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Sunday, April 21, 2013

5 Questions for David and Jonathas (Pascal Charbonneau and Ana Quintans)

Ana Quintans and Pascal Charbonneau as Jonathas and David. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
Canadian tenor Pascal Charbonneau and Portuguese soprano Ana Quintans portray teenage best friends in French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera David et Jonathas. About Ana Quintans, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times said “I will not soon forget her final scene as the boyish prince,” and James Jorden of The New York Post said “tenor Pascal Charbonneau tore the heart with his delicately restrained account of David’s mourning.” We checked in with Pascal and Ana to see what their lives are like when not depicting these larger-than-life characters. They shared what they like to do off stage, what they’re listening to, and what they were like when they were teenagers.

Pascal Charbonneau (David)

Where are you from and where do you live?
I'm from Ottawa, Canada and I currently live in the UK with my wife and two children.

What do you always carry with you when you travel?
Nothing out of the ordinary. I do however have a mini piano keyboard which plugs into my computer. It's handy for learning music in a hotel room.

What were you like as a teenager?
Just a regular teenager really. Distracted by girls mostly! I did a lot of downhill skiing. I raced and I taught children. Skiing and singing were the two biggest interests of my teenage years.

What are you listening to now?
My brother Mathieu Charbonneau's band, The Luyas.

What is one thing you hope to do in New York?
Eat a great burger and/or find the best espresso money can buy.

Ana Quintans (Jonathas)

Where are you from and where do you live?
I was born in Portugal and although I travel a lot, I couldn't imagine myself living in another city than Lisbon.

What do you always carry with you when you travel?
Hopefully technology allows us to carry much more without exceeding a reasonable weight of luggage! I always carry a book or two (in fact, nowadays, I only get the chance to read when I'm travelling), lots of music, scores (the current ones but also the upcoming ones), a lot of family photos and videos, some medicine (we never know...), and my portable essential oil diffuser.

Have you had any other pants roles before playing Jonathas?
I did some hybrid roles as Cupid (Monteverdi, Cavalli) and lately Ippolito by Almeida, a Portuguese Baroque composer. But Jonathas was the first role where I really got the chance to go a bit further. Although Andreas Homoki guided me more on the path of emotions and not "gender" (which I think was the right and cleverest way to approach this role), I try, as best as I can, to think and to move as a young boy—from the moment I put my costume, make-up, and wig on it gets much easier and I end up surprising myself in the wings or dressing room, while waiting, in a rather male manner!

What were you like as a teenager?
I remember myself being a quite reasonable teenager, but my parents might disagree! I didn't spend much time at home and sometimes pushed my limits a bit too much, but I was still what we call a "good student," and that's when I started to get really curious about art. At that time, more fine arts and theater than music, but I was already sure I would like to go that way.

What are you listening to now?
I "carry" a lot of music with me, and I listen to a lot of different things depending on my mood. Recently played on my iPod was an Almodovar soundtrack, Henry Purcell, and a selection of songs by Chico Buarque.

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