Danielle de Niese: People tell me ‘you don’t look like an opera singer’
15 June 2018, 17:09
“We need to fight those old stereotypes that people think are a barrier towards experiencing classical music,” the operatic soprano told Classic FM’s Margherita Taylor at the Classic BRITs.
Australian-American soprano Danielle de Niese is one of today’s most exciting young stars, who the New York Times magazine hailed as “opera’s coolest soprano.”
At Wednesday’s Classic BRIT Awards, she spoke to Classic FM about why championing classical music is so important to her.
Why is it so important to you to keep championing the art form?
“I’m a young person, I’m a woman, I’m mixed heritage. I think I’m not the person that you’d expect when you associate classical music with the stereotypes.
“In a way, that ‘fish out of water’ thing has made me an unexpected weapon, as a crusader of classical music.
“I’ve done so much work with students since I was eight years old, and the most common thing that people have said is ‘You don’t look like an opera singer’. So it’s just about fighting those old perpetual motions that people think are a barrier towards experiencing classical music.”
If there’s one thing you think we could change about diversity within classical music and opera, what would it be?
“We just need to get people in. There are so many wonderful, dynamic artists. It’s about continuing to spread our net a bit wider.
“I believe in people’s ability to assess great music, great art, great theatre, regardless of whether they feel educated enough. “You don’t need to have a degree to appreciate classical music, you just need to have a heart.”