From Steven Cuoco: Renowned Tenor, Kevin Amiel, Breaks His Silence in a Candid Interview, Sharing the Journey That Shaped His Remarkable Opera Career

Renowned Tenor, Kevin Amiel, Breaks His Silence in a Candid Interview, Sharing the Journey That Shaped His Remarkable Opera Career

Kevin Amiel, the acclaimed tenor hailed for his extraordinary vocal range and captivating performances, unveils the remarkable story behind his illustrious Opera journey. From the early days of a college bet to becoming a celebrated tenor, Kevin shares insights into the challenges, inspirations, and defining moments that have shaped his career.

Kevin recounts his entry into the world of music, performance, and Opera: “When I was in college, some friends made a bet that we have to sing at the end-of-year party in front of the whole school, so I sang. My mathematics teacher reacted immediately and a few days later, she brought a contact of hers, who came to the college to listen to me. He told me, ‘I have chills, it’s quite rare that at this age we have a voice like yours. You are a tenor, and if you take this way of life, you won’t have the same youth or the same life as your classmates during studies. It’s a lot of sacrifice and work.’ Never mind, I wanted to continue. This is how I began my singing studies at 17 years old.”

With determination in his heart and soul, Kevin embarked on a journey he would come to realise would change his life forever and he discovered the profound influence of Luciano Pavarotti, describing him as “the most emblematic figure for me and the most inspiring, he has an ease in his voice that we will never find again.” The tenor continued his studies and participated in national and international singing competitions, gaining recognition and earning the moniker, “the baby singer.”

Kevin credits his significant influences to diverse sources, including a memorable college party performance that set him on the path. “I sang at this famous college party ‘io le canto per te,’ on the album ‘Baritone’ by Florent Pagny. Today, I’m lucky enough to have Yvan Cassar as a friend, and I was able to tell him, ‘Without your album, there’s no Kevin Amiel.'”

Reflecting on Luciano Pavarotti’s impact, Kevin shared, “He started from nothing and became the biggest ‘rock star’ of Opera, bringing classical to every corner of the world and every corner of the United States too.”  Describing the tenor’s life as a tightrope walker, Kevin emphasized the delicate balance required to navigate the technical intricacies of classical singing. “It’s both stimulating and stressful, and moments of vocal grace only come once every month or years. The goal is to have a good journey, to multiply your moments of grace.”

Highlighting the rewards of a successful career, he expressed the exhilaration of audience appreciation, diverse roles, and international experiences. “The travel, the new roles, the different countries, the different traditions and cultures, the colleagues you discover or meet again, it’s an incredible life when you do it well. It’s necessary to get there.”

Comparing the life of a singer to that of an athlete, Kevin stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “Good sleep, good hydration of the vocal cords and the body, and paying attention to what you eat in the evening to avoid gastric reflux and therefore having burnt cords when you wake up.”  Elaborating on vocal training, he shared, “I try to have sessions of two hours a day, the rest is learning and that can be done without singing. A good two hours to concentrate on the technique and on the role that we are learning, to detect the difficulties, the pitfalls of the score.”

Recalling a pivotal concert paying tribute to Pavarotti, Kevin shared a moment of vocal grace. “It was that evening that I experienced the first state of grace of my career, the voice super, fluid, sunny, dazzling, the breath in place, the holding of long notes, a moment of suspended dream.”  In a difficult personal moment, the stage became a source of strength. “Before the curtain rises for act 2 for my area, I am lying on the edge of a swimming pool of scenery, my eyes towards the hangers (theatre ceiling), I hear the people talking, and the orchestra playing. Silence falls in the room and gives way to the curtain rising, at which moment an emotion of well-being invades me.”

Discussing the evolution of his repertoire, Kevin explained, “As a general rule, it is good, when you are young, to start with Mozart, because it is a difficult song, but holy, you should not overdo it either, to let the voice evolve.”  While primarily rooted in classical 19th-century music, Kevin expressed his love for Italian repertoire and Neapolitan melodies, emphasizing the importance of choosing repertoire that aligns with the age and maturity of his voice.

Addressing the challenge of navigating between genres, Kevin shared, “The lyrical voice, depending on the range, is constructed in a certain way. Some singers will have great difficulty moving from one genre of music to another because of the technique developed.”

He emphasized the importance of authenticity, stating, “I would keep my voice authentic, and that is very important. But I’m careful not to do anything because I love classical too much to want to sing anything else for the moment.”

Revealing his pre-performance rituals, Kevin detailed a regimen that includes sports sessions in the morning and specific vocal exercises to wake up the vocal cords gently. “I like to keep as much energy as possible for the show, which will last at least, 3 hours minimum with intermission.”  Reflecting on the influence of martial arts, he shared, “I have been doing martial arts since a very young age, and I think that it has helped me a lot, in terms of body, breathing, discipline, and mentality.”

In a passionate message to aspiring tenors, Kevin urged them to embrace challenges, stay true to themselves, and persist in their pursuit. “Life is not kind to anyone in this world. We must NEVER give up, don’t be afraid of failure, on the contrary, we must embrace failure and accept it, it makes us grow.”  He emphasized the importance of self-confidence, continuous learning, and finding a supportive teacher. “Take small risks, not too big ones too quickly, find your personality, what defines you, be yourself and don’t listen to judgments and criticism, when you feel it is the right thing to do.”

Looking ahead, Kevin shared ongoing projects, including a CD in progress, and aspirations to expand his career globally. “My goal: to open and expand my career in the world. It’s not easy, and maybe I won’t be able to do it, but I won’t give up until I get what I want, even a little.”  Expressing a dream to sing in the United States, Kevin shared, “I dream of coming to sing at the Metropolitan Opera and touring the theatres in this area. But in the meantime, I have to wait for the right contact and the right opportunity.”

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