Five minutes with…Celeste Lazarenko, soprano

In the lead up to the premiere of ‘An Australian War Requiem’ in August, we asked each of our soloists for their thoughts on being part of such an important work. Celeste Lazarenko kindly answered, as follows:

What is the most poignant (and enduring) image evoked for you by the words?

A moment of contemplation - Celeste Lazarenko at the Sydney Town Hall, Verdi Requiem, 2013

A moment of contemplation – Celeste Lazarenko at the Sydney Town Hall, Verdi Requiem, 2013. (Photographer: Tibor Morvay)

My ‘character’ in this piece is that of the Mother to the missing—a really terribly symbolic and moving character. She mourns and longs for the loss of her sons. She is not only, in many ways, a ‘living’ character, in that so many letters exist between sons and mothers especially in WWI because these boys who perished were just so young, but she can also represent the Holy Mother, who mourns the tragic fate of her beloved son, even the Motherland mourning her departed. I can imagine the communication between mother and son would have been terribly important when facing death in war for young men. I know that importance is recognised strongly in this piece.

What are you looking forward to most about the premiere on August 10?

Seeing this piece fleshed out. Being a premiere it is sure to be new to everyone and it will be exciting to hear it come together.

What is on the horizon for you now?

I am in the beginning stages of picking apart the work I shall be involved in for Sydney Chamber Opera, Io Passion. Looks like it’s going to be a fantastic piece, if not terribly difficult to learn!

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