E.Amartuvshin: I’ve returned after shaking up the world

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

E.Amartuvshin, a young soloist of the State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet of Mongolia, aggrandized Mongolia in Wales just a few weeks ago with his amazing performances at the high-profile biennial contest for emerging classical singers, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015. Regrettably, he didn’t win the competition,  but was able to make it through to the top five finalists of the competition and even claimed the Audience Prize, which is one of the highest honors for a Mongolian competitor to receive in a prestigious international singing competition.

Shortly after his return to Mongolia, the 29-year-old baritone went straight to work and auditioned for a role in the Mongolian opera,” Uchirtai Gurvan Tolgoi”, which was composed by D.Natsagdorj. This famous national opera, often translated as “Three Sad Hills”, is a love story of a young and idealistic hero and heroine who overcome numerous roadblocks placed in their path by sundry feudalists and other evil characters.

E.Amartuvshin replaced his tuxedo with a long dark-colored deel, with a traditional golden-orange vest and a hat to finish the outfit. He had completely gotten into his role as Junden, the hero of the opera, when he was asked to share about his experience during his six months away from home participating in the Cardiff Singer of the World. 

People learn from every step they take, and every competition becomes a significant lesson and experience. What did you learn from Cardiff Singer of the World?

Indeed, you get new experiences from each competition. It’s said that one competition can equal several months or years of studying in higher education. Cardiff Singer of the World is the biggest competition for opera singers. I’m not saying that my previous competitions were insignificant though. Competing with world’s best opera singers means that huge responsibilities will be put on one’s shoulders. You must show every side of yourself. You have to train and practice until it’s enough – until it’s perfect. I gained a considerable amount of experience from this competition with amazing competitors. 

There are many experts and observers besides the main judges. One of them seemed to have complimented your manners on such a large stage. Did you hear about it?

Fundamentally, I tried to appear professional and experienced, like they said. I guess my efforts weren’t wasted. People were remarking favorably on how experienced I looked on stage. 

Viewers who’ve seen you perform at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Operalia 2012, International Singing Contest Francisco Vinas in 2013, and later, saw you performing at Cardiff Singer of the World, mentioned that besides your singing skills, your acting skills have also improved. Did your appearances on international stages impact this?

You must think carefully about when and where you should display your acting. Particularly, it’s recommended not to take attention away from others in a way that seems desperate for attention. Instead, it’s better to be more modest and prudent. You show acting through your facial expression, movements of your eyebrows and your eyes, and have the audience feel it though your heartfelt voice.  In fact, there are other factors, such as when to grasp or swing your hand open and where to look. It’s very important that you portray that you’re not just singing but that you’ve made it your own piece.

 Among over 350 entrants from 54 countries, only 65 passed the first screening through video auditions, and then, the number of participants was whittled down to the top 20 after having them sing in front of the judges. In the finals, the winner is selected by the public from the top five singers. The competition is harsh, but from another perspective, this shows how high the level the of competition is. Truthfully, did you think that you may have won before the results were announced? 

A person should dream big. I really thought I would win. The atmosphere from the audience and judges’ commentary, and their expressions, gave me confidence that I had won. However, I couldn’t win the main prize at the finals. I have to say that the main prize winner, a soprano from Belarus, was an extraordinary singer. 

The fact that Mongolia was participating in Cardiff Singer of the World for the first time was covered in the media. Was the English audience aware of Mongolia’s highly developed classical music arts, or did they become aware of it through you?

Unfortunately, most English people didn’t seem to know that Mongolia’s opera arts had developed to such a high level, or the fact that there is an exclusive opera theater in Mongolia. Though Mongolians claim that they’ve reached a global level, the reality is like this. I’m happy and proud to have clearly demonstrated the level of Mongolia’s classical arts. 

Short videos of training and practices, as well as interviews with the finalists were broadcast to the world. A female vocal trainer praised you generously, saying that you had an amazing talent and that you were able to become the center of the world. You also noted that the competition was an opportunity for promoting Mongolia. Can you share some of your unforgettable compliments?

One thing to add, the winner was voted for on cell phones by viewers across the world. Many stated that I was a singer that could reach people’s hearts. There were, indeed, many wonderful commentaries. The main judges completely stopped communicating with participants mid-way through the competition. They met with us and told us their impressions after the final announcement. One of them encouraged me, “I also competed in this competition 23 years ago and reached the top five, just like you. But I didn’t win. Still, my career rose to an international level after Cardiff Singer of the World.” Another American female judge told me that after I had sang Renato’s “Eri Tu” from “Un Ballo in Maschera”, she wanted to come and kiss my feet. This was a big appraisal for me. 

Source: Unuudur


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