We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Belaya and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, what’s the most important think you’ve done for your children?
The most important thing i believe i have done as a , was to believe in my son, see a unique personality in him and finding the way to prove him it’s real
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart from others is that I am an Artist. Artist- is person who is capable to observe the world and recreate it in a most genius way and as true to the heart as possible in order to touch a human soul. I chose probably the most difficult one – to be an Opera Singer- and at the same time most beautiful form of Art. With my body and nerves I am transmitting emotions, create images and evoke most beautiful feelings in peoples hearts. There is nothing better in this world than seeing grateful eyes of your audience, who leave inspired, energetically charged after my performances. Another aspect that I love about my profession is teaching students. After so many years, I have realized that I have become a very flexible instructor in terms of approach to every student. I tailor my methodology in a unique way, like a suit for every person, depending on their needs, age, talent, psychological characteristics. I must admit I owe my versatility and highly qualified expertise to a number of outstanding pedagogues, with whom I had an honor to work. Among people whose approaches I absorbed and apply in my teaching are Carol Neblett, my “ Mama Diva” International Operatic Soprano (1946- 2017), Brian Asawa, Japanese/American counter tenor, who also was my first Manager (1966-1916), Bill Shumann, professor at prestigious AVA, most famous teacher in America, Niels Muus, Viennese conductor, Professor and Director at highly acclaimed Musik and Art University of Vienna , to name only a few. Of course the path to my professional stand point wasn’t easy. Like in a song of Fredy Mercury «We are the Champions», “it was not a road of roses, no summer cruise”. It was rather full of challenges and contradictions. I grew up in a family of materialistic values, where ideas of being a singer where not welcomed as a future career. To satisfy my family members I had to study in two Universities at the same time, Kiev Polytechnic Institute and Kiev National Conservatory. One can only imagine what an educational “MegaChallenge” it was, not to mention, that I managed to graduate from both Suma Cum Laude. I was a very talented student and received a high recognition for my state exam in Conservatory, for which I sang main role of Tatiana from Tchaikovsky Evgeny Onegin. I happened to get married at that time and later left my country for Mexico. In Mexico I had to learn Spanish as fast as possible to be able to function in the new country. Self learning books and online classes were part of my daily routine there.Four years in Mexico gave birth to my International career, which has been launched with Opera de Tijuana. Also I had a privilege to absorb Mexican culture and music from local singers themselves, who became my regular voice students. Later I gave lots of concerts in US and Mexico performing variety of passionate Mexican songs. Some of my concerts had philanthropic mission, raising funds for the Red Cross Organization. After I moved to US, I started participating in Competitions and had more access to great teachers and coaches. In one of those Competitions I met my future Dear Friend and Mentor- International Tenor Daniel Hendrick, who later played an important role in my career, encouraging me in the most difficult times of my life and showing me a way when I was about to quit my career path. I became a multiple winner of Susan and Virginia Hawk Competition in San Diego, finalist and semi finalist of a number of competitions, among which are Loren Zachary National Competition, NY Lyric Opera Competition, International Competition Talents of the World, Premier Opera International Competition and others. I was able to learn and perform many roles, among which are Tosca, Puccini; Madama Butterfly, Puccini; Donna Anna and Donna Elvira from Don Giovanni, Mozart etc. Last year I have signed the contract with an Agency MIA Artist Management. Currently because of COVID situation that has put Opera Industry on hold, I have decided to make my own CD. We have just finalized recording of my favorite songs of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov and I am looking forward to releasing this Album. I need to say, I was very fortunate that Green Music of San Diego has become our Sponsor for this project, providing us beautiful instrument and a great recording hall. Also I am working right now on making a video clip to one of my arias, something that was not done before in Opera industry. I believe future of Opera will depend a lot on media platforms. And filming video clips to musical pieces will be one of the way to popularize opera music and make it more accessible to the general audience, especially nowadays when going to theaters will become a bigger privilege for minorities. Summarizing my career trajectory and “connecting the dots” I can say that everything happened for a reason and contributed to the unique cocktail of my traits as Singer and Teacher. What always kept me afloat was my undying determination and commitment to fulfill my career at any cost. I took all possible sacrifices for my career, but never gave up. Also I am very grateful to my friends and fans who loved and supported me along the way. Daniel Hendrick, Marina Portyanina, Tatiana Roitman are few of those gem like friends who projected their light on my life in times of darkness. So there goes one universal lesson for all: Always be grateful to people who help you, One friend could be worth million dollars. Believe in yourself and Practice everyday, even when you think you’ve got it all. Love what you do and do what you Love, for there lies your Genius.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am so lucky to live in one of the most beautiful cities of US- San Diego. There is always places to go and things to try and the weather is just so welcoming!! If I gave a tour of San Diego, I would start it at the Downtown port and our famous Ship Star of India, than I would take a walk along Marina bay towards a statue of Soldier and Nurse from picture on Times Square in the end of World War II. Right there, there is great place to lunch and enjoy the serenity of the ocean horizon -Fish Market . From there the walk could continue towards the Seaport Village, San Diego’s most old remains of original port. This tiny place captivates with its small boutiques and restaurants where one can sort of disconnect from reality. Evening walk could be finished with observation of the city lights and starry sky. Next day you should start with boat tour along the bay following the dinner at Coastera restaurant or C level. Second half of the day I would dedicate to a walk tour in Old Town of San Diego, where one can submerge into Mexican life-style atmosphere of about 200 years ago, when California belonged to Mexico. There, one can find houses-museums to see how people lived, get memorable souvenirs and dine at all kinds of great restaurants with mostly Mexican cuisine. Third day could be dedicated to exploring all sites of picturesque Balboa Park, with obligatory dinning at El Prado restaurant. For those who have kids, there is a historic Balboa Park Carousel, where kids will find their favorite animal to ride. San Diego is known for its amazing Zoo and Seaworld parks , where families should dedicate their entire day to explore and digest the most of it. They are full of places to rest and eat, play and walk again when you are ready for more impressions. Separate day should be dedicated to visiting Coronado island: it’s beach, historical luxury Coronado Hotel. There is plenty of restaurants there to any liking. On the way back one can’t avoid driving through spectacular Coronado Bridge. It is mostly amazing during night, when you can observe glowing lights of Downtown, nearby ships and boats. Next day has to be dedicated to visiting Point Loma National Park. it’s a wonderful place for walking and enjoying beautiful nature, as well as historic Point Loma Lighthouse, that was build in 19 century and now serves as a museum to the public. Also one should see there Cabrillo National Monument, created in honor of the very first European settler in 16th century Juan Cabrillo. Walking in Point Loma Park is almost like hiking, so it’s also worth to get down to the ocean and rest listening to the waves. One day I would also spend in La Jolla, walking along entire La Jolla Coast, with rests here and there, as the views in La Jolla are mesmerizing. La Jolla coast is famous for its restaurants, so any of them would be great for dining, but I would suggest to make a stop at La Valencia hotel. Especially amusing would be observing sea lions who made La Jolla cove their vocational station. it’s the closes you can ever be to those creatures in the wild nature. On the way back I would suggest to drive through Mountain Soledad Road and Make a stop on top of the Mountain with a Huge Cross and War Veterans Memorial display. That would be a great culmination of one week visit to San Diego. A view from a birds hight elevation on entire city far and beyond.. These and many other places one can find in beautiful Sunny San Diego!!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For being who I am in my life I have to be thankful first and for most to my own stubbornness that didn’t let me quit my career even in the most difficult moments of life and despite of the critique from family members. Though Special shoutout goes to my mentor Tenor Daniel Hendrick who supported me even when my own stubbornness failed. He always encouraged me and helped me find the way to keep growing and never give up. Also a very big thank you goes to my true friends, who always were on my side, providing their love and strong belief in my future.