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6 Degrees Entertainment

Iván Gancédo Iván Gancédo

‘Arrivederci Roma: The Iván Gancédo Story'

Ivan Gancedo understood the importance of honoring his family, which led him to follow in a four-generation tradition and become an attorney in his native country Argentina. But when he attended a performance of “La Boheme” at one of the world's great opera palaces, Argentina's Teatro Colon in Buenas Aires, his passion would not be denied. Ivan said 'adios' to his lucrative legal career to plunge headlong into the risky business of operatic performance, an art that a relatively few ever reach soaring heights.

Ivan devoted himself completely to his pursuit of music - he studied vocal lessons in Buenos Aires and worked with famed Russian pianist, Rozita Zozoulia, who imparted the secrets of how to enthrall an audience. But in art, training and perfected technique may only serve to shape what is already there. Ivan had a gift.

Ivan just completed his first album, 'FOREVER', which was directed and produced by the prominent latin composer and producer, Rudy Perez, who has previously worked with the likes of Julio Iglesias, Jose Feliciano, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Luis Miguel among many others.

Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with Iván Gancédo and discussed his debut CD, his children, his involvement with the Desert Aids Project, and, of course, ... Penguins!

Taking it from the top and you began your working career as an attorney in your native country of Argentina. Following in a four-generation tradition, did you feel overly compelled to undertake this role, or was your sense of honor so strong that you didn't think twice? "Since I stopped thinking that I wanted to be an astronaut, an astronomer or a mad scientist, I never thought of anything else in life but being a lawyer!"

But, it's said that after you attended a performance at the Teatro Colon in Buenas Aires that your inner passion for Opera suddenly took over! So, how long were you an attorney before you said 'adios' to that lucrative career to plunge headlong into the risky business of operatic performance? "I worked for 13 years as an attorney while I took voice and repertoire lessons, and while I performed on a semipro basis. I always had the hope that one day my singing career would overtake my law career…and it finally happened!"

Indeed, all this time later, do you have any regrets about leaving the family business behind? "Not at all! My parents are very happy about the decision I made, and they were very supportive. It’s almost impossible to go against your passion. It’s like swimming against the current - once you relax and let yourself to be driven by it, you suddenly feel that you can swim as fast as you can imagine!"

You then devoted yourself to the pursuit of music, studying vocal lessons and working with famed Russian pianist, Rozita Zozoulia. Amongst other things, she taught you the secrets of how to enthrall an audience. So, what was one of the very first things she taught you, on that subject that blew your mind when revealed? "I really don’t think that this was the first thing she did teach me, but in her Russian way, the idea was to have my audience “pee on their pants while I sing!” That, in modern latin, means to own the audience and let them fall for what I give them!"

Your debut album is entitled, 'Forever' - so, if you could indeed keep anything close to you forever, what would it be ... and why? "Apart from my two beautiful kids, there’s nothing in life that can make me happier than singing. I live to sing. It’s my way of expressing my feelings…I would love to sing forever."

Does this debut album feature any personal memories, roads musically trodden yourself within the lyrics? "The songs that are part of the album are very romantic. I’m a romantic man. I love to love and to enchant through my singing. The lyrics are absolutely universal and I think that these are pop songs as classic as they get. They have been around for quite a long time, and they’ll be out there forever!"

The album was directed and produced by prominent latin composer/producer, Rudy Perez, so what did he do to your musical works that made you step back and know instantly that you had the right man for the job? "Michael Bolton suggested my manager to contact Rudy Pérez on his behalf saying that Rudy was the perfect match for my album. At first, I was a bit skeptical because he is known as a monster Latin producer, but I thought that he would be a musician/producer mainly with popular Latin music knowledge."

"But after discussing with him over the telephone about some ideas, and talking about the great tenors of all times, and amazing classic composers, and talking about his musical ideas I knew he was the perfect person…not only he knew the market but he also new about my music…he’s a fantastic musician/writer/composer/singer/producer. An all around artist."

"For my taste one of the very best in the world, with no doubts at all. No wonder he became Billboard’s Latin Producer of the Decade!"

You recently shared the stage with Audra MacDonald and Lorna Luft, the Original cast of RENT, at the 17th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards of the Desert Aids Project. What kind of an evening was that for you and did it all go according to plan? "That night was a magic night for me…it was packed with Hollywood royalty, as they call it. Joan Collins, George Hamilton, Donna Mills, Donna Carroll, Jackie Collins, Ann Margret…also Dionne Warwick and the fantastic musicians you mention. For me it was a very important evening, not only from the artistic point of view, but mainly because I was given the chance to help to raise funds for the cause of the fight against AIDS (they raised nearly $1,5MM that night). Thanks to God, everything came out very well. I’m very happy with the outcome!"

You speak fluently six languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and some Russian), but what are you most comfortable singing in - and why learn all those others? "My favorite language is Italian. They say that Italian is the perfect language to sing in - mainly opera (I’m an opera singer!). Beautiful round open vowels. It’s THE language. I’m also very comfortable singing in Spanish (my mother tongue) and English."

"I also enjoy Russian, French and Portuguese. I learned all the languages in different situations - mainly, traveling. I only really studied English at school, and the rest of the languages in different life situations (I did study Russian though). The more languages you speak, the easier it is to learn a new one. It’s fascinating to be able to communicate with people from around the world in their language."

You seem to spend your time running between the US and Argentina with your two sons. Does this get tiring after a while re: the long flights, or are you still riding the high of what you are currently (musically) achieving? "My priority in life are my two kids. No effort is enough in order to be close to them! After them comes my singing career. I love what I do; I’m blessed to have been given the talent to sing and the guts to drop my family heritage in order to pursue my passion. I’m a happy man indeed!"

Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love penguins ... do you, perhaps? "Yes I do, as they are native to my county of Argentina and can be found all along the southern coastline."

Interview: Russell A. Trunk

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