On the Couch with Carlo Montanaro

Carlo Montanaro AAR On the CouchWho is Carlo Montanaro?
I am a musician and a conductor. I come from three generations of musicians so for me music was something very normal and the older I get, the more I feel music is in my genes. I try to be an honest, good and true musician.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I wanted to be an astrophysicist. I love physics and astronomy, but music had a powerful influence on my life so I became a violinist and played in an orchestra in Florence for ten years.

Who inspires you and why?
Maestro Zubin Mehta, because he discovered me. He was invited to one of my violin performances and when I finished he gave me a standing ovation. It was a crazy moment for me and very emotional. We started talking and he sent me to Vienna with a personal recommendation and encouraged me to start conducting. It was because of him that I considered conducting as a career.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I was born on the sea so for me, Sydney is one of the best destinations. I love a beautiful sea, so places like the Maldives and Fiji are wonderful.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Generally speaking, when they come to Tuscany we go wine tasting. I live partly in Italy, partly in Warsaw and am travelling for eleven months a year so not many friends come to me but when they do, I try to show them the best places I know in different cities around the world.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading The Sorrows of Young Werther (again!) I will read it two or three times to better understand the small details.

What are you currently listening to?
When I am not working I love to listen to completely different music. I love Hip Hop, Rock and Pop Rock; something that will move my mind away from work.

Happiness is?
A moment. Happiness is not forever; sometimes it lasts more than a moment and sometimes less. It’s just a state of human being.

What does the future hold for you?
Health, I hope. The same thing that everyone hopes for; love and health for my mum, my family and my wife to be.

Carlo conducts Opera Australia’s production of Massenet’s Werther – currently playing in the Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House until 11 March 2019. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Carlo Montanaro (supplied)