French soprano Emma Shapplin sings her songs with her voice that touches our spirits. The best thing to do in the world is to sing for her. Emma Shapplin who gave a concert in Cappadocia last spring comes to Bodrum on August 13. Her fans look forward to her concert which is going to be accompanied by the Presidential Symphony Orchestra this time. We had a lovely interview with the soprano who is known with her gracious nature.

Your original name is Marie-Ange Chapealin. How did you come up with Emma?
I thought the name of Emma with double M would be stronger, that is why I chose it.

How would you describe yourself?
I am aware of my fragility in my personal life so I envelope myself accordingly with silence, compassion, laughter, and joy; I always strive for creating harmony around myself. Because I know that it is only a matter of time to burnout or break into pieces.

You have been also writing lyrics. What kind of a process is that?
I enjoy every moment of the creation process –before, during, and afterwards. Each step is very exciting. I feel like I am being tested during the writing process. It resurrects me. Do I have hard time? Yes, of course; however, this is a part of the process. Moreover, the hard times are also very important. They herald that the solution is near; something new and exciting is at the door.

What is important for you in a relationship?
I value honesty.

What is your life philosophy?
Life is a wonderful chance that is given to us. The world is filled with great variety of bright and beautiful things that harbor oppositeness. We have the opportunity to experience, try, smell, taste, touch, and feel them. I think we should focus on enjoying these wonderful blessings as much as we can and look closely to become aware these beautiful things that surround us.

What does singing mean to you?
What singing, I am talking about opera singing, means to me cannot be compared to anything. I feel as if I am riding a wild animal and I am trying to break that animal by using all the techniques and tricks within my knowledge. This is a game and a fight between controlling yourself and riding for a fall. It is at the same time something both fine and rough that demands all your focus, energy, and power. I feel like burned out and reborn at the same time and like I gained new energy following a performance. I feel like I am synchronized with the universe. I am a peaceful person and I am well aware that I am alive.

What type of a work rhythm do you have?
In accordance with my nature, I have an introvert personality so music became a physical and mental necessity for me. However, I am not the anywhere-anytime-all-day-long ‘singing machine’ type. Singing is not something so easy for me but this thought disappears when I go on the stage.

How do you feel when a new album of yours is released?
Each album gives me the opportunity to discover the depths of my personality. I usually get in touch with my subdued feelings. I like oppositeness in my creations, too. I always challenge myself.

You came to Cappadocia this year and Cappadox’s theme for this year was “Ways out of the World”. What do you do when you are looking ways out of the world both mentally and spiritually?
Many things. I read, sleep, go back to nature. I think reconnecting with nature is very important because that is where we came from and sometimes we forget to be there. This might be a seaside or a forest…

What do you think of Turkish music in general?
Turkish music makes me feel poetic and experience dense feelings. Especially your folk songs that take you back to past. I once performed a Turkish folk song in a concert. It was called ‘Do not wear white and become a subject of gossip’. I actually felt shy a little! Probably, my accent was terrible. French have a saying for this type of situation: “Walking on egg shells”. There are fragile things under your feet; you have to be careful; you cannot make sure where you are going.

You have given many concerts in Turkey. What did make you surprise about Turkish listeners?
Turkish listeners are respectful and loyal. It was raining during one of my concerts and no one left.

How is everything going with your new album work?
It has been a long process. We continue working. In fact, many of the lyrics are done already. However, there are times that I stop working with my colleagues and work alone. I think it is going to be ready this winter.

Who do you listen to the most in your daily life?
David Bowie. It is as if he is still alive. One of the first concerts I went when I was 18 was a David Bowie concert at a stadium in Paris. I was in the last rows and I had to climb on a friend’s shoulder to see him because I am short. His aura had affected me greatly although I was so far away from the stage. His energy and his determination of always following his own path musically sound so special to me.

You are touring the world. You are singing for thousands of people. Does it make you happy?
There may always be people who would want more. I am happy like this. I can shape my life the way I want. Of course, not everything went as planned and it was not easy at all, but I was able to find the ways out. I am full of dreams and passion. I like discovering and experiencing new things.

Who or what inspires you?
Everything. Everyone. I put myself in sleep mode sometimes and wait for inspiration to come to me. There are times that it doesn’t come fast enough.

How were you as a child?
I have two brothers. I was a child who lived in her own world. My family used to take us out of town on the weekends. I used to love being one with nature.

Do you like poetry?
Poetry is my life and my work. Always…

Do you follow the trends?
I like going to fashion shows. I love the show ambience and environment there –especially Haute Couture. What a talent! I like dressing up even only for myself at home; however, I cannot say that I am enslaved by it. When I go out, especially when I go to Paris, I do not use makeup and I wear plain and basic clothes.