Inside The Mind of Enrique Mazzola
by Kathleen Sykes
What’s the best part about working in the arts? While getting tickets to concerts and being around beautiful art is nothing to complain about, if you ask my opinion, it’s that we get to be around people who are passionate about life and their work all the time!
Before guest artists come into town, we like to offer them a chance to respond to a question or two so you can get to know how their brain works. This weekend’s conductor, however, went the extra mile and gave us a fabulous look into his life as an artist and this week’s concert:
What are you most passionate about?
In general, music is my main passion. Music is my life, my work, my studies, the reason for my travels, my way to explore the world and get to know new people.
What are some of the experiences that shaped you as a person and an artist over the last year and a half?
The last 19 months have been terribly difficult for the entire world, with the pandemic heavily affecting all of the performing arts—no more concerts, and cancellation after cancellation. We artists had learned to start again from scratch, just doing what we know how to do, from home, with a simple mobile phone and a musical instrument—or just singing. Throughout the world, all artists have reacted to the absence of the performing arts with mini-concerts and shows—all completely homemade.
Of course, I also participated. I created a series of videos on how to read an opera orchestra score in detail (it was Verdi’s Attila). Then in Chicago I and the Lyric Opera created different events with the orchestra, the chorus, and the young artists of the Ryan Opera Center. It has been a super creative period!
What are three things people should listen for on the works you’re performing?
- When I perform a piece, I try to be as close as possible to the original music text of the composer.
- When I conduct, I like to create a detailed, sharp, transparent sound with the orchestra.
- When I read a new piece, I always try to imagine the dramaturgy which is hidden behind the notes—meaning that sometimes, even in pure symphonic pieces, I feel there is a “story” that the composer had in mind when she or he wrote the piece.
What is a major life challenge you have overcome that has made you a better artist and person now?
Probably the biggest life challenge I’ve had in my life was my arrival in Italy from Spain when I was five years old. New country, new language, in some ways a new family. But it’s this life change which changed my life forever, because in Milano I started my music education, and my “Italian life” created the artist I am today.
Don’t miss this weekend’s concert—we’re saving you a seat! Get your tickets here.