20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS WITH: Baritone Paulo Szot
By Albert Imperato
The charismatic Polish Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot, who captured international media attention and unanimous critical acclaim with his Tony-winning portrayal of Emile De Becque in the revival of South Pacific, contributes to our informal Q & A series.
Szot studied singing in Poland, and made his operatic debut was in São Paulo as Figaro in The Barber of Seville. His debut in New York was in 2003 with City Opera as Escamillo in Carmen. He began his current season at the Dallas Opera – also a debut – as Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
1. A few works of classical music that you adore:
It 's hard to mention a few, but: Mozart's Symphony N.25 in G minor, Chopin's Piano Sonata N. 3in B minor Op.58, Mahler's Symphony No. 5
2. Classical music recordings that you treasure:
Beethoven's Symphonies conducted by Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Mozart Operas conducted by James Levine
3. Favorite non-classical musicians and/or recordings:
Tom Jobim, Richard Rodgers, Marvin Hamlisch, Stanislaw Hadyna, Chico Buarque, Astor Piazzolla
4. Music that makes you cry – any genre:
Chopin's Nocturnes, especially Op. 48 No. 1
5. Definitely underrated work(s) or composer (s):
Maybe Stanislaw Moniuszko
6. Possibly overrated work(s) or composer (s):
I am not sure. I don't believe there's a rule to love a composer or a piece. One can adore Mozart, while others don't.
7. Live music performance (s) you attended – any genre – that you’ll never forget:
The first concert of the Polish Ensemble Slask and my first opera at the Metropolitan Opera House
8. A few relatively recent films you love:
Talk to Her, Pride and Prejudice, Vicki Cristina Barcelona, Gran Torino, City of God, Invictus.
9. A few films you consider classics:
Tartuffe (Murnau), Children of Paradise (Carné), E La Nave Va (Fellini), The Dresser (Yates), Gone with the Wind, Star Wars, The Sound of Music, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple.
10. A few books that are important to you (and why):
Voltaire: Candide, or the Optimist; Poems by Fernando Pessoa; Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard; Machado de Assis: Memorias Postumas de Braz Cubas (a post-mortem and very interesting way of looking back at life); Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray, to mention a few.
11. Thing(s) about yourself that you’re most proud of:
I stand for what I believe without trying to make others having the same opinion.
12. Thing(s) about yourself that you’re embarrassed by:
My tendency to believe in people
13. Three things you can’t live without:
Sun, showers and the Internet
14. “When I want to get away from it all I…”
...stop answering the phone, checking e-mails and never tell anyone where I am going to be.
15. “People are surprised to find out that I…”
16. “My favorite cities are…”
...by the ocean
17. “I have a secret crush on…”
If I tell you I will ruin my secret
18. “My most obvious guilty pleasure is…”
19. “I’d really love to meet (or to have met)…”
20. “I never understood why…”
...some people can just close their eyes and fall asleep whenever they want.
21. Question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer to that question):
Q: What do YOU like to DO?
A: I like to stay home, with my dogs and plant
Past installments of 20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS:
Albert Imperato, a music promoter who co-founded 21C Media Group in January 2000, writes frequently about the arts for various publications and blogs.
His new series, 20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS, is his take on (and nod to) Vanity Fair's "Proust Questionnaire."
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