ideal, I love him and he loves me. I am in spiritual contact with him….Vivaldi, Porpora, Purcell and Hasse as well, but also songs of our time – everything
I don’t like being put in a box. My next project for example – SINS and VIRTUES – will include Baroque music by Hasse, Vivaldi Bach, Händel, Caldara, Albinoni, Bononcini, Vinci, but also rearranged works by Lady Gaga, Sting, Led zeppelin, again with my Orchestra Amici Veneziani (release date February 2020 on the Sony label)
How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?
I perform what I feel is good for me, and I strive to reach out to the audience and make them and our world a better one. We are living in such chaos and I feel music helps to heal. My responsibility is to touch people with good music and I like offering them topics such as Sins and Virtues as guidance.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?
I love a lot of places, especially when the acoustics are good. But what is even more important to me is whom I perform with and with what music.
What is your most memorable concert experience?
As I said my own Concert this year in Berlin Philharmonie, and also a Concert in Moscow years ago with 1000 people in the choir (Beethovens 9th). Australia wasn’t bad as well – Sydney and Melbourne.
As a musician, what is your definition of success?
Authenticity, honesty, humility before the music, good energy, self-confidence, never be afraid, and love – from the heart and the soul – to share with all the people
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
Not to be afraid, be authentic and honest, and share always your love and energy, never lose your fantasy – be a child always… and yet be grounded.
Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?
I don’t know – I think I will sing – and cook? Maybe I’ll have a garden, maybe I have students for a vocal training…
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Music is my first love – then real LOVE and a healthy EARTH ….
What is your most treasured possession?
My daughter, my life, my music , my friends, my love
What is your present state of mind?
I wish we could respect our earth more and make it into a better place for our children and the generations to come. We can never live without music, without love. These are things that make my soul cry
Simone Kermes performs with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Mozart’s Requiem, 10-12 October. Full details here
Simone Kermes studied under Professor Helga Forner at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University of Music and Theatre in Leipzig, her home town. She completed her studies and two additional courses of study with distinction. She is the holder of many prizes awarded at international singing competitions.
Opera performances have taken her as Konstanze, the Queen of the Night, Fiordiligi, Donna Anna, Giunia, Rosalinde, Lucia, Gilda, Ann Truelove, Alcina and Laodice, among other roles, to New York, Paris, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Moscow, Beijing and German state opera houses. She has given solo concerts and lieder evenings all over Europe, as well as in the USA, Australia, the Sultanate of Oman, China, Russia, Mexico and Japan.
In addition to many radio and television productions, she has recorded numerous CDs. For her solo albums she has received a number of international awards, such as the annual award of the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d`Or, Midem Award, Choc Le Monde de la Musique and Gramophone magazine’s Recording of the Month. For her album entitled Colori d`amore she was the winner of the Echo Klassik in the highest category, Female Singer of the Year, in 2011. In 2012 the Munich Abendzeitung awarded Simone Kermes its Star of the Year Award, and in April 2013 she received one of Russia’s highest cultural awards, the Golden Mask, for her performances as Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Tchaikovsky State Academic Theatre in Perm.
Simone Kermes received the Echo Klassik 2014 award for the opera of the year.