Cate Blanchett: “The Thing That Really Struck Me Is That in the Beginning, I Wasn’t Breathing — That’s Just So Important for Conducting. You Have to Breathe With the Orchestra”
Soloist and Professor of Cello at the Royal Academy of Music, London (UK).
This interview explores the meticulous artistic preparation undertaken by Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett in her role as director Lydia Tár in the film TÁR. The interview with Blanchett unveils her collaboration with director Todd Field, both sharing a commitment to authenticity in portraying the classical music world. Central to their vision was the avoidance of clichés and the necessity for a genuine representation of musical performances.
Blanchett’s insights into her preparation process provide a unique perspective on the intersection of acting and music. Emphasizing the importance of music as a unifying force, she draws parallels between the emotional and technical aspects of both disciplines. Her exploration of the conductor’s role, informed by discussions with musicians like Nathalie Stutzmann, showcases her dedication to authenticity and the challenges faced in embodying a character deeply entrenched in the classical music milieu.
The interview delves into Blanchett’s discoveries about the classical music world, revealing surprising insights into the industry’s resistance to change, the transformative power of live performances, and the unique challenges posed by silent rehearsals versus the immersive experience of live orchestral sound. Blanchett’s keen observations shed light on the psychological complexities inherent in conducting, offering a fresh perspective for both musicians and non-musicians alike.
As an accomplished actress, Blanchett reflects on her parallel journey in the arts and contemplates a hypothetical musical career, expressing a newfound admiration for conductors who navigate realms beyond individual performance. The paper concludes with Blanchett’s encouragement for classical musicians to interrogate tradition and adapt to evolving perceptions of the classical canon, drawing inspiration from the resilience of the art form during the silence of the pandemic.
This exploration of Cate Blanchett’s transformative experience in TÁR not only contributes to the discourse on the intersection of film and classical music but also offers valuable insights for performers, conductors, and enthusiasts seeking to bridge the gap between these two artistic realms.