Juliane STOZENBACH RAMOS
Juliane received a grant to help her study at The Teatro Real
What is your artistic background ?
I was born in Lisbon but we moved to Germany seven months later and I lived there ever since until last year, when I moved to Madrid for the programme “Crescendo” at the Teatro Real and then decided to stay in Madrid because I fell in love with the city and the people. My mom is a violinist and my step father is a pianist, so I grew up being surrounded by classical music and actually started playing violin myself when I was five because I really wanted to and already was “playing” with a papmaché violin my mom made for me. So when I was five years old she got me my first tiny little violin and with six, seven years I started taking violin lessons from another teacher and for a short time when I was 10 I got lessons from a retired professor from the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Jörg Hofman, which I took on again when I was 16 and was going for studying violin. In between I got lessons from my first teacher and my mom. When I was 13 years old though, people started telling me that I had a beautiful voice and that I should take singing lessons. I always loved to sing in school and apparently I sang a lot and very loud before I even talked, so it has always been there, it wasn’t until I started with singing lessons with Barbara Ostertag though, that I discovered that I had a real talent. I first started with musical singing because classical singing was a bit “weird” for me as a teenager, but then my grandma sent me this disc of Anna Netrebko and I remember listening to her singing “Sempre libera” from “La Traviata” and I was completely blown away and said to myself “I wanna be able to sing like that” and so the next lesson we started with classical singing because my first teacher is a classical singer as well. One, two years later, she passed me on to her teacher Heidemarie Tiemann and I did my first competition “Jugend Musiziert” with 15 and ended up winning a 3d prize at the national finals which made me realise that apparently I was good at it. By that time I heard for the first time that one can do a pre-college study at a music university and so with 16 years I auditioned for the professor which would then become my professor and mentor for many years and to whom I owe so much more than just my singing: Dorothea Wirtz. With 17 I did one semester of pre-college but then started in the same year with the Bachelor of Music after deciding to leave school without graduating, which was one of the best decisions of my life. I then studied my Bachelor and Master in Freiburg at the Hochschule für Musik with Dorothea Wirtz and in my master additionally with Markus Eiche. At the end of my master I started studying privately with Natale de Carolis in Italy but had to stop because of Covid19 and financial reasons. I finished my masters in 2020 and it took me over 18 months until I finally found a new teacher in January 2022 that will guide me from now on, which is Raúl Gimenez. I tried various times to get into an opera studio but it never worked out and all became additionally difficult with the pandemic because I finished my masters in the beginning of the pandemic. So it wasn’t until March 2021 that I finally got into a programme, and not just anyone, but the first edition of “Crescendo” at the Teatro Real, which actually is the theatre from all the theatres in the world I mostly wanted to sing in. And through Crescendo I actually had my first premiere there with “Cendrillon” from Pauline Viardot, singing Cendrillon myself which really was a dream come true.
What is your view on your profession today ?
I think being an opera singer today in a way is harder than ever. The opera world is changing a lot and the competition meanwhile is insanely huge and a lot of times it’s not even about art, about authenticity, great singing but about being the type they are searching for, the right connections, opinions, money, business. So I feel like it is not enough to be a great singer, you need to look good as well and you need to be at the right place in the right moment and be what they are searching for in that very moment. And there was an era where singers were treated extremely well and in our days from what I hear from my colleagues that are in that profession for a couple of years already, one is being treated mostly more like a product or even a “slave” of the classical music industry or is at the mercy of people in higher positions. So having said all that, I think it only makes sense to take on this profession if this truly is your passion, not doing it is absolutely unimaginable and you are therefore ready to sacrifice a lot. If it is truly your passion though, there is nothing more beautiful than standing on a stage singing, creating art and magical moments, working with inspiring people, being in dialogue with an audience, growing, learning and moving people and connecting them with their emotions which -in a world where people are so disconnected from themselves and their emotions- holds a profound value. For me personally opera, classical singing, art in general is more needed than ever. The world is becoming more digital and artificial intelligence is on the rise and the only thing that artificial intelligence can not do is create true art, be empathic, understand and feel. A robot will never be able to touch someone’s heart and truly move someone to tears with singing from the core of their soul, like an opera singer is capable. So for me it is crucial that we focus on art to continue to remind people of and connet them to their humanness.
How do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years ?
Happy, doing what I love and being surrounded by beautiful people and inspiring others to create the life they want. I see myself singing beautiful, challenging and interesting roles in opera houses and concert venues where I am being appreaciated for being me and being authentic. Places that are human and heartfelt and where people instead of competing, are working together and supporting each other to create magic. I realised that for me it is not that important to sing at the biggest opera houses of the world and be a famous opera singer, but rather being given opportunities to grow, learn, develope myself in every way, create art with amazing people and really move and inspire people through my singing.
Interview réalisée en 2022
Photographie : Julia Grandperret