Anna Netrebko on 60 Minutes

Anna Netrebko: A Happy Diva
Singer Does Opera Music Videos
Dec 12, 2004 7:45 pm US/Eastern

Anna Netrebko in St. Petersburg
Photograph: (c) Peter Rigaud

There isn’t a musical instrument on earth that can produce sounds as varied, as beautiful, and as heart-rending as the voice of a woman.
That’s why we worship our great sopranos, and call them divas. But many of the greatest musical divas are larger than life. And seeing them on stage can be jarring, particularly when, in operas such as “La Boheme” or “La Traviata,” they’re playing fragile, young beauties dying of consumption.
Correspondent Bob Simon reports on a new prima donna, a young, rising opera star, with a Cinderella story.
Her name is Anna Netrebko, and she’s from Russia.
Her recordings are selling very well — unusually well for classical music. But more than that, Netrebko is doing something never done before: opera music videos.
Call it “MTV meets the Met,” or “Opera Lite.” But the videos are knocking some stuffiness out of the opera world. In Europe, her DVD soared to No. 1 on the charts ahead of Britney Spears and Beyonce.
Netrebko is a marketer’s dream, and her record company is daring to hope that she might just bring young people to opera. When is the last time you saw a soprano who sings at the Metropolitan Opera, and graces the pages of glossy magazines?
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