Opera: Behold, a true diva

Soprano Adina Aaron makes her second triumphant appearance in The Israel Opera's staging of 'La Boheme.'

adina aaron 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
adina aaron 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Few professions are as classically grand and glamorous as that of opera diva. These ladies travel around the world, performing in the most beautiful and historic theaters for cultured and distinguished audiences. At shows end, they'll likely experience rounds of bows, red roses and "bravos" shouted by adoring fans. Despite opera lying outside the realm of mainstream culture, there are a number of singers who have belted their way into widespread fame. For the next two weeks, up and coming soprano Adina Aaron will continue her foray into superstardom here in Israel as she performs the role of Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme. This is Aaron's second visit to The Israeli Opera's glorious stage; her first was in 2006 as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte. American-born Aaron has been singing professionally for ten years. Her velvety speaking voice immediately exposes a musical ear. In fact, she tried her hand at music before ever thinking of pursuing the opera. She explaines by phone, "I played piano as a kid. I sang as I played but sang horribly. I didn't know until I went to school that I had a classical voice. So when I sang with the piano, it sounded kind of operatic but I didn't that know that at the time." For the past decade, Aaron has had engagements in tens of cities across more than three continents. Her presence and poise have earned her a spot as one of the most sought after sopranos today. The journey to the top, of course, was not without hardships. Asked what it takes to succeed in such a demanding business, Aaron replies clearly and without hesitation. "A voice, obviously," she admits, "But perseverance. It's not always quick, this process. The voice develops so late. A lot of times you don't come into your real voice until you are thirty-seven or forty years old. That's a long time to wait to make a decent living." Aaron also speaks of the necessity of self-awareness as an opera singer, "You have to make sure that you are getting better. Being honest with what you present and what you work on. Our egos become so inflated. You always want to improve in this profession." Perhaps what has stunned so many audience members about Aaron is her ability to fully enter each role she performs. Her resume is a log of important female characters from Liu in Turandot to Madame Butterfly, which she will take on next month in Florida. Most recently, Aaron shocked fans with a topless performance. The nudity was an essential part of the role, she explains, "It didn't bother me one bit. It was Ballo (Un Ballo In Maschera by Verdi) in Germany. When the director asked me if I would do it I said 'why not.' I don't mind showing my body if it's progressive with the script." With her phenomenal voice, her striking presence and her love for the art, Aaron is capable of moving even the most cynical operagoers. "I love to sing," she says, "But my main thing about opera is dramatic. To really bring these characters to life is the main reason I sing. At this level everyone can sing and sing well. The real question is 'can you reach the audience and deliver a true story?' I don't sing just to hear a beautiful voice." Puccini's La Boheme is staged at The Israeli Opera from March 20 through April 5. Tickets cost from NIS 175-428, (03) 692-7777 or israel-opera.co.il