This interview was done through e-mail in December 2000 with the female vocalist Cadaveria from the Italian occult metal band Opera IX.

Could you give us a short biographical background on Opera IX since I´m afraid there are some people who still haven´t heard of you?
Answer: Well, Opera IX was born in the end of Eighties but only around 1992 the band reached a steady line-up. Since 1992 me, Ossian, Vlad and Flegias are the nucleus of the band. In 1997 Lunaris enterered the band and completed the group. Apart two demos, the most interesting production started in 1993 with 7 inch ep The Triumph of Death, while the full lengths are The Call of the Wood (1995, Miscarriage-Nusferatu rec), Sacro Culto (1998, Shiver Records) and The Black Opera-Symphoniae Mysteriorum in Laudem Tenebrarum (2000, Avantgarde Music).

You probably don´t like labelling your music but could you please give the readers who haven´t heard your beautiful symphonies yet a short description of the Opera IX sound?
Answer: Our music is a personal mix of many influences and few words aren’t enough to define it. Somebody say it is a strange mix of doom, death and black, but I think it is something more: it is the mirror of our souls, it is Opera IX’s music and style, it’s pure occultism.

Is Cadaveria your real name? If not, what is your real name and how come you chose this name? Does it have a meaning?
Answer: Everyone of us chose the name that better represents his own personality and way of being. The name Cadaveria perfectly describes my look, diaphanous and spectral, my gloomy and painful feelings and my love and attraction for all what is sick and insane.

Female vocals have become popular in metal with bands like Theatre of Tragedy, Tristania, Power Symphony and others but you are quite unique with your sometimes enchanting clean and sometimes grim, harsh voice. How come you started to sing this way? Were you in any other bands before Opera IX?
Answer: Yes there are many female singers in metal but I think I have nothing to do with all those you mentioned, my voice is totally different. I sing this way only ‘cause it is natural for me. I started singing by joke around 1991 in a strange band called Marciume, it was a sort of heavy-punk-core band, I sang in Italian. I remember it was an amusing and alcoholic period… Then in 1992 Opera IX needed a new singer and offered me to try. After few days I was already spellbound by Opera IX, all of us agreed my voice was really ok for that genre and I seriously became part of the project.

Your first two albums were released through Shiver Records and Miscarriage Records. I must admit that I have never heard of these labels before. Could you tell me a little about them?
Answer: Well, Miscarriage Records was a very small Italian label and now it doesn’t exist any more. It was the first that offered us a contract, we had the album ready and had no experience… this is the reason why we accepted to sign for it. Shiver Records is a Belgian label that seemed very interested in promoting Opera IX… The deal was made just for 1 album. This was decided by us ‘cause we wanted to be free to look around us and see what would have happened during the year. I think that Shiver, according to its possibilities, did a quite good work, but we merited something more… and in Autumn 1999 we accepted the offer of Avantgarde Music that finally gave us the right budget for the recordings and the proper promotion.

Now you have been with Avantgarde Music about a year I think. What do you think of them so far?
Answer: We are very satisfied of it, the CD is well promoted and distributed, the label is serious and works professionally. I think the union of Opera IX’s and Avantgarde Music’s forces is an winning mixture.

It has soon been a year since you recorded your third and latest album "The Black Opera: Symphoniae Mysteriorum in Laudem Tenebrarum". What is going on with Opera IX at the moment? What will your next album sound like?
Answer: The Black Opera was recorded in January 2000 and was out in May. Probably the new album will be released in September 2001. It will contain 6 or 7 new songs, actually only three are totally finished and they sound really ... strange. We really didn’t put any limit to our minds. The sound is still 100% Opera IX but there are many influences from classical heavy metal for what concerns the guitar riffs and the vocals too, while keyboards are always symphonic and majestic. There will not be a concept album even if many lyrics deal with the same matters: witchcraft and magic. It will be a progressive album.

Do you have a philosophy of life that you try to live by?
Answer: All Opera IX members are involved in occultism and are interested in ancient traditions and legends, but everyone of us interprets occultism in his own way. Personally I believe in myself and in the power of my mind, soul, spirit. I believe in the possibility to open new dimensions far from ordinary life

I suppose that at least most of the Opera IX band members have regular jobs beside the music. Would you like to tell us what you do when you´re not working with the band?
Answer: Yes, infortunately we cannot live with music only and everyone has a job except Lunaris who studies. I manage human resources in a telecomunication company and in the meantime I study at university. Flegias is a videomaker, Ossian makes jewels, Vlad I didn’t understand yet what he does.

What do you think about the metal scene in Italy today? I know of bands like Rhapsody/Luca Turilli/Vision Divine, Athena, Labyrinth, Power Symphony etc. but heavier and ground-breaking bands like Opera IX seem to be rare. Do you have any Italian favorites that you think deserve to be mentioned?
Answer: No one except for Opera IX.

What kind of music do you listen to? What are your top five bands ever, I suspect Iron Maiden is one of them?
Answer: I listen to many kinds of music from metal to Italian melodrama, I have no fave bands but I like to listen to Mercyful Fate, Marilyn Manson, My Dying Bride, Dissection, At the Gates, Devil Doll...

Are the members of Opera IX "real" friends or do you only meet to compose music?
Answer: We are all true friends and we meet each other also out of the rehearsal room.

I know you have studied at the university (as I will be doing soon as well...). What did you study and what did you get out of it?
Answer: I study story and criticism of cinema, I have two examinations left and then I will get the degree. Then I will think about what I want to do in my life...

Do you have any thoughts on humanity and the way the world looks today?
Answer: I think a bit more respect of human beings, of Nature and of personal freedom would be enough.

What do you think of the Italian society in general?
Answer: I like alot to live in Italy. Italians are generous people.

Is there any chance of seeing you playing live in Sweden?
Answer: There are no pans for a tour in winter, we must take a decision about an offer we received to tour Europe in April. Time will tell.

Any final comments?
Answer: Just a thanks for this interview and an invitation to continue to follow Opera IX and to visit www.operaIX.org

Links of interest:

Opera IX official website
Avantgarde Music (the band´s label)