Chiara Malvestiti began in music as a teenager, taking classes in modern pop singing, then discovering Symphonic Metal and Nightwish, and as she already demonstrated a distinct and very natural voice for operatic singing, Chiara sought to improve her skills. The Metal experience had an important chapter with Crysalys debut, with the album "The Awakening of Gaya". (Leia a Versão em Português)
Due to dedication to operatic singing, a career that demanded her full-time attention, she turned away from her Metal career, but in 2015, she was invited by Christofer Johnsson to join Therion. Although not an easy decision due to her commitments to classical music, Chiara accepted the invitation, and has been in the band for three years, fitting perfectly and participating in important moments of the group, such as the launch of the opera "Beloved Antichrist"and one of the greatest tours in the history of Therion.
On her way through South America on the Beloved Antichrist Tour, we did this interview with the charming and talented Chiara, who told us a little more about her career, these 3 years at Therion, her inspirations, her connection with nature and also some first-hand news! Check it below! Sing for us, angel of music:
|"Honestly I never was a "normal" opera singer, but an unconventional one."|
Chiara Malvestiti: 3 years ago I recieved a mail from him where he asked me if I was available for the band. At that time I was focused only on Opera and I was doing rehearsals in theatre for a debut on a Mascagni's Opera. Melissa Feerlak made my name when Christofer explaned her what kind of specific soprano he was searching for. I felt confused at first, after 3 years or more away from Metal it sounded like coming back home!
RtM; Did you have been invited to audition and rehearsals with the band, right? Tell us how were these auditions, you felt confident that it would be the new Therion’s Soprano? What songs you sang with the band in the auditions?
Chiara: The audition was via video, I had do sing "Ginnungagap" and "The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah" in one video without any interruption, Christofer needed a soprano with strong upper register who would be able to sing powerful high notes easily. Then I went in Sweden for rehearsals with the band.
RtM: Christofer said many times he found the right girl, fitting very well in "Therion’s family". Surely you must have felt flattered by his words. And sure, you’ve captured the heart of the fans too. I’d like you talk about it, that warmth received, since Lori was a very important part of the band. Did you ever feel somehow apprehensive about he reception of the fans?
Chiara: Yes of course I was glad about Christofer's words. Lori was very important for Therion's history and she did a great job. We are different kind of soprano and singer, but I think we both fit very good in Therion'sound in different ways, everyone with her signature song. I don't feel apprehensive, I'm just myself and I gave time to Therion's fans to know better me and my voice!
RtM: And about the debut on stage with the band, in Istanbul? Tell us a little as was the expectation. The days and hours leading up to the debut left you anxious or nervous? And how did you feel at the end of the show?
Chiara: Yes I felt VERY nervous that day! Everything was new for me, but after show everyone (included me) were very happy about my debut on stage!
RtM: Speaking of stage presence, Therion adopted some changes and more care with the stage look even remember that Snowy Shaw was one of those responsible for this change. And you, who has also accompanied the band, what do you think of the changes? And your visual and stage performance in Therion? Did you think of something specific, had any suggestions of the band, or simply followed your own style?
Chiara: Therion is an eccentric band, you know it, with many influences.
Honestly we never spoke so much about it, everything was very natural, each one has is own role on stage, the only word that bound everyone is a "Steampunk" concept, but yes I keep my own style that grows with me every tour :).
|"After 3 years or more away from Metal it sounded like coming back home!"|
RtM: Now, would you tell us a little more about how you started in music, at what age did you start to practice singing and what were your main supporters, and your inspirations (singers, musicians) in Metal and opera singing? I remember what you said in an interview that began in classical singing because of Symphonic Metal.
Chiara: Yes! You are right. I started with singing lesson when I was a teenager, studying modern-pop singing. After 2 years I discovered Nightwish with Tarja Turunen and my vocal coach said that my opera voice was very easy and natural, and I started to improve my skills studying opera singing in Florence, the capital of Melodramma and in the Conservatory of Music and I have many experiences on Operas, Recitals etc.. My first inspiration was Tarja, but my muses were and are: Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Loreena Mc Kennitt and Tori Amos.
RtM: Talking now about “Beloved Antichrist”, tell us a little about your role in the album, and what can you tell us about this oportunity, to be in the band in a memorable moment, because is a Project that Christofer has been devoloping for years!
Chiara: When I went in Sweden for the first rehearsals 2 years ago they also asked me for an audition for the Rock Opera's main female role, Johanna. I didn't have a clue about everything, the character, the song, nothing. I just sang some primavista scores and they immediately said I was perfect to sing her.
Johanna is a sort of religious, fanatic priestess against Antichrist, a sort of Joan D'Arch, older sister of Helena (Antichrist's wife). Her temperament is sacred, luminous and combative at the same time.
RtM: What your favorite songs of this new album?
Chiara: I love "Seeds of time" even if is very short to perform on stage in a normal Therion' show, but also "The Palace Ball" and "Resurrection".
RtM: What about your work as a classical singer? Tell to us a little also of how is to be divided between these two worlds, the Classic and the Metal?
Chiara: At the moment is not easy at all. Being an opera singer it means living just for it in very aspect of your life, full time. Many times happened that asked me to perform in classical concerts but in the same periods I was on tour with Therion. Honestly I never was a "normal" opera singer, but an unconventional one. In my mind I never splitted at all my essence and I think it's one of my point of strenght or weakness, it depends from the point of view.
RtM: And about Crysalys?
Chiara: Crysalys is proceeding very slowly for many reasons, initially for 3 years my energy and especially time are focused on Therion and my job as a vocal coach and Fabio (my boyfriend and composer-keyboard player of the band) is also very busy with the his work as a composer for the media.
RtM: Tell us more about the new album. You are organizing a crowdfunding, how’s going this Project?
Chiara: The album is almost finished, but as you know it takes a lot of time to record, mix, burn, promote and support with the right image, shows, etc. The songwriting is also very accurate and deserves a lot of care and attention, but it's time to complete it and share it with the world. Yes, we would like to crowdfunding, let's see where the future will take us.
RtM: Talking more about Crysalys, I would also like you to talk a little about the first album, “The Awakening of Gaya” and the self-evaluation of your performance in it. By the way, I love the album, and "Angelica" and "... and Let the Innocence Dream", are my favorite songs.
Chiara: Thank you! The Awakening of Gaia marked a very important point in my metal career. It was a genuine, energic debut album and I still feel very proud and grateful to it and what it represented, not only for us but for a lot of bands of the genre I would say. Of course now after 7 years my idea of singing is very different and refined but for that album is right how it was, the rage of Mother Earth and her elements, a volcano of energy. It was definitively a part of me, that I truly respect and brought me where I am now.
RtM: A curiosity...about the Project Eve’s Apple, why it didn’t go ahead?
Chiara: I don't know the real reasons why Eve's Apples stopped years ago, but I was very sorry for it, I loved that period where many of us female metal singers of different musical backgrounds and nations united our experiences to build something different in the metal industry.
RtM: You told me about a solo Project! Now, tell us a little more about it! In what style will the songs be?
Chiara: Yes, you were the first one I told about it! I had a sort of illumination for the name when I was travelling through Brazil, your ancient Sun Goddess whispered something me about it.
This project borned many years ago in my mind but now is taking shape. It won't be symphonic metal.
|"This project borned many years ago in my mind but now is taking shape."|
Chiara: I can only reveal you that it will be dedicated to The Goddess and my spirituality of the Old Ways, the Cults of the Great Mother around the world in my astral and real travels. It wont' be a band, I think will be a duo project with some special guests as composers, musicians and singers. I can't wait to start it!
RtM: About writing songs, what inspires you?
Chiara: The Goddess. My Light and Fire within.
RtM: I remeber that in your first time in America you had many gigs in a few days, and the band made a joke with this, calling “No Sleep Tour”! He he he! This time, there are again a lot o f concerts in few days.
Chiara: Omg yes..it was my first tour with Therion and everyone of them told me that was the hardest tour they ever made! This time is the longest ever in Latin America (35 days, 24 shows and 11 gigs only in Mexico) only 3 weeks after 60 concerts around Europe (the longest tour ever of the band in 31 years! It seems they were waiting me for this new goals hahaha!
RtM: Tell us, what care do you take to face these marathons?
Chiara: You ask me how I face these marathons? I have to thank my classical backgrounds, the strong vocal tecnique I learned from great opera singers, and also my self-discipline. I have to say that it's not so obvious that an opera singer can resist for such a long run performing almost every day 2 hours with few hours (or nothing) of sleeping and long travels.The vocal job of a classical singer it takes a lot of energy and it needs some specific rules.
This is what I want to teach to my vocal students if they want to become professional singers.
RtM: In Mexico Therion have a large fan base! And here in South America is also very expressive, I believe that you have felt how much Therion is loved by the fans here, and I would like to know the things that most caught your attention on this second passage for Latin America?
Chiara: I'm in Mexico now, today is the first day off we have after I recieved your interview. Here in Latin America the fans and the crowd in general are great! So warm and passionated, it's a gift for us recieving your energy during the show, in general your roots are connected to the Sun and I'm sure you are so warm in everything you do in your life. I also recieved a lot of gifts and precious words and a lovely support for the loss of my grandaddy who died 5 days ago (interview made it in may 28th).
RtM: And about you time in Porto Alegre? Your first time here, and the second of the band, just Christofer and Sami was here in 2001. Did you like the reception? A pity that we don’t have time to show you more from the city and Rio Grande do Sul.
Chiara: I know! it's the worst part of the job that we are not able to visit nothing. It's very rare that we have time or a day off close to something interesting. Porto Alegre was great and you were so kind with us, I want to thank you again for your gift, I love it!
RtM: You're welcome dear Chiara, glad you liked to be here, and also liked the gift. Well, maybe it's a difficult question, but could you tell us your three favorite albums of Therion and make a short comment about them?
Chiara: My favorite albums are Secret of The Runes, Lemuria and Gothic Kabbalah.
"Secret of the Runes" it's the closest to me, the most pagan one and the one I would had loved to record, "Lemuria" is the most magic, I love the essence of Atlantis inside of it, "Gothic Kabbalah" is the first one I listened many years ago when I started with metal, I still remember when I saw "Son of the staves of time" video for the first time, I was so young!
RtM: And in your spare time, when you are not involved with music, what things do you like to do? I know that you like series, and, well, we will have to wait until 2019 for the final season of Game of Thrones! If you could choose a final to the history, how it will be? Há há há!
Chiara: Ahahah! Yes GOT is one of my favorite ones, I didn't read the books and I don't have any idea about how the final season will end, but I love to see Daenerys and Jon Snow togheter with all the Dragons and Wolves!
RtM: And are you having time to wach some of your favorites series?
Chiara: No I don't have enough time to watch them all :(
I interrupted to watch many of them, they're in standby but then new series are out and I start to watch them in the few free times I have before sleeping!
RtM: I know you too are very connected to nature, the Goddess, animals. I would like you to tell us a little bit about this side of yours, and also about how you see the world today, where it seems that we urgently need more love and more respect with others and nature.
Chiara: This is the most importan part of me. I would like to dedicate my full life to this. I'm followig my path as a Goddess' daughter in order to become a priestess of Her and learning all her ancient arts and bring it to the world with my voice and spirit. In this world where the Patriarchate destroyed her cults She is still alive and is thank to both principles (Masculine and Feminine) if we can find the balance, respect and the righ roles in our gorgeous planet.
|"I'm followig my path as a Goddess' daughter in order to become a priestess of Her"|
RtM: And how do you see the music scene in Italy, especially the Metal? Your country has always shown good names. There are many difficulties for a band to stay in the scenario?
Chiara: Nowdays the scene in Italy is terrible. Yes there are a lot of good bands and musicians but the situation is very negative in many aspects. If you want to emerge and play you have to pay a lof of money, Metal Music especially I think that I can say after 12 years that I'm in this scenario, is the hardest genre to play in Italy. This is very sad. I'm very disappointed by a lot of agencies and promoters here.
RtM: Chiara, thanks for your kindness and attention, we wish much success to you, talented and lovely person, and sure this two things helped you to capture our hearts! The final space is for you to send your message to fans, here in America and around the world!
Chiara: Hola amigos! I love you "SONS OF THE SUN" You are in my heart and I feel so lucky to have the chance to perform to your beautiful countries!
Interview: Carlos Garcia (With collaboration of Raquel de Avelar)
Chiara Malvestiti' sofficial FB page