SFOpera - 5 Questions With Andrea Silvestrelli

5 Questions With Andrea Silvestrelli

Italian bass Andrea Silvestrelli can be seen in three of our productions this fall: Luisa MillerDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and The Barber of Seville. He has been performing at San Francisco Opera since 1998, and consequently knows the city well. Read on to learn about Andrea's love of motorcycles, his struggle to find shoes, and more!

Congratulations on recently becoming a US citizen! What was the test like?
First I am very proud to have become an American Citizen! The test was easy: they gave us 100 questions about American history, politics and geography. The moment when we gave the oath was very touching. For 250 new citizens (including myself) it was a dream come true. There were people from so many different countries, and also my close friends from Chicago and from Lyric Opera were there to support me in this dream.

Word on the street is you have very large feet. Is it hard to find shoes that fit you in Italy?
Unfortunately the word is true :) The funny thing is that actually in my own region they make the best shoes in the world but they send everything immediately to the US! So I have to come to America not only for singing but also to go shopping for big sized shoes, for myself, my son and my uncle!

You have three very different roles this fall, and none of them are heroes. Which are you most looking forward to, and why?
Every role I sing at the moment becomes my favorite. Wurm is a hypocrite, double faced liar, cruel …. But nobody’s perfect; Basilio is greedy, “just give me money and I am here for you;” and the Night Watchman is …. The Night Watchman.

We hear you like motorcycles. Did this passion start in Italy or in the US?
I don’t like motorcycles ….. I LOVE MOTORCYCLES …. BRRRRM, BRRRRRM, BRRRRRM! I started to ride in Italy when I was 14, but here in San Francisco is where I understood what it means to be a rider. When I ride my Road King HD it’s like riding a myth, a legend. In this moment I have four motorcycles, two in Italy and two in the US.

You have two teenagers. Do they like opera? Are they following in your footsteps?
For this moment they are teenagers. I believe my daughter may become a singer in the future. My son is very into sports, but they both play piano a little and like everybody in Italy they sing for fun!

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