Danielle de Niese answers your questions

Danielle de Niese took over the Classic FM Twitter account on Friday 30 July to answer your questions.

Photo by Chris Dunlop/Decca

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions - we received SO many - via Twitter, Facebook and classicfm.com. Danielle answered as many as she could in an hour.

Read some of the interview below:

Did your passion for singing start with a loofah masquerading as a microphone in the bath?

DD: Haha, that's kind of true! I showed at a very young age (about 3-4 yrs old) that I had a thing for singing and performing. I would always be caught singing to myself and play acting on my own - my wonderful parents enrolled me in everything: singing, acting, dancing, piano, music theory etc, and I took to it like a duck to water - I was totally bitten and smitten and the love affair continues!

What were your first vocal teachers like? What arias did you learn?

DD: My first teacher was mom - she's still teaching/coaching me. 2nd teacher - wonderful woman I started with when I was almost 9 years old: I studied things like Vaccai scales, the Viardot exercises, I sang Gounod's Ave Maria, Haydn's Creation (I loved With Verdure Clad!), Ives, and other song composers like Schubert. I sang things that I was able to sing (nothing heavy), and mom sat in on every lesson!

In my teens(in LA) I learned arias like Deh Vieni (Figaro), Piangero - V'adoro pupille (Giulio Cesare), songs( Schubert, Schumann, Faure, Wolf).

If you were only allowed to sing one more time, where would that be and what would you sing?

DD: That's a really hard one - If I could sing only one more time, I'd sing Evergreen by Barbara Streisand with my mom in harmony. I remember singing it with my mom at the piano and her teaching me how to phrase it, and I can't hear that song without crying! I heart mom!

What’s your favourite opera and who is your musical idol?

DD: Favourite opera: Le Nozze di Figaro (it was just featured in my TV show Diva Diaries), Giulio Cesare, Manon, Falstaff, The Rake’s Progress, Don Pasquale etc. Sorry, that's way more than 1!  Favourite musical idol - From childhood to present, Dame Kiri te Kanawa! I just raced back from a two-hour lesson with her, and I've been seeing her every morning this week- AWESOME!! She's a great great teacher.

I really would like to know what profession you would go into if you were not a singer?

DD: Ooh- I used to fill this out on a kids paper game called Mash! If I wasn't a singer, I'd be a gold medal winning Olympic Figure Skater... like Oksana Baiul!! Or I suppose I could be a lawyer too, but I can't say I ever dreamt of it - though I used to love debate in school... but definitely figure skating/dancing would be TOP! What else? I think that's it really! I can't really imagine life witihout singing!!


To read the complete interview, go to Classic FM's Twitter page: twitter.com/classicfm_1