Interview – Alessandra Paonessa

By: Remington Fioraso

Alessandra Paonessa is a classical-crossover soprano artist from Toronto, Ontario.  In November 2014, she released her debut album entitled “Remembering Heaven.”  I had the opportunity to conduct an email interview with Alessandra.  Continue reading to find out more about the singer!

Who are your influences?

I’ve had many influences in my journey- too many to count or mention. I often like to take what I’ve learned from all aspects of life and see if I can apply them to my career. Whether it be a style, a person, a word or a sound.

What, or whom, inspired you to begin pursuing music?

From a young age I always knew I wanted a career in music. I was always singing as a kid. It wasn’t just something I did it was who I was. The classical influence was probably my mother’s fault. We didn’t listen to much else other than the top sopranos of the world, so I grew up listening to artists such as Kiri Te Kanawa, Kathleen Battle and Maria Callas. I really didn’t know what modern music was until I was a bit older. I would often imitate the singers I listened to and started taking private vocal coaching at the age of 8. Although I had studied music from a young age the thought of actually being a musician terrified me though. It took me a whole year of Environmental Studies in University to realize, the difference between being good at something and having a passion. I think it was when I started to think about why I was so afraid of being a musician that I stopped being so afraid. You see, fear can paralyze someone, It will make them second guess, it prevents. Fear keeps one safe…but that is something you cannot be if you want to chance dreams. It was when I learned the word ‘fearless’ two years ago I decided to take the plunge and began pursuing music.

For those who have yet to hear your music, how would you describe it?  Are there any particular songs that you believe they should listen to first?

One can certainly hear my classical training and influence in my recordings. As a crossover artist, I try to blend my classical voice with a more modern element and interpretation.

How was the recording experience for Remembering Heaven?

Remembering Heaven was an absolute dream come true. The album is an international collaboration which features the original compositions of British composer, Chris Broom. The backing tracks were recorded with full orchestra in the UK and then sent here for me to lay my vocals. It was truly the product of a digital age as something like this a few years ago would have been completely impossible.

What song(s) were your favourite to record?  Why?

I think my favorite to record were ‘Now I’ve found You At Last’, as I had a lot of fun singing with the great Canadian Tenor, Chris Dallo. Another favorite to record was ‘Ai Giochi Addio’ and ‘Dark Waltz’ because of their soaring melody lines which fits my soprano register perfectly so I was able to play with the different colours of my voice in those songs.

Who did you go see for your first concert?

I grew up going to the opera and seeing the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, but my first main stream concert was John Mayer.

What can you not leave your home without?

aside from a cellphone,  I often have a lot on my mind and ideas that come to me quickly and never seem to come back, so one thing I like to always have with me is my master notebook. In it are my raw thoughts and ideas, ‘ To Do’ and ‘Need’ lists.

What are your favourite things to photograph?

I have recently developed a love for photography. I enjoy going for long walks in parks or conservation arias and taking macro photographs of nature, such as drew on a spider’s web. I think there is so much beauty in life that we miss because we are always in a rush.

What are your favourite things to do when you are not performing?

Hanging out with friends, photography, being with family and shopping.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?

If you would like to know more about me or stay up to date with what I’m doing, please like my pages and videos or subscribe to my newsletter. Your support means the world and I couldn’t be doing what I do without someone to listen.

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