“The Beauty of Human Aging”
Text: Martina Hošková and M. Zisso; Photo: Melanie Dzurendová
I first met Markéta about twelve years ago at the Shanghai EXPO 2010, and a few months ago our paths crossed again here in Prague. When I asked Markéta for an interview, I warned her that it would be different than usual. It wasn’t just going to be about work, concerts, and plans. It was going to be more special – very personal and very natural. This interview was done during Markéta’s holiday in Italy, which is her almost second home and where she has time to think in a completely different way. An Italian sort of way.
Markéta, what is it that you think about these days?
About how time passes by. I like the Greek concept of inner and outer time – Chronos and Kairos. From the point of view of the universe, time is defined for man on Earth as a drop in the ocean. But for us, sometimes a minute is infinite, and at the same time ten years pass in the blink of an eye. I had never thought about it before, but I can see in our daughter how time passes. As disturbing as it might seem to be, it makes me happy that I was able to notice it.
They say time heals everything. And I believe it.
Two years of COVID have shown us a face of time we hadn’t seen before. It is unimaginable for musicians and artists from the classical music world to not have a full calendar for several years ahead. They regularly perform in various places worldwide. Suddenly, everything changed. And I am gradually taking the change as a challenge and as an indicator that the time for changes has come.
And what did you get out of this finding?
That there is no rush. However, you have to grow to (realise) that. Grow older. Ten or twenty years ago, I was able to get in the car after a performance at the National Theatre in Prague, drive to Rome, and the next day, after only taking a shower, go on stage again. That’s youth, when we feel we have to do everything right away. Even now, I’m a bit impetuous, but I like slowly getting old.
Markéta, wait, how can you talk about getting old? It’s rather like a good wine, getting better!
We’re all getting older, even though we’re trying to stop it. Okay, let’s call it growing older. Now, around the age of 40 and halfway through my life, I’m starting to enjoy the days like I wasn’t able to before. I can better appreciate a loving family, a good character in people, health, and the value of education. That’s why I like to sing in churches and castles. The spiritual world meets the craftsmanship of architecture and history.
I appreciate singing for an audience that can turn off their phones for an hour or two, and allow themselves to be transported into a world of music that spans centuries.
That sounds great. What shows will you invite us to in the second half of this year?
Both of my projects – the Fassati Art Festival and Church Festivities – are in full preparation for the next season. Specifically, the Fassati Art Festival’s Advent Gala will take place at the Municipal House in Prague on 29 November, and the Church Festivities concerts are held regularly every month in various churches around Prague. In addition, I am invited to give concerts, performances, and moderate for companies, private companies, and cultural houses. I am not bored. I am very active, sometimes too active. But I am aware of the beauty of human aging: “festina lente / dolce far niente”, or in English “hurry slowly / the beauty of doing nothing”. So, I am simply observing the world around me too. And when I manage to switch my mind off, the best ideas and inventions come.
You have a beautiful daughter. How does it feel to be a mother and wife?
Honestly, to be a mother is more beautiful than I expected. Seeing an unspoiled children’s world full of small joys is very encouraging and inspiring. I believe that the next generation will be smarter and more considerate than ours. I also realize how important it is to have a loving and functional family. It is like a safe harbour in a stormy sea.
You come from an extremely musical family. Do you think your daughter will be the third musical generation?
That’s a great question. It would be nice because I could pass on the knowledge I have. Sometimes, I am surprised by how beautifully she sings. Marina also has great abilities in sports. She can run very well and loves tennis and team games. We will support her in everything she chooses. The main thing is to be happy in life.
Where do you see yourself in another twelve years?
The year is 2034 and Markéta Fassati is around fifty years old. She sees her children growing up, drinks lovely wine with her husband, and supports young talents. She enjoys spending time with real friends, sees the world from the other perspective, and knows how fragile it is to keep peace in the world.
A few words about Markéta:
Markéta Fassati is a Czech soprano and multi-genre singer, presenter, producer, founder of several internationally successful projects, and last but not least a wife and mother. She was born in Prague into the family of a renowned choirmaster and conductor Lubomír Mátl. Since the beginning of her musical career, she has travelled all over the world. She speaks several languages, and her hobbies include architecture, real estate reconstruction, design, and above all family. Her husband is very well known tennis coach Martin Fassati.