In the term of the Virgo ­ Interview with Eva Marton

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„Our door is always stands open”

In the mirror of the faces – seven decades of Eva Marton

She just arrives home from Saint Petersburg, from the Singing competition of Obraztsova, and she

is already working on Saturday morning in the main building of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music

with her colleagues. They are preparing the new translation of Die Zauberflöte, as she is the leader

of the production, which will be premiered in December. However Eva Marton celebrated her 70

birthday this summer, she has several things to do nowadays. She, who bears the rank of Professor

Emerita, after her meeting, told me about her seventy years and her many faces. The world famous

soprano thinks that, however we live our life with one body we are continuously changing,

producing; the world sees always different side of us.

The Beginner

The new production of Die Zauberflute will be premiered in December at the Chamber Hall of the

Franz Liszt Academy of Music with new crew. This opera of Mozart reminds me distant

memories. As a beginner I have sang my First drama in Frankfurt. My carrier abroad started with

Wagner’s Freia. By the time I finished my studies in 1968, there were 13 other soprano in front of

me waiting for position in the Hungarian State Opera. It has been hard to accept that although I

have been young, pretty, and talented and I like to work I have had to wait until everyone retired in

front of me. I decided I do not have the time for that. Zu Hilfe, zu Hilfe! – I have sung here in Das

Rheingold and the help has arrived. In the role of Freia I have been discovered, and I have received

an offer abroad, and I have been taken from one role to another. Luck is always has its place in a

life, but we also need to work for the favor of Fortuna. Also today the offers do not come on a

silver plate either; this is one thing I try to tell my students. To begin their career, a singing

competition could help a lot.

Head of Jury

I felt wonderful at Saint Petersburg, where Jelena Obraztsova has organized her 9

competition. I sat in the jury among many of my friends and specialists of the field, and I invited

many of them in to the jury of the competition next year here in Hungary. As, the International Eva

Marton Singing Competition will be held next year, in 2014 at the Academy of Music. Also I gave

my name to this event gladly as it is important that Hungary have a competition, too. This way the

Hungarian talents can also be introduced. I noticed earlier that the Hungarian singers do not really

move on their own, but those artist who perform need to be able to change and they have to do that

on this competitions.

The Teacher

For 8 years I have been teaching on the Academy on the singing faculty. A teacher give

everything, even her soul to the students, but sometimes, as my experiences show, not everyone

able to walk this path. I, alone cannot make someone a good singer. It is sad when we see our

partner is missing, and I have heard that from younger people “she is like that”. This is the

sentence I have never said. We cannot afford to be “like that”. A person has hundreds of faces and

because of every little stir and reaction the world see her different. And an actor has to be true in

every role. Of course there are lots of my students I can be very proud, they have improved a lot

during the years. I also try to teach them that – as they might believe me – we cannot be

comfortable. My carrier made me happy, and still I am to give my experiences to the next

generation. I was born to be a Virgo, and yes sometimes I feel there are another person lives in me,

although my husband thinks even more.

Wife and mother

As my 70

on the book sale in Frankfurt by a German editor. It has been written by Dr. András Batta, but my

husband helped him a lot. As Zoltán has huge amount of documentation on the past years. There

are not black boxes on our shelves but black calendars that saves one year’s happenings, as my

husband always wrote a couple of sentences about what we were interested. When I was young I

just smiled on this, I did not understand it why is that needed, but now I am thankful for those little

notes. We have all the interviews, reports, and everything that shows my thought back then. Zoltán

knows everything about me as he stood and stands always beside me. For the carrier I have walked

through could not be done without a solid background of the family. During the years, our children

have grown up. Zoltán and Diana also formed their own family. It is beautiful to see that they live

happy life with their sons (20 and 23 years of age) and two daughters (7 and 3 years of age). And

for the grandparents would not need to go too far we all live in a house in Buda. Our door is

always stands open and we always find a reason for the family to come together, if nothing else

than beside of a huge bowl of strawberry ice­cream.

The friend of people

For me it is a great fun, to walk on the streets, or to take a tram to go home. I sit on the vehicle, and

I just watch the people. If I have mood than I just walk from the Academy and eat a slice of pizza.

I like it being among a lot of people, as my life use to be different. As a singer I had to keep

distance from people, and I had to take care of myself. I was living only for myself and for my

family. I am happy that this has changed. Zoltán and I planned that, when I finish singing we will

buy a small house in Austria and we will live there. We have let this idea go, as we probably

would gone insane of boredom.

The Mentor

Earlier I was focusing only on my work and my family. Now it can go to different directions, but

fortunately my tasks have common points. It is an honor to be the main counselor in the opera

house, and also I like in the evening to sit in the performances of the theatre. The Corvin Chain is a

huge present from life. I fall into a group of people with huge knowledge and intelligent, I can

learn so much from them and as only lady among them I enjoy very much. Also I enjoy being the

vice­president of the group. I wish there would be more people alike, who work for the

community. For me it is also important that I am member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, and I

am the leader of the Section of Theatre Arts there. I do it not for myself but for the Hungarian

culture and the international acceptance of it. As the offers came I was a bit afraid first time, but

then I learned to manage the tasks, and I did them one by one, and I did not left anything for later.

My life today is totally apart from how it was before. I got into the background, but I do not regret

it, by the time I was on the stage I knew what is missing from behind.

The professor emerita

When we are young we think we going to live forever, and we do not see the end of anything.

There happens a lot of thing we have to pay later. Everyone got he bill in the end. We all live our

life with one body, and we have to know how we should live. I exist in the present but I build the

future. I do not stop for some nostalgia. I receive a lot of question whether do I listen to old

th birthday was closing it was a perfect opportunity for that book, that has been premiered

recordings or not? I would gladly do that, remember the old times, but I do not have time for that,

fortunately. It was my decision that I don’t want to sing on stage anymore, and I hope I can keep

my fitness just as in mind as in health. I gave the leading work to Andrea Meláth and I teach as

professor emeriti along, I am forming my five students. I have lived 70 years, but I don’t feel like

something has closed. I am perfectly agreed with Gandhi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.

Learn as if you were to live forever.” Now a new part a new face starts.

Double Wagner

During her carrier Eva Marton has played many Wagner­heroines, more over there were Wagner-
drama where she played two roles at once. She met Wagner at her early years as her first role was

Freia in Das Rheingold in the Hungarian State Opera. Years after that she debuted as Eva in Die

Meistersinger von Nürnberg in the Metropolitan. She is one of the few Hungarian singers who got

invited to the Bayreuth Festival and could stand on the special stage of the Fastspielhaus which

was built as Wagner dreamed, in the roles as Elizabeth and as Venus in the Tannhäuser in 1977

and 1978. Also as a Wagner­heroine she stood on the stage first time at the Teatro Colon in

Buenos Aires as Elsa in Lohengrin. After that the Ring was the next, in the opera of San Francisco

her debut was Brünnhilde from Siegfried and Gütterdämmerung. As the Elizabeth of the

Tannhäuser she was the artist of the year in 1982 by the opinion of the New York Times at the

Metropolitan Opera in New York. Also she made double in the Lohengrin as after Elsa she played

Ortrud too, first at the MET in New York. She also sang Brünnhilde in the Die Walküre, first in

Geneva; later the Hungarian audience could see her in this role. The whole Ring’s Brünnhilde has

been sung often by her in Paris, in Chicago and in Berlin. Then came Kundry in Parsifal in Palau

del Musica in Barcelona. Into her Wagner repertoire finally Izolda also got a place, she sang first it

at the Hamburgische Staatsoper.

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Lyukas Óra
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