Interview with Elvis Costello and Ann Sofie von Otter about For The Stars
CNN, 2001-06-19
- Jodi Ross

 

Showbiz Reports: Costello, Von Otter Collaborate on Album

Aired June 19, 2001 - 16:37   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN ANCHOR: Now, in his almost 30 years of making music, Elvis Costello has become regarded as one of the most influential and popular singer/songwriters in modern music. In the course of his career, Costello has collaborated with the likes of Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach, just to name-drop a little bit.

His latest joint effort is with opera star Anne Sofie Von Otter. And Jodi Ross found out that the result is not the Elvis Costello that fans are used to. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JODI ROSS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You could call Elvis Costello "The King Of The Collaborators." His latest work has paired him with opera star Anne Sofie von Otter.

It was more than a decade ago that the rock and pop singer-turned producer, along with his wife, first heard the mezzo-soprano in concert.

ELVIS COSTELLO: You just know it's a voice you are going to want to hear over and over again. And we sent some flowers to Sophia, but it created a curiosity, and eventually, we were invited backstage, when they realized we were tame.

ROSS: The friendship led to a partnership which led to the album "For The Stars," where, for the first time, von Otter sings pop.

QUESTION: Why did you want to make this record?

ANNE SOFIE VON OTTER: I liked the repertoire. I like pop. I like music of the '60s. That's when I grew up, and that's what I listened to all the time in my teens. And a lot of classical singers do this sort of thing, so I'm not the first one.

ROSS: No, but she may be the hardest working one. In a studio like this, Costello and von Otter recorded 26 songs in 12 days.

COSTELLO: When you're recording like that, it is a little bit like -- for a producer, it's like holding your breath for 12 days, because so many of the performances are this close to something magical, and then some small flaw will creep in, which breaks that mood.

ROSS: Costello has set the mood for many, including the Brodsky Quartet and Burt Bacharach.

COSTELLO: It's something that's come about. I didn't have any special qualifications for it, except I was curious. Because I really can't think of anything I'd rather do, in terms of collaboration, more than this.

ROSS: Not your typical pop album. For the stars, it's a mix of somewhat obscure songs by popular song-writers.

VON OTTER: I was a little bit afraid how it would turn out.

ROSS: But Costello says, von Otter has nothing to worry about. And neither does another blonde singing star.

COSTELLO: Christina Aguilera is not having sleepless nights about whether this record is creeping up behind her on the charts. Let's be honest, you know?

ROSS: Jodi Ross, CNN entertainment news, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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2001 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.