Do you spend a lot of time there right now? In Italy.
Yes. I'm studying there right now. I go there to study.
Do you go to someone specific?
Yes. Then there's some performances, not too big. And that's enough for me, by the way. I live there for a month and then come back here. And that's enough for me right now. Because, it's likely that many think that I came back because I couldn't make it there. But that's the opinion of the majority.
I'll be upfront: being here is my conscious decision. They pay more there. You're always drawn to where you feel good. Of course, I have friends who say that I don't want to get out of my comfort zone. Because it's outside of my comfort zone. Overseas. It's possible that there's some truth to it, I won't argue, but when I sit there, and simply look at the minaret and I want to cry, well, that's, I dunno, a feeling I can't explain.
Or when I go to Kamal Theatre to a Tatar play, I want to cry there too. Or I'll go to a concert of the State Ensemble, the choir will be singing, and I'll be crying the whole time.
So what hurts for you? What do you feel? Can you somehow describe that feeling?
I don't know, like for some reason the tears just flow, not sure. It could even be a happy song (Laughs).
I could assume that it's sadness, that you're losing something, something's leaving, but you chose Kazan? Something else, yes?
No, I used to experience these feelings even before I left. I think, it's to do with the language.
In terms of music, is Kazan a comfortable city?
For a classical musician? You know, it's not bad, but it would be better if we had more festivals, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, the Shalyapin Festival passes me by. First of all, it's impossible to find tickets there. There's never any. Or if there are any, they cost ridiculous amounts.
I can't get in. Because I can't buy a ticket even half a year in advance. Shalyapin, Nureyev, unfortunately happen without me. I get into all concerts in the following way. So, let's say I have a free evening tonight, I'll check out what's happening where. And I go along.
How do you introduce yourself, when you talk about yourself?
I'm Ilusa Huzina, opera singer from Russia.
Is there an opera environment in Kazan? Some communities of people, who are involved with it and who are somehow connected between each other?
Well it's like this. Like it's obvious that we know the conservatories. But then there's those who graduated from the Institute of Culture.
Is that a separation between 'us and them'?
Well, no, we all connect. We're all in the same boat.
As in, you guys don't poison each other's drinks?
No, no. It's just there's this thing, I guess. We're academically educated people. We've worked on some performances together, but let's say, they didn't have that. But they had some kind of concerts they did together, and we didn't have that. We had different interests. Only in that sense.