NEW YORK (AP) -- Anna Netrebko giggled at the prospect of her opera being released on Blu-ray. "So you can see all the pimples?" she said.
Proud mother of a 5-month-old son, the soprano returned to the stage last month for Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor," first with two performances at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, then with a run of four at New York's Metropolitan Opera. The final performance on Saturday will be broadcast around the world in high definition.
Since her American debut at the San Francisco Opera in 1995, and especially since her sexy rendition of Violetta in the 2005 Salzburg Festival's staging of Verdi's "La Traviata," Netrebko has been the hottest thing in opera this side of a sweltering night at Bayreuth — which remains UN-air-conditioned.
Having given birth to Tiago Arua on Sept. 5 — the father is hunky Uruguayan baritone Erwin Schrott — Netrebko is a bit plumper these days than the Violetta who scampered across the Salzburg stage in red heels and a clingy red dress.
Upon arriving in New York last October for her first trip after giving birth, she said: "People on the street are still asking me, `When is your due date?' which is bad."
Splitting time between homes in Vienna and Manhattan, she has a nanny to help with the baby chores. That's important because she's right back into a full schedule. Next up: a revival of Bellini's "Capuleti e I Montecchi" at London's Royal Opera starting March 2, a "Lucia" run at the Vienna State Opera beginning March 14, her Zurich Opera debut in "La Traviata" on April 22, more Violettas in Vienna starting May 4, "La Boheme" in Munich opening May 24 and even more Violettas in San Francisco beginning June 13. That's followed by her role debut in Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" in Baden-Baden, Germany, on July 18.
The Schrott Tot, as he's known in opera circles, better be a good traveler.
"I have to be careful," she says of future bookings. "Actually, now I have to reschedule my life a little bit because I have a family. I have another very important thing in my life. At first, the biggest difference was dependency, you're losing your freedom. But after that, some other things come in, very nice things. I start to love him — when he smiles to you."
Since some people find the baby's name to be unusual, she explains the story behind it.
"We were thinking a lot. And the name appeared only two days before," she said. "It was this Brazilian Portuguese name, and the second name, Arua, I wanted to be the native Indian from Uruguay. I don't know. I think it's so cool."
It has to do with Schott's ancestry.
"He is from Uruguay and he has this Indian blood there," she said.
Because Schrott also has a busy international career, with performances scheduled five years in advance, Netrebko was left without her husband for 2 1/2 weeks last September. He had to jet to New York for Mozart's "Don Giovanni."
"He was with me in the hospital, of course" but left after a week. "I was there alone. That was not easy," she said. "That time was difficult."
Will the Schott Tot grow up to be a famous opera singer?
"I think this baby likes music very much. I can tell already," she said. "But he needs to be a bit grown up to keep attention for a little longer than 20 minutes."
On the Net: