“This song will break your heart into a million pieces”

And he's right at the center of the film's action—cameras on stage capture the action. That doesn't make it easy for singers, says Pettit: “The camera shows everything. If you have a piece of lettuce in your teeth, she'll show it,” Pettit says with a laugh. “It's hard to follow a shadow all the time. You don't have a private moment. As a singer, sometimes you get pulled away to clear your throat. You can't do that with a camera, you have to be in character the whole time. We have to make it believable for the camera, you can't play with emotions. You have to feel it.”

Speaking of Feelings: How does a singer feel in the midst of all this tragedy coming to the stage? “I was very moved, especially at the end. “I had to keep myself in control a lot,” she says. “It's very difficult sometimes. This song is so beautifully written that it will break your heart into a million pieces. At one point director Marie-Yves Signirole asked me if I would cry. I replied: You need not ask me, what I will do, therefore.”

the future

Pettit has already sung “Sly Little Vixen” in Vienna, and recently appeared several times on stage with Cecilia Bartoli at the Salzburg (Whitson) festival. How did she actually get into singing? “The singing career chose me — more than anything else,” he says. “I started singing when I was 14. My parents said I have a beautiful voice. I loved the compliments! It was easy and fun for me, but I didn't think right from the beginning: this is going to be my career. I won second place in the 'Musica Sacra' competition in Rome – and then things went quickly from there.

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But it's not an easy career, is it? “It's very difficult for the new generation to find good-paying jobs,” says Pettit. “Fewer and fewer people want to do this work.” And “Unfortunately there's still a misconception about opera: it's for old people and only tells old stories. That's not true.”

Some prejudices, though long outdated, persist: “I still meet people who tell me: You're not fat, how can you sing opera?” For many, operas are “still old, dusty, long, expensive – and not: open to everyone and funny. If people don't come thinking it's boring, opera will die. How sad.”

After “Romeo et Juliette”, she has a lot of plans for herself again this year in Salzburg and Bregenz – but first: a vacation.

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