Who is Clare Ghigo in the eyes of Clare Ghigo?
I’m an easy going girl who loves learning, especially about anything connected with the arts. I love travelling, books and working hard.
What is your earliest memory of being on stage?
I used to go to ballet classes at a local dance studio, and therefore my earliest memory of being on stage is being cast as one of the children in the musical Pawlu 2000. I believe this was a Maltese musical type show that had taken place at the Argotti Gardens in 1992.
How has your training helped you grow as an artist?
I’ve been studying in the UK for nine years. I’m an Edinburgh Napier University and Guildhall School of Music graduate, and I’ve recently gained my Masters in Opera Performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Studying at a conservatoire has helped me meet teachers and vocal coaches that have guided me in the right direction.
You’ve recently completed a very successful performance in commemoration of Édith Piaf’s 100th birthday. Can you tell us more about this?
This was a daunting and challenging gig because I don’t often do cross-over or pop-style performances. Therefore, I didn’t know how the audience was going to receive the songs. The music itself is not that challenging, however, Piaf’s way of interpreting the words and the music is very particular. I wanted to give homage to her without mimicking her style.
Photo credits to Ben Tomlin
What inspires you?
I love art and poetry, so I spend a great deal of time reading in libraries and browsing art galleries. However, I must admit that I love listening to old opera singers such as Maria Callas, Tito Schipa, Rosa Ponselle and Eula Beal, to mention a few. When everything fails, I seek inspiration from nature.
What has been your most challenging project so far?
Every project presents its challenges, but singing at Joseph Calleja’s summer event at the granaries in Floriana was extremely nerve racking. I was singing alongside two fantastic singers whom I admire greatly – Calleja himself of course and Bryn Terfel.
Another challenging gig was the tour of China with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. We performed eight concerts in eight different Chinese cities in 12 days. Although it was physically demanding, it was an incredible experience.
If you had to choose a fantasy line up for a concert, who would be on the list?
This is quite a fun question because I’d surely have the mezzo sopranos lined up – Teresa Berganza, Federica von Stade, Elina Garanca, Cecilia Bartoli and Joyce di Donato. If I wanted to be farfetched, I’d go for Maria Callas, Rosa Ponselle, Tito Schipa, Bengnamino Gigli, Lauritz Melchoir and Feodor Chaliapin, alongside the cellist Rostropovich and violinist David Oistrakh with Toscanini conducting. Obviously, the latter is a list of late musicians, who in my opinion, expressed music in the most refined manner possible.