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Barbora Polášková - interview, FOKus, April 2010

When did you decide to be a professional singer?

I guess I didn´t make any decision; rather, it was singing that made the choice for me. My fairy godmothers endowed me with a good voice, and the rest has been a natural process, sort of. You have to work a lot, and to have just a little bit of luck too, but essentially I believe it´s a matter of being predestined for something, and then it´s all up to you how you handle your gift. To be more up to the point, though, I started to sing at the age of six, in the children´s choir Radost Praha, where my love of music gradually deepened. Eventually, it came to feel only natural for me to wish to become a solo singer, and therefore, to go to study at the conservatory, which I duly did, and whence I graduated a few years back.

 

Whom would you single out as a crucial influence so far?

In my singing, or in my personal life? As for the former, I´d give a pride of place there to my professor, Jaroslava Niederlová, whose voice coaching has really suited me ideally, making me want to carry on along the road to self-improvement. Apart from that, I´ve been fascinated by the flawless expression embodied by Maria Callas, and by the vocal style of Vesselina Kasarova, drawing immense inspiration from their recordings. And my role-models in life are my parents who have always offered me endless support and encouragement in the pursuit of my “hobby.”

 

Which appearances, projects or engagements of your career do you regard as particularly auspicious?

I´m afraid it´s not up to me to judge, I´d much rather leave that to the audience, though there have been moments I do consider especially thrilling and inspiring. For instance, I saw as a major challenge the Advent concert for the President and his wife at Lány last year. Then there was the appearance with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in the Music to Touch series, and also my work with The Czech Ensemble Baroque.

A landmark in my career came with work on my first CD which was released in November 2009. This was a crucial, intense professional experience for me, and I believe I stood up to the occasion, even given the immense pressure of studio time allotment.

 

Are you looking forward to your debut at the Smetana Hall? Are you aware of the respect it elicits in most singers?

I´m ever so much looking forward to it. It´s been traditionally held that the Smetana Hall is not exactly the best venue for singers, but I´m not afraid. Frankly, I feel a healthy bit of respect for each and every concert hall. I believe it´s going to be an amazing experience.

 

What will you be singing?

I´ll sing my favourite Habanera, and Saint-Saëns´ Dalila. Then there will be several duets, and a trio to which I´m particularly looking forward, as I enjoy communicating on stage, I love the blending of voices and their resulting harmony which is different every time. I hope the concert will become for the audience a very special occasion for listening to operatic repertoire sung by three young talented soloists.