Lyrical Singer

Christian received a grant to help his study at The Teatro Real

What is your artistic background ?
My name is Christian Gil Borrelli and I am a Spanish opera singer. Today I am devoted to my musical career, but it was not always like that. Let me tell you my story: I knew from a young age that I loved to sing and I joined the school choir when I had the chance, but that was far from my priority. I was always the best student, so when I finished High School I went straight to the University to study Medicine. After hard years of sacrifice, I finished my degree and specialised in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, with a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a Doctorate in Health Sciences, so I was hired to work in the Ministry of Health of my country. It was after a year working there when, ironically, I fully realised that what I really wanted to dedicate my life to was singing and performing professionally. Since then, I have focused myself on training as a singer, receiving my BA by the Escuela Superior de Canto of Madrid and the Universität der Künste Berlin, wining several opera prizes and scholarships, and performing around the world singing recitals, orchestra concerts and opera roles, proving that is never too late to follow and achieve your dreams. Nevertheless, my background as a medical doctor and my interest in improving the health of society remain deeply anchored in me and have inspired me to develop my own artistic projects, which address issues such as gender violence, LGBT rights or global warming and their impact on people’s health through music and performing arts.

What is your view on your profession today ?
Being an opera singer today is extremely demanding. You need to be prepared for everything, from singing with a perfect technique, but also genuinely expressing the emotions of the music, have a clear idea about the composers intentions, the historical interpretations and a command of four or five languages in which you will be sing. That study never ends. At the same time, you need to be present in every platform online showing your work to the world and maintaining an interesting image. But more important, you must have a real life outside all of that, in order to develop yourself as a human and a citizen and be aware about the world around you. As opera singers, we belong to a globalised market and we need to be ready to jump into different cities and cultures every week, be away from your family and friends for long periods of time, working extensive schedules also on weekends, taking care of your mental and physical health. You have to be really passionate about opera in order to give it your all. Fortunately, the reward of doing what you love is really worth it.

How do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years ?
My goals for the next 5 years are to continue evolving as an opera singer and artist, facing new musical challenges and operatic roles but also creating my own artistic projects. In 10 years, I would see myself still singing in opera productions but also giving back to my community, promoting music and art as an artistic director of a festival or a theatre and involved in the education and promotion of new generations of singers.

This interview was conducted in 2021
Photography credit: Julia Grandperret