Andrea Gerak presents a new series, introducing some of her artist friends: well known or lesser known singers, musicians, bands, composers of several music styles and genres, Hungarian and international ones alike, that deserve your attention. Enjoy meeting Andrea’s friends!
I am launching a new series of reviews that can be of your interest. As I am in contact with many fantastic talents from all over the world that I have the honor to call friends, I would like to introduce them to you. I will write these reviews from not only a professional viewpoint, but because these artists are in fact my friends in one way or the other, I will give it a personal touch as well. Each month, you can meet one artist who caught my attention in the previous weeks, who had something special happening, like a new album coming out.
Why would a singer review fellow musicians? A couple of weeks ago I posted a few photos of the Hungarian Music Academy in my Budapest blog, and there I was thinking: whom I would like to hear there, performing? A few names popped into my mind immediately, and this is how reviewing some of my artist friends was born. And actually, exactly those days I wrote a couple of lines about one of my all time favorite bands The Jive Aces which was published on the biggest Hungarian music site.
With whom else should I start such a series than one of my best friends Zita Tatrai soprano who grew up in my hometown Kazincbarcika as well. Funny enough, we got to know each other only as adults, in Budapest. I met her as the wife of a composer I was working with and first I heard Zita from a recording he showed me – and I went “WOW!”
I also remember that I was very much impressed when I visited them at home and saw many wonderful, colorful paintings on the wall, radiating a lot of positive vibes, by Zita Tatrai soprano I am writing about. Later on, she was commissioned by United Nations to paint a mural at the International University of Honduras.
Even funnier is that since I know Zita, I haven’t heard her performing – our paths crossed here and there every once in a while, but we both were on the move and I never had a chance to see my friend on stage…
But I heard Zita practicing, giving lessons or humming for herself, just for fun. Years ago, I was staying in her house in England for a short while, and right now she is staying with me here in Budapest. It’s such a great fun! She is doing her scales in the room, and I join her from the other room, the kitchen or the bathroom – can you imagine this? Zita is singing when she does her hair, when she is checking out stuff on the net, I can hear her voice from the staircase when I come home… filling the whole house with a huge, brilliant voice, of which I often get that special feeling I always look for in music, even when she does the simple warm-up exercises. She only steps out from the house when she is satisfied with all her preparations and ready to perform, let it be an important meeting or “only” a rehearsal with her pianist.
Major achievements of Zita Tatrai’s singer career include:
Finalist of the “Cittá del Alcamo” International Singing Competition 2006, Semi-finalist of the Rocca Delle Macíe International Singing Competition 2006,
5TH OTTAVIO ZIINO International Opera Competition in Roma 2006,
First International Singing Competition ‘Tommaso Traetta’ 2007,
Velvety, beautiful speaking voice as well – Zita is a trained actress, she used to be the Hungarian voice of Xena.
Singer, painter, actress – but there is more: Zita Tatrai makes great portrait photos; she has a good sense to see the beauty in even such people who don’t consider themselves beautiful. I can tell that it is fun to work with her, I enjoyed her creativity while we had a photo session, this is one shot she did of me.
As a freelance journalist, years back she published articles in daily newspapers about her observations on everyday life in the city.
On top of all her artistic sides (who says that one can’t excel at several art forms???), Zita is a gorgeous and very intelligent woman, a great friend, a fun, communicative person, a being with an enormous heart – a whole package.
Our little city and our little country can be proud to give such a talent to the world.
– Andrea Gerak