This blog continues its series of profiles of young American, Canadian, and British singers who visit or live in Germany to sing. Their answers to a small set of questions show what it takes to pursue the career of their dreams. London-based soprano and educator Danae Eleni travels throughout the world to sing and perform, but likes to return to the Berlin area for recitals and inspiration.
Born in Bahrain to Greek and English parents. (Bahraini-born Anglo-Greek Soprano)
Your favorite role:
I have so many… Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro); but in German repertoire I love Pamina, and Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier); Anne Trulove in English… I also love creating roles with/for composers…
Your hero in opera:
Anne Trulove – she follows her heart.
Your recent performance:
Song cycle “The Gift of Life” by Chet Biscardi, for the Sarah Lawrence Programme at Oxford University.
Your recent performance in Germany, Austria or Switzerland:
Recital of Summer Songs in Jüterbog*; and a recital tour of solos for soprano and organ in Berlin and Brandenburg.
The biggest challenge in singing German opera or Lieder:
Remembering not to over darken the second schwa sound.
A thing or habit of Germans you find funny:
Love how “to-the-point” conversations can be, without the need for small talk.
A thing or habit of Germans you find annoying:
Sometimes I miss the small talk…
A story in which you were glad that you spoke German:
My train was delayed from Hannover to Köln, so I missed the last connection to Brussels. I think that being able to speak some German (through tears), helped me negotiate the (free) overnight taxi from Aachen straight to my digs. Deutsche Bahn’s customer service is amazing!
Your next project or performance, and where:
Poulenc’s “Gloria” at LSO St Luke’s in London, then Sophie excerpts from “Der Rosenkavalier” with Fulham Opera.
(More info here: www.danaeeleni.com/calendar)
Your favorite quality in a singer:
The ability to be completely in the character of a song or role as soon as they enter the stage. I love singers who have a variety of colours in their pianissimi also, they can be used to heartbreaking effect.
Your favorite German words:
* Jüterbog is a historic village, around 70 kilometers from Berlin. [AIF]
Watch and listen to Danae Eleni’s performance of Franz Lehar’s “Warum hast du mich wachgeküsst?” accompanied by Naomi Woo; Recorded by Svanholm Productions in London 2016
Listen to her audio recordings at: