'I'll come back to India'

'I'll come back to India'


Trained at the Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and The Escuela Superior de Canto, Stefan Sanchez is the producer of the European Chamber Opera.

The Mexican-Welsh musician is the youngest soloist for New Saddlers Wells Opera and has performed throughout the world.

He is also the founder artistic director of ‘Holland Park Opera’ and through his five year marketing and repertoire plan, he managed to organise, what is recognised as the best summer opera festival in London today.

Stefan was in the City recently for an opera show. In an interaction with Metrolife, he shared his thoughts on opera, the Indian music industry and South India.

Talking about his opera show in Bangalore, Stefan says, “Opera is a play with music. La Traviata is about a young man and woman who want to move out of Paris.

Unfortunately, the father of the young man wants to destroy their relationship because it is scandalous for unmarried men and women to be together. The theme itself is quite tragic.”

With India being inclined to rock and Bollywood music, does he feel opera is appreciated here? “I don’t expect ten thousand people to attend an opera here. The shows here are on a much more intimate level,” he answers. 

Stefan confesses that though he doesn’t have much knowledge about the music industry in India, he listens to Indian classical music. “Indian classical music has always been cherished and artistes like Pandit Ravi Shankar are liked even internationally. Spanish music is heavily influenced by Indian music. And Indian music is far more prevalent in the West than one can imagine,” he says. 

He also says that he has heard a lot of Bollywood music and loves it. “It is marvellous,” he exclaims. He is of the opinion that music is in the language and body movements of Indians whereas in the West, people are mostly passive listeners. He says he would love to expand opera in India. 

Stefan says, “The most striking difference is the use of instruments. While classical music in the West can have ten notes on a scale, Indian classical music will have 20 notes on one scale. Therefore, Indian classical music has a wider range.”

Though Stefan is waiting to explore India, he says it’s a country that he would like to visit often. “During my stay in the City, I would like to visit the local markets and a few monuments,” he adds.

Talking about Indian food, Stefan says, “We have some famous South Indian restaurants in London. I like the South Indian thali as it’s delicious — especially the vegetarian one. I also love dosa. I have even tried to make South Indian curry and it took me three hours to prepare it. I had to buy 16 packets of different spices and I don’t know how many ounces of ghee. I modified it my way.”

Stefan now plans to go to Thailand followed by Karachi for his concerts. “I’ll come back to India in possibly a year,” he informs.

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