meet soprano Zita Tátrai tonight on “Operatoonity”

Zita Tátrai

Have you ever met someone with so many gifts, you know she was destined for truly remarkable things? Today’s guest, Hungarian-born soprano, Zita Tátrai, is such a talent.         

(And has so many of them–talents that is).         

She sings, is a stage actress, is a principal voiceover artist for movies and television, writes articles and short stories for the Hungarian Evening News, and she paints, so beautifully, she was commissioned by the United Nations to paint a mural in Honduras and her paintings are in many private collections.         

As an opera singer, she certainly made her mark quickly. She was a finalist of the “Cittá del Alcamo” International Singing Competition 2006, and semi-finalist of the Rocca Delle Macíe International Singing Competition 2006, the 5TH Ottavio Ziino International Opera Competition in Rome 2006 and The First International Singing Competition “Tommaso Traetta”  in 2007.         

You’ve had a great deal of success as a stage and film actress. When did you start your operatic studies and why? I always loved singing, but only started to deal with opera after I listened to a Tosca record with Maria Callas, and followed the lyrics from the booklet of the LP. It was magical. I realised how in an opera one has to be perfect musician, actor and singer at the same time! It is a great challenge. That was the moment I’ve got hooked up. Lots of training and study followed, first in Hungary, then everywhere else I could find the right Master for my next steps.         


Where in Hungary did you grow up? And where is home these days?
I was born and raised in the North East part of the country amongst lovely hills and woods. I still love the countryside and nature with great passion. As a teenager I moved to Budapest, and started my acting career. If you have ever been to Budapest, you will understand why it has been called the Paris of the East by many (although it is rather in the middle of Europe not so much East,) and why all the men keep saying how gorgeous girls are there. They really are.  In the last 7 years I have lived in England, and it became my second home country. I have learned very much from the English people, and I found them very noble, and proud with a special love and interest in classical music.         

Budapest, across the Danube

You sing a lot of recitals in Europe. Which do you prefer–recitals or performing in an opera?        

They both have their beauty but as an actress, my true love is opera, being the character, interacting with my partners and telling a story in this ultimately aesthetic form is something which can be the most wonderful experience. I only can recommend it to anyone to go to your closest Opera Theatre and enjoy the ride! (most of them have subtitles nowadays, which helps understanding the story.) And while you are there, observe how Opera Singers don’t use any microphones, and can be louder than the full orchestra, filling the theatre with their voice solely using the resonating parts of their body as amplifiers.         

What is your typical day like?
After my coffee and checking and answering my mail, I usually start to practise and prepare for my next performance, or learn new roles, and always try to find a new angle or different viewpoint to work on. I am very passionate about music, and have a great deal of joy out of studying, and discovering more and more possibilities in the pieces. As fitness is very important in singing I try to make myself run 2-3 times a week, and also do some other exercises, then if I do not have any other social duty I would go back to my music, and studies, or paintings.        

Zita's painting, entitled Lake 2

You’ve taken masterclasses is New York. Have you performed in the U.S.? If not, would you like to?
No, I haven’t performed in the U.S. yet but yes, I would really love to.     

If you fulfill your ambition, what is your life like in five years?  In ten years?
Ha, ha! In five: I’m singing the greatest Dramatic Soprano roles in the greatest houses; in ten: about the same, but being even better in it, and maybe having some children too.        

I see you have a lot of Verdi in your repertoire? Is he your favorite composer? What is your favorite role? Your favorite opera (and why?)
This is a very difficult question. I love Verdi. At the same time Puccini made me fall for opera on the first place. I could say my voice’s favourite composer is Verdi. My favourite roles are changing as I am working on something new it grows on me and for that time it becomes my favourite. It changes.        

As a European, what is the center of the opera universe, in your opinion?
The minds and hearts of those people, who love it, and who care enough to introduce others to this miracle.        

One fun fact about Zita is that she is the voice of “Xena, The Warrior Princess,” the Hungarian language version. Incredible, no?        

Zita, you are a woman so blessed, you have gifts to tackle any challenge before you.         

Readers, you will enjoy this YouTube clip of Zita singing from Turandot (by Puccini):        

YouTube Preview Image


Filed under 21st Century Opera, Classic Opera, Classical Composers, Interviews, Performers

7 Responses to meet soprano Zita Tátrai tonight on “Operatoonity”

  1. Pingback: if it’s Tuesday, ask Richard . . . « Operatoonity

  2. Gale

    Thanks for visiting, Smorg. And for the props on the interview. A great subject makes a great interview.

  3. Great interview, Gale! I hadn’t heard of her before. A lady of many talents indeed. Hope to see her Turandot live one day! :o)

  4. Gale

    Thanks for stopping, Barbara. If you have a chance, take a look at some of the sites on my blogroll. Those folks can help you in your quest to become more opera literate.

  5. Very interesting article and Zita has a beautiful voice! I am just starting out learning opera and trying to read up on it as much as possible to get an idea of the whole genre.

  6. Gale

    That is a lovely portrait, Andrea. Thank you for visiting and do stop back.

  7. Thank you very much for featuring her!! As a fellow singer from her hometown in Hungary, I am very proud of Zita. She indeed deserves the biggest stages. And she is also a great friend, a wonderful person!

    Not to forget about her photography, she is very good at portraits – see my avatar here… 🙂