Under the conductor Deniola Kuraja’s baton

During the last weeks at the invitation of the Albanian National Opera and Ballet Theater, the conductor Deniola Kuraja has been part of four shows that took place in Albania.

She conducted the Albanian National Opera and Ballet Theater orchestra performing Die Fledermaus Operetta.

On this occasion, the Albanian Music Critics online Magazine OPUSALB had an interview with this artist hoping to see her on Albanian stage more often.

Opusalb: Mrs. Kuraja if we would ask you for a summary of your music activity, what are the works you have conducted up to date?

What about the composers?  Which is the place of contemporary composers in the works you conducted?


D. KURAJA: If I have to list all the titles of the works that are part of the conducting repertoire, I have to call for the “biography” (although still it hasn’t reach that number a could hardly remember (smiles)

I would classify them as performed – conducted- and studied works.  By the last  ones i mean – the assistance, presence, guided and work of the whole rehearsal process until the final  phase.

I am first listing the conducted  works as well as the names of the composers, for  that all three questions could receive an answer:

Works as conductor

Sergei Prokofiev Balet ( Peter and the Wolf)

Prokofiev Violinkonzert Nr 2 ne g-Moll ,op 63

Mozart: Sinfonia Nr..31 ne D-Dur

Liszt: “Totentanz”(Danse macabre)

Pergolesi: “Stabat Mater”

Wagner Wesendonck-Lieder

Saint Saens : “Karneval der Tiere”

Britten “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra ”

Lehar “Die Lustige Witwe”

Works as As / conductor

Kurt Weil: Opera ” Street Scene”

Offenbach Opera”Hoffmanns Erzählungen”

C.Porter: ” Kiss me Kate”

Rossini: “Il barbiere di Siviglia”

E.Kalman: “Die Herzogin von Chicago”

Mascagni: “Cavalleria Rusticana”

S.Flaherty: “Ragtime”


E.Humperdinck; “Hänsel und Gretel”

Puccini:”Madame Butterfly”

Puccini “Turandot”

Bernstein: ” West Side Story”

Rossini: “La Cenerentola”

Mozart: ” Die Zauberflöte”

“Cosi fan tutte”

Lortzing: “Der Wildschütz”

J.Strauss : Die Fledermaus

OPUSALB: How did you decide to become a conductor? As far as we are aware in the last years the world has recognized an increasing openness to this profession, but still there are not many female conductors in the world. How about you?

D. KURAJA: When I decided to study conducting at HMTMH Hannover, I didn’t think to add another female  to the conducting pod, where for truth’s sake, how attractive this fact is,  at the same time as prejudicial, since the last decade has not yet reached a proportion between men and women.  Of course something has changed but still it is slowly.

However, the determinable criteria remains QUALITY not  reaching the quota of women in the conduction field.

To answer the question of how I decided to become a conductor, I would say that more than a desire was a necessary need to reach another level of knowledge, an interest in discovering another universe, another musical treasure, and it is the music score.

OPUSALB: If we think about the last show “Die Fledermaus”, what was the biggest challenge you had in conducting it? What were the reasons that made you accept this challenge?

OPUSALB: If we think about the last show “Die Fledermaus”, what was the biggest challenge you had in conducting it? What were the reasons that made you accept this challenge?

D. KURAJA: I like challenges, the process of overcoming is very intriguing, it requires determination, strength and courage, nothing should be easily achieved in art as we would underestimate and despise it. In the case of “Die Fledermaus” where I would highlight the two performances that were given in the city of Fieri and two in the city of Korça, which despite the inadequate technical conditions and lack of space, works and engagement of all artistic bodies of TKOB accomplished its mission, conveying a fun and festive atmosphere to the public who responded with enthusiasm. Indeed “Die Fledermaus” is a challenge for all its performers in terms of virtuosity, finesse and orchestration mastery.

The dynamic contrasts, the variety of colors, the construction of the phrase, the ease of the sound, the emotional fractures and the realization of the rubbers in a natural way without exaggeration were the points of orientation of my work.

If you were to ask a conductor what the best conducting school was, he would definitely answer: “Die Operette” (smiles).



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