By Amber Jennings.
I was lucky enough to be invited to Rome, along with my mum Adele Jennings to interview the cast of the Disney Channel’s show called Violetta.
Violetta is a programme about a talented teenager called Violetta who returns to her hometown of Buenos Aires with her father after a few years of living in Europe.
She’s a bright and lively girl with an amazing singing voice.
Studying at Studio 21, along with other talented students, Violetta goes through life’s ups and downs with her family and friends.
I got the chance to go and interview them in person, in Rome, how cool is that!
When we first arrived in Rome, we were whisked off to a concert venue called PalaLottomatica.
I enjoyed watching an amazing show. The Violetta show is on tour until March, and what a fantastic show it is. Jam packed with brilliant singing and dancing.
After watching the show it was back to our luxury hotel.
The next morning, we arrived at another hotel where the interviews were taking place, there were many fans outside waiting to catch a glimpse of them.
I interviewed six of the cast from Violetta, including: Violetta played by Martina Stoessel, Leon played by Jorge Blanco, Francesca played by Lodovica Comello, Federico played by Ruggero Pasquarelli, Maxi played by Facundo Gambandé and Diego played by Diego Domínguez.
Here are the questions I asked and the fab answers they gave..
How did you get the part in Violetta?
Martina: ‘It’s a very long story! My father went to present a project at the Disney Channel and he asked if I would like to record the songs for this project. Which was not Violetta. I hadn’t done anything on TV before, so of course I wanted to do it. He went and presented his project and they asked who is this girl who’s singing the songs at the end. I had just turned 14 at the time. My father said this is my daughter. They had been looking for a main character and they had seen so many girls and couldn’t find the right one. The asked.. would your daughter like to come and do a casting and I said of course! I danced and sang for them and had lots of auditions and then in the end that’s how it all started for Violetta.’
Jorge: ‘My case is different as I have now being working with Disney since 6 years ago, so this project is the first time they called me for an audition. They called me and said there’s a possibility I would make this part. And I was like yeh I’m interested. They kept giving me information and one day they told me yes you’re in and it was exciting, I was like wow, it was the first time they called me so it was fun.’
Ruggero: ‘I received the call from Mickey Mouse asking if I’d like to participate in Violetta. It’s a big adventure, huge opportunity, I went to Argentina and then my adventure began.’
Lodovica: ‘I was studying in a normal academy in Milan, singing and dancing and one day the general manager of the academy called me and in 3 days some people arrived for a casting of girls for a secret project. I participated in the casting and after a week they chose me and I had to go to Buenos Aires and in 2 months with my luggage I went to Argentina.’
Facundo: ‘Through a casting. It was a long casting, about 5 months long, I had to do everything, dance and sing, and it was a surprise because only 6 months later I heard that I was selected I didn’t know the title of Violetta and where I was going to act or what my character was.’
Diego: ‘It was different for me, I was in Madrid. It came as a surprise while I was struggling with different minor projects and I cried over the phone to my mother when I found out because she knew how important it was to me.’
Did you go to acting school?
Martina: ‘Yes, I went for 3 years and did acting, I did singing and dancing. I didn’t go to full-time acting school, it was at the weekend.’
Jorge: ‘No, until I started working so that was my acting school.’
Ruggero: ‘Yes, I spent six years in an acting school, I was a shy person and thanks to acting I developed myself, singing and guitar and now we are here.’
Lodovica: ‘Me, guitar, 8 years, composition then singing and acting, it’s quite important to attend acting schools.’
Facundo: ‘I started with dance classes in a school and then moved onto acting and also singing lessons.’
Diego: ‘I started when I was 13 and I took acting classes and since then I have always studied.’
How many hours do you rehearse during the day?
Martina: ‘We did 2 months of rehearsing Monday to Friday, 6 hours a day for our European tour.’
Jorge: ‘Before starting the tour we had 2 months of rehearsals everyday from Monday to Friday 6 hours a day, it was tough but it’s worth it now.’
How is it being on tour, is it tiring?
Martina: ‘Yes it’s very tiring, but we try to enjoy it. You miss your home, bed and family and it’s unique. Enjoy it.’
Jorge: ‘Sometimes it’s hard to get up early like everyone knows. It’s like when you have to get up for school. It’s what we love to do and people and our fans are our inspiration and that makes us forget feeling tired and all that and we try to have fun with our partners on stage, everyone’s crazy so we never get bored.’
Are you like your character in real life?
Martina: ‘The relationship with music and singing and dancing, that’s what we have in common.’
Jorge: ‘Me as well.’
Ruggero: ‘I am Federico and my character is like me, I try to find girls, play guitar and singing. I like to be with friends and people and I’m friendly person and Federico is an easy character.’
Lodovica: ‘I’m Francesca and yes we have similarities. We like music, like to be with friends, we’re romantic, have dreams and like to be at peace with the world trying to find an equilibrium between villains and good people.’
Diego: ‘My character really corresponds to my way of being, I tries to be in line with the essence, but of course I have to exaggerate as this is what is required. The tone, the character is slightly over the top.’
Facundo: ‘Of course characters do follow stereotypes and this is like this too, in the series you have lots of ups and downs and conflicts so Maxi is of course a very normal and real character which I do have to exaggerate again slightly but in different ways. For the theatre and the film industry slightly more and for the TV you have to try to be more in line with everyday life.’
How much time do you spend recording the show?
Jorge: ‘Each season is 8 months per season, it’s a lot of time.’
What’s your favourite type of music and artist?
Martina: ‘Beyonce, she is my favourite singer.’
Jorge: ‘I like a lot of types of music but especially rock and pop and my favourite artists are Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5.’
Ruggero: ‘I like pop music, but my artists at the moment are Bruno Mars, One Direction, Justin Bieber, they have my image so I’m trying to get from interviews what they feel, since they are my same age.’
Lodovica: ‘I like pop but I also like rock and roll, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, my family are rock fans, I also like Joss Stone, I like warm voices.’
Facundo: ‘I doesn’t have a specific type of style I prefer. I like to listen to music and dance music, each type of music transmits something, brings something alive, of course there’s different moments, when I want to relax I’ll listen to calm music, if I want to dance, I listens to more rhythmic music.’
Diego: ‘Music for me is getting away, whenever there is a musical sound that’s fine with me.’
If you could travel back in time, who would you most like to meet?
Martina: ‘Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston.’
Jorge: ‘Nice question.. being a fan of rock music, Elvis Presley.’
Ruggero: ‘I would like to meet Michael Jackson the King of Pop, I wish I could.’
Lodovica: ‘I have 2 options, I would like to go back in time to meet Marylin Monroe. Marylin Monroe was the first star and just that period and the development of cinema and television, I would like to see her in that period and that atmosphere. And then I would like to participate in Queen’s concert.’
Facundo: ‘Marlon Brando.’
Diego: ‘I would have liked to have met Charlie Chaplin.’
Are you studying at the moment?
Martina: ‘I am still going to high school so I’m studying everything, I haven’t finished yet as I’m still 16.’
Jorge: ‘Well me, I’m done with school and well, college, it’s like I have no time right now but maybe sometime I’d like to study music production, I’d like to add something more to my career.’
Ruggero: ‘The script of Violetta! Me and Lodovica have both finished school at the moment but what we are doing is a sort of school we are singing, dancing, it’s our private school.’
Lodovica: ‘Yes I agree with Ruggero. What we are doing it takes a lot of time so it’s our life, it’s all day long so we couldn’t do other things but one day when we finish we may attend school again.’
Have you been to England?
Martina and Jorge: ‘No, but we’d like to visit soon.’
Ruggero: ‘Yes, I like London, I like everything about London, I would like to live in London.’
Lodovica: ‘Me too, I spent 4 days in London and that was sufficient to fall in love with it and I’d like to go back.’
Facundo: ‘Just recently, I have been to London for the first time. I just loved London Just before coming to Rome I was in London.’
Diego: ‘I haven’t been yet but I’m dying to go to London and would like to meet the actor, Colin Firth.’
What do you get up to when you’re not recording shows?
Martina: ‘I spend time with my family and talk on the phone with my friends, I do what normal people do.’
Jorge: ‘Me too, I like hanging out with my friends and I like sports, soccer or basketball, I’m very active so I’m always doing something as I get bored resting too much.’
Facundo: ‘I love eating in good restaurants, spending time with friends, he likes to spend time with his dog, and he’s missing his dog a lot. Listening to music and relaxing.
Diego: Likes to relax, he likes to spend one day at home relaxing, just one day because he likes to do sport and go to the movies.
In one word how would you describe the show?
How much has your life changed now you’re famous?
Facundo: Completely, is changed a lot, dramatically. Now he walks into the street and people recognises him, it makes his life completely different, he can not go after a show maybe at the end of a long day and he’s tired and he’d like to have a bite and the restaurant is full of fans then of course it has completely changed. He does understand that there are fans and it has changed in that sense.
Diego: Completely, he left his country, his family, his school mates, and so now this has been an additional change and he would like to go back to his family and his roots.
I had a fantastic time in Rome, and it was great to interview the cast. A big thanks to Disney for inviting me.
Catch Violetta on the Disney Channel.
More information on the shows on the Disney Channel visit: www.disney.co.uk
Here are some facts about Violetta:
- Violetta was viewed by more than 20 million people across Europe during the first quarter of 2013, and has generated more YouTube searches than Lady Gaga and Katy Perry in France, Spain and Italy.
- Five Violetta titles have topped the Italian kids’ book chart for the past four months.
- Violetta En Vivo live show launched earlier this year in Latin America.
- Also in Italy, its popularity was further underlined earlier this year when the premiere of season two previewed in cinemas across Italy. As a result, more than 275,000 tickets were sold ranking Violetta at the box office second only to The Great Gatsby.
- Crowds gathered in the thousands recently to get a glimpse of the cast in Italy.
- Violetta Live in Concert runs for over 100 minutes.
- There are a total of 180 costume changes per show.
- 9 changes for Martina Stoessel, 8 changes for Jorge Blanco, 6 changes for the rest of the cast.
- 7 trucks are used to tour the show.
- It takes 12 hours to set up the show when arriving at a new venue.
- It takes 8 hours to take down the show after the last performance in each city.
- Violetta Live in Concert completed the first leg of its European tour in December 2013, performing to over 150,000 people at 22 performances in 6 major cities across Spain.
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