Opera singers, we're not muscle men; you have to be careful about your work.
I only started singing the Russian roles when I came west.
I'm one-fourth Tatar and three-fourths Bashkirian.
For the first time I go to La Scala, for each thing, for each rehearsal, my knees were shaking. But the audience was very fine with me.
I play golf, and I play chess, and sometimes I go to the gym. On the airplane or between acts when I do the performance, I play Candy Crush to forget what happens around me, just to be alone, not thinking... You need to clear your brain.
I never, never thought one day I will sing at La Scala or I will get the Grammy. I'm lucky. I work a lot with a teacher, with my coach.
I could hear my friends outside playing soccer while I was expected to stay inside practicing the piano. It was like torture!
Call me Ildar! Call me Abra-ca-da-bra! My name is my name.