International gambling firm; Novomatic, has today announced the recipients of its annual scholarships to two budding opera singers as part of the Austrian located company’s Stipendiary Program and ongoing cooperation with the Vienna State Opera.
The Vienna State Opera is an opera house and opera company based in Vienna, Austria.
Harald Neumann, chief operating officer at Novomatic commented:
“It’s all about social responsibility. Co-operations and sponsorships like these allow cultural institutions more economic freedom to offer affordable ticket prices and thus to promote art and culture on a very high level for a wide audience. And for the young talents, it is a great opportunity and the best way to start a career.”
Novomatic has granted two scholarships to singers Diana Nurmukhametova and Valeriia Savinskaia, which it joint interviewed in a press release.
TWOG: Diana Nurmukhametova, reading your CV, it seems like you were born with a talent for singing and music. Is that true?
DIANA NURMUKHAMETOVA: Yes, I’ve always had a love for music. My mother says I did not even cry as a baby but sounded more like a siren. Everyone said I was going to be a singer. But I made my way to music school all by myself, as if it was what I was meant to do.
TWOG: You come from Askino, a tiny village in the Russian Republic of Bashkortosan. If you look it up on Wikipedia, there is only one street. How were you discovered and how did your career start?
DIANA NURMUKHAMETOVA: Yes, I am from Askino, but there is certainly much more than just one road. I attended the local school and music school until the third grade. At the age of eight, I performed a Bashkir song at a folk festival. The ‘President’ of the Republic of Bashkiria was in attendance and after my performance, he advised me to attend the music boarding school for particularly gifted children in the capital city Ufa.
Although my learning instrument in boarding school was the violin, my heart always beat for the opera. After boarding school, I went to art college for two years and this is where my proper preparation for stage singing started – especially my teacher Jusupova Nayla gave me a lot of support. I went on to study at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg with Tamara Novichenko, who has trained numerous famous singers, such as Anna Netrebko.
TWOG: Valeriia Savinskaia, would you say it was fortunate for your career that you grew up in Moscow?
VALERIIA SAVINSKAIA: I’m certainly grateful that I was born and raised in Moscow. It is a big city with many opportunities for young people. But for the first steps of my career, I decided to move to Vienna – the heart of the opera world.
TWOG: What do you feel when you are performing on the stage of one of the world’s leading opera houses?
VALERIIA SAVINSKAIA: I feel encouraged. Proud. Absolutely euphoric to be here.
DIANA NURMUKHAMETOVA: Joy! I still cannot believe that I am now finally at the stage of this opera house and allowed to live my greatest dream! I feel like Cinderella, who can now go to the ball as a princess – except that in my case, opera director Dominique Meyer plays another big role in the story: he supported and believed in me.
TWOG: What does the NOVOMATIC scholarship mean for you?
DIANA NURMUKHAMETOVA: For me, the NOVOMATIC scholarship means living in one of the most beautiful and musical cities in the world! And of course, singing on the stage of my dreams! I am very grateful to fate and to all those who help people like me to be given such a wonderful opportunity. Even though I think it’s a pity not to have had such an opportunity in my home country.
VALERIIA SAVINSKAIA: The scholarship is like an incredible streak of luck for me and offers great support for every young singer.
TWOG: If you look into the future, where do you see yourself in ten years’ time? And what is your next goal for the short term?
VALERIIA SAVINSKAIA: My goals are very ambitious: I want to travel around the world and sing on many big international stages.
DIANA NURMUKHAMETOVA: In ten years’ time, of course, I still see myself on stage, singing and realizing my dream. Everybody should have heard my name by then. Maybe I also will have created a family of my own by then…? But my immediate next big goal is to earn the appreciation of the Viennese opera audience with a respectable part – and I have heard that they are knowledgeable critics.
TWOG: Diana, you have already performed in many countries internationally – if you think back to your roots, what is it you wish for your family?
DIANA NURMUKHAMETOVA: For my mother and my brother, who are my greatest support, I wish them every luck, health and happiness forever, and that they can be closer to me, soon.
TWOG: Valeriia, you speak three languages and have also travelled a lot. What would you wish for your native Russia?
VALERIIA SAVINSKAIA: Yes, I speak Russian, German and English and I love to travel. But I also love my home country Russia very much. I wish Russia even more young and talented artists whose names are heard in all the different parts of the world!