The distinguished mezzo-soprano, Vivica Genaux, who just sang Arsace in Rossini’s Semiramide at the Caramoor Festival to great acclaim, very kindly agreed to an interview. We talked about a great many things, from her fondness for Caramoor (This will be her fifth complete opera performance there.) and her future plans to baroque performance practice, Regieoper, the famous castrato Farinelli, gender and trouser roles (a speciality of hers), her teachers and favorite colleagues, the composers who have most shaped her career—Rossini, Handel, and Johann Adolf Hasse—as well as her fondness for her native state, Alaska, and the opportunities it gave her in finding a place in the arts.
In recent years Ms. Genaux has been much more active in Europe than in North America (She lives in Italy.), but she retains an avid following the in the US, and her recitals and operatic appearances are always sold out. The excerpts from Arsace’s recitative and aria, “Eccomi alfine qui in Babilonia”, which begins and ends this interview, will explain why.