Silvana Scarinci has been a strong presence in the Early Music scene in her native country, Brazil, combining musical interpretation and academic research. She is a professor at Federal University of Paraná (in Curitiba) where she directs the Early Music Laboratory, LAMUSA , a very active team of students, researchers and musicians who are responsible for the publication and interpretation of rare dramatic works. The score used by Haymarket Opera for Marais’ Ariane et Bacchus has been prepared by Silvana and LAMUSA – a laborious project developed during the last seven years. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at Birmingham Conservatoire (Birmingham City University), finalizing the critical edition of Ariane et Bacchus under the supervision of Professor Graham Sadler. Also under the scope of LAMUSA, Silvana created the acclaimed project "Baroque Opera for Kids", developed in public schools in Curitiba, which earned her a nomination to the most prestigious prize for women in South America, the "Claudia 2014 Prize" in the Culture category.
An eclectic performer, Silvana is often heard in concerts mixing the new and old, baroque or contemporary, classical or unconventional, alongside renowned musicians such as Marília Vargas, Paulo Mestre, Juan Manuel Quintana, Luís Otávio Santos, Joëlle Morton, Dominique Moaty, Moira Smilley or the popular musicians Lívia Nestrovski and Fred Ferreira or the Toronto jazz player Kirk Elliott (sitar and bouzoukand). Silvana has performed in the main concert halls and opera houses of Brazil under the direction of Martin Gester, Nicolau de Figueiredo, Marcelo Fagerlande, Júlio Moretzhon, Abel Rocha, and most recently under Jeffrey Skidmore in the UK. While living in the US, she was a founding member of Anima Fortis, a group of women performing women’s music – the group earned an award from Early Music America.
Silvana has taught master classes at several festivals and universities within her country and abroad, and will be teaching at Birmingham Conservatoire next Fall. She has been giving lectures or lecture-recitals and publishing articles on music of the 17th century on interdisciplinary themes, with emphasis on literature, gender and the classical tradition. Her book and CD on Barbara Strozzi was well received by Brazilian critics. She is a co-founder member of the Baroque orchestra Concert d'Apollon (Utrecht Early Music Festival, 2015).
Hear Silvana in our upcoming production of Marais' Ariane et Bachus!
What is the story of how you first came to love music and opera?
I came to love opera as I discovered the amazing universe of continuo playing. A classical guitarist for many years, thanks to a tendinitis, I moved into the softer stringed lutes and slowly discovered the joys of accompanying singers. From then on, there was no way backwards!
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
It can be difficult to balance my research activities with the demands of good quality performance.
Who inspires you?
Many many people, but I love watching women stepping fiercely on stage, surrendering completely to music.
Do you have a favorite opera?
I have to say the first one of all operas in history has still the power to overwhelm me, and every time fills me with awe and deep emotion: La favola d'Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi will never be surpassed by many others that also move me deeply.
Do you have any favorite books about music?
I think Ellen Rosand's Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice has been for so many years under my arm that I can probably consider it a favorite! It's fabulous, and I highly recommend it to whoever wants to understand the history of public opera.
What else are you reading?
Many books on Taoism, including the Tao of Pooh.
Who are your favorite 17th- and 18th-century composers?
Claudio Monteverdi, Marin Marais (how could he not be a favorite, after 7 years bent over Ariane et Bacchus sources?!), Henry Purcell, Francesco Cavalli, and Barbara Strozzi, just to mention a few.
If you were stranded on a desert island, is there one piece of music you would like to have with you?
Il Lamento della ninfa, by Monteverdi (on Alessandrini's memorable recording)
What do you love about HOC?
Their courage to engage in this amazing project of producing Marin Marais' forgotten opera!
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not making art?
Practicing Tai Chi and Chi Kung - or cooking (but this is all art...)
What is the first thing you think about in the morning?
I wake up wondering if the sun is shining.
Do you have any heroes/heroines?
Dido, my favorite character, from Virgil and Ovid to Cavalli, Desmarest, and especially Purcell!
What music do you listen to most often?
Baroque, baroque, and baroque! Brazilian music, some romantic, in its intimate context (lieder, string quartets).
If you had not entered into your current career what do you think you would have done instead?
An actress? A cook? A seamstress?