Currents Winter 2018; Vol. 34, No. 1 - Page 16

AWCH Members and Events American Women’s Club of Hamburg Luncheon with Kartal Karagedik —Report from the Opera Club "To be the goose bumps!" replies Kartal Karage- dik to the question "What is the goal of an opera singer?" And belting out of few lines from Verdi’s aria "Io morrò, ma lieto in core," he certainly was that for the covey of ten AWCH Opera Group members sitting around a table at Speicher 52. Our "Busi- ness Lunch" goes pretty much unnoticed, as it is served behind the scenes of our fascinating dialogue with "our" Baritone—a member of the Hamburg Opera Ensemble since 2015. Kartal did not grow-up with the idea of becoming an opera star (his grade school teacher clearly dis- couraged a singing career). His acceptance to the Vocal Department at the Music Conserva- tory in Izmir, Turkey was also a surprise, which he quickly adopted as a strategy to obtain en- try into the conservatory’s "composer tract"—a goal he developed during his training in the tourism business (think: hotel music.) Astute teachers and loyal supporters accompanied him to a number of singing contests, in which both the prizes and recognition started piling up. A star baritone is born! are only a few of many questions facing the newly married couple. Hobbies? Yes, his prize money has allowed him to buy the equipment wanted to fol- low his other love—photography, but one cannot buy time. His life is busy. Juggling two singing careers and a 4-month-old puppy, he and his Belarussian wife travel from one venue to the next, supporting each other to learn the next libretto on the road. What role to accept and which one to postpone for an- other date? When can he break ties with the Ham- burg Ensemble, which due to its large repertoire is quite time demanding, and when can he begin to concentrate on just a few outstanding roles. These But then Kartal turns the conversation back to us. We too are part of the "tripod"—the composer, the performers, the audience. We too must understand the intent of the composer, to interact and to com- municate with the performers. What are our fa- vorite operas? And his? Amidst of flurry of great operas, including Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Kartel plays the role of Eugene in the Hamburg production) and Beethoven’s Fidelio (our next pro- ject), pops the name Don Carlo —Verdi’s opera now playing in Leipzig, with none other than Kartal as the protagonist Ro- drigo. Don’t we want to join him in Leipzig? A chorus of 'Yes!'— and then Elizabeth knows she will have extra work this season. (Carol Harbers) 16 www.awchamburg.org