Music, // May 28, 2019
Jonathan Cilia Faro — MUSICIAN
Interview with musical artist Jonathan Cilia Faro —
Jonathan Cilia Faro is not only one of the most extraordinary vocals talents to emerge in years but arguably the most engaging, entertaining and inspirational character in opera! Jonathan has overcome every obstacle life has thrown at him to follow his dream of becoming an opera star. From his troubled childhood which saw him finding solace in classical music thanks to a nun at his school, to his battle with cancer, to such unlikely spells as: A Minister, Soldier, Freemason, Busker and a Restaurateur.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am an Italian born, classically trained Opera singer. I am a Tenor. I have just released an opera cross-over album titled “From Now On.” I play the piano, I compose, and I write. I am also a producer and a supporter of new artists . I was born in Sicily, raised in both Italy and Montreal Canada, I have served in the Italian army, I have studied theology, I have been a missionary, I have released albums of inspirational music, I am a great cook, I have made wine, I have made a family, I have survived cancer, I have survived abandonment and betrayal. I have lived many lives in many places and I am a constant pupil of Life.
2. Why music?
Music has always been a constant savior and guide for me. I believe music is a divine gift and even if you are trained academically and you can understand music its is different from being born with music in your soul. Music changed my world, my way of seeing and understanding people and events around me. Many can reproduce music but to create new music that is a rare gift. I was taught the lesson many times in my life, music is what I was put here. To do and every time I try to deviate from my path I am brought back to the beginning, which is music.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be involved in music?
I was 11 years old it was August 15, 1992 it was a very hot summer in Sicily. All the windows were open and I was waiting for a breeze my grandfather put on a record of Luciano Pavarotti and I was hooked for life. Tosca grabbed me musically, and has not left my mind to this day.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and style(s)?
I often find myself singing about real events and tying them into the age old topics of love, loss and life. Every song needs to have a story, I believe that in order to reach people in a meaningful way the song must make a relatable impact. Opera literally means story through the music and I truly believe that is the only way!
5. How do you work and approach a new piece that you are working on?
If I am covering someone else’s song I try to make sure that I leave my mark on it. If I am composing or writing lyrics for a new piece I make sure to create something that people can relate to, I try to be as sincere as I can. I am often inspired by events going on in my life that touch me but also I am a citizen of the world and may things I experience, hear or see are also in my works.
6. What are your favorite musician(s), singer(s)?
Vocally – Enrico Caruso who mentored Mario Lanza – who inspired Luciano Pavarotti who in turn inspired Andrea Bocelli and who in 1995 inspired me. Musically – Ennio Moricone, Yanni, David Foster, Tom Brooks and Peppe Arezzo. Because I am a musician myself, I do not see the above as idols but more as colleagues
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
The best responses to me are always the ones that are from the heart. When someone is truly touched by my voice or performance I often here the person say that a song reminded them of their own experience (childhood, first love, etc). People who hear me perform live for the first time often tell me that even though they may not know the exact meaning of a song, they felt the power of the worlds and the music so completely that they lost themselves in it. Music is truly the universal language. Music brings all of us together in amazing ways.
8. What do you like about your work?
Someone taught me that you must build a life you don’t need a vacation from. That is what I like most about what I do. But don’t take me wrong, my work is often times very intense and personal and it requires a lot of energy and sacrifice. It is very stressful when people do not understand that creativity cannot be measured in dollars minutes.
9. What advice would you give to other musicians?
I will not give advice to anyone who is already a professional, however I give advice to young artists that are thinking that the music business is easy and that creating music is also easy. My advice to them is; if you want to make music for. Your ears alone then be totally yourself but if you want to create for many then you need to use your art to please many. You can not be stubborn about your work, you need to have a team behind you believing in you and you need to be. Ready for the positive and the negative (from my personal experience)
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
In a little castle with a library reading all the great books I never found the time to read and surrounded by grounds filled with farm animals and a garden where I grow my own tomatoes (obviously that’s a dream). Or option two is a small house somewhere on a beach where I never have to wear shoes – also a dream! My life really is lived day by day I do not live thinking far into the future but my hope is that my new album From Now On will still play and my songs will be sung by others (who are welcome to add their own flavor to it) for the next 20 years.
Lisa Freeman is an Arts Illustrated’s Correspondent, representing the United Kingdom.
Lisa is also a Public Relations Director for – Quite Great PR & Marketing in Cambridge.