Interviews to the winners of the Tenor Viñas Competition

Helga Müller-Molinari

Interview with the mezzo-soprano Helga Müller-Molinari, winner of the First Grand Prize in 1973.


1. When started your love for music? When did you realized that you wanted to be devoted to sing?

I believe that just born, I had inside my love for music. I was a baby and I was enjoying listening to music. My grandfather was a musician and I think that I heritage from him the total dedication to music.

At my school, ten to sixteen years old, the nuns discovered that I had a voice and I was pushed to sing at all the religious ceremonies. At thirteen years old I sung Mozart's Bastien und Bastienne. From then, I knew that singing and stage would be the reason of my life.


2.  How did you decide to apply to the viñas competition?

I can't remember who suggested me to do it. I participated twice, once as soprano and the second time as mezzo. This second time, in 1973, I was awarded with the first prize.


3.  How was your performance at the competition?

I remember that I was very emotionally touched and I wanted to give my best both vocally and artistically.


4.  Which was for you the most touching moment in these two times that you participated?

I think when I was for the first time on the stage of the beautiful Gran Teatre del Liceu with everybody listening to me with great interest. I thought that it was not true, just a dream.


5.  The first prize at the Viñas Competition helped you in your career?

No doubt, it gave to me such a confidence in myself. And it was the best possible presentation card for future auditions in the opera houses.


6.  You have sung a large repertory in oratorio, lied and opera. do you think that it's important for a singer to sing all these musical specialites?

Absolutely. As much as you know and you look for the deepest meaning of the piece, better you sing it. For me a short Lied is so important as an Opera of three hours. Through the years you learn which is the speciality that suits you better but you never finish learning and developing new possibilities.


7.   You were conducted by several of best conductors of your time. Which should be the best artistic relationship between conductor and soloist?

The ideal relationship is to have the same idea of the musical interpretation. If this happens you must not speak too much and you produce music together. But if it doesn't happen you must try finding an agreement (as it happens in normal life). Anyway, the singer depends on the conductor and on the stage director.


8.   With Herbert Von Karajan do you have some special memories as you collaborated with him many times?

With Maestro von Karajan it was not necessary to speak at all. His eyes and a slight movement of one of his eyebrows were showing to you what he wanted.

With him it was possible to produce Music in a complete unity. A happiness impossible to be described, unforgettable memories. I am so grateful to the destiny to have been able to work with him.


9. Which should be the most important purpose for a young singer participating at the Viñas Competition?

According to me, to have the possibility of facing the public, the jury and also the competition of the other singers. With all this, to learn what it should be learned in order to improve. Of course, you participate trying to win, but also to be known by an important jury.


10.  Which is your advice to a young singer who starts a career? other advice to apply to a competition?

I am not good with advices. I have seen in my life that there is a destiny for each one and the only way is to work 100%. Your behaving is so important as your voice. To try perfection always (although you will never reach it) and with your complete effort one can succeed to approach the composer and transmit what he wants.

My best wishes to all young singers who start this difficult but beautiful way at the same time. To participate at the Viñas Competition and to be, perhaps, in the Final Round, is already an important fact.