Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
To be honest I did not aspire a career in opera at all before I began studying at the Academy of Culture in Kharkov (Ukraine). Although I learned musical instruments at school and sang in a choir, upon finishing school I decided to try for the vocal department of the Academy on a whim, mostly to avoid military service. It is only when I met my first singing teacher there that I began to feel my connection to opera as an art form.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
The biggest challenge came at the very beginning – to stay true to my technique and my natural voice, no matter what the greats of the opera business were saying when I just started out. I think that for some my manner of singing seemed too mature and they thought that I wouldn’t last long because I was giving too much. It is a quite common piece of advice for a young singer – to take it easy and go lighter than the repertoire one really aspires to, but I am glad that I didn’t start singing, say, Mozart and Rossini, as someone suggested to me. Fast forward 15 years and my voice is as healthy as ever, even though there were people who said I wouldn’t last 5.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?
The Royal Opera House Covent Garden! Thanks to the most lovely and welcoming staff as a guest singer one does not feel the pressure although performing in one of the highest scale opera houses of the world. One can unfold the creativity and be oneself entirely, this is why some of my most inspired nights happened on the stage of the Royal Opera House.
What is your most memorable concert experience?
Verdi Requiem at the BBC Proms, the audience was standing so close and I could see the direct impact of the piece mirrored in the faces of the listeners, that was a unique experience.
For a more detailed interview with Dmytro Popov, including details of his new CD release, click here
Dmytro’s new album, ‘Hymns of Love’, is available now on the Orchid Classics label. Read a review
Artist image: Askonas Holt