die Opernwelt jubelt: Auf welchen Bühnen Rolando Villazón in den kommenden Monaten auftreten wird, hat der mexikanische Startenor jüngst mitgeteilt. Was er noch nicht verraten hat: Im März 2010 wird Villazón eine neue CD einspielen. Die Information dazu steht bescheiden zurückhaltend auf der Internetseite der Bolivar Soloists: „2010 folgen eine CD-Produktion und eine Tournee mit dem mexikanischen Tenor Rolando Villazón für die Deutsche Grammophon.“
Dabei handelt es sich um ein Album mit mexikanischen Liedern, wie Efrain Oscher, Leiter des Kammermusikensembles Bolivar Soloists, am Rande eines Konzertes der lateinamerikanischen Musiker in Berlin verriet. Villazón wollte schon seit langem eine CD mit mexikanischer Musik aufnehmen: „Das ist die Musik, mit der ich aufgewachsen bin, die mich geprägt hat. Ich habe große Lust diese Lieder zu singen“, sagte er in einem Interview 2008. Auf die Frage: „Wann?“, antwortete Villazón: „Schon sehr bald.“ Aber dann kam die Operation an einer Stimmbandzyste dazwischen.
Nun ist Villazón zurück und die Termine stehen fest. Efrain Oscher: „Villazón hatte seine Plattenfirma auf die Suche geschickt, eine Begleitband zu finden. Er wollte kein großes Orchester und keine Folkloremusiker.“ Die Solisten, die sich nach dem venezolanischen Freiheitshelden Simón Bolívar benannt haben, spielen in klassischen Orchestern und haben (fast) alle lateinamerikanische Musik im Blut. Oscher, in Uruguay geboren und in Venezuela aufgewachsen, lebt in Bremen. Er ist ein hervorragender Flötist und Komponist, wie er in Berlin im Ibero-Amerikanischen Institut mit der Uraufführung seines Stücks „Alexander von Humboldt und die Klänge der venezolanischen Landschaft“ bewies,
Rolando Villazón kündigt auf seiner Website für Juni eine Konzertreihe in Mexiko an, gewissermaßen die Generalprobe vor kundigem Publikum, bevor im Herbst die Deutschland- und Europatournee folgen soll.
Opern-Diva Anna Netrebko erobert mit ihrem neuen Album die Popcharts.
So was gelingt sonst nur den Wiener Philharmonikern mit dem Neujahrskonzert: Das Klassik-Album Anna – The Best of Anna Netrebko hat den Einzug in die Pop-Charts geschafft. In der Austro-Hitparade belegt die Netrebko den fünften Platz – hinter Stars wie Falco (The Spirit Never Dies, Spitzenreiter) und Lady Gaga (The Fame, dritter Rang), aber vor Robbie Williams (Reality Killed The Video Star, Achter).
Anna Netrebko singt auf ihrem Best Of-Album 17 Arien aus Opern wie La Bohème, La Traviata, Don Giovanni oder Le nozze di Figaro. In Österreich wurden schon mehr als 10.000 Alben verkauft – Goldene Schallplatte!
So heute ist es endlich mal wieder soweit, es ist der 24. Dezember und das Christkindl schickt sich an heute Abend in der ganzen Welt die Geschenke zu verteilen. Ich hoffe ihr habt alle ganz artig euren Wunschzettel ans Christkind geschrieben und wart so brav, dass ihr auch wirklich das bekommt was ihr euch gewünscht habt ;)
In diesem Sinne noch schöne Feiertage und lasst es euch gutgehen !
Dear Anna and Rolando, I wish you a "Merry Christmas" and a great time with your families. Enjoy the holidays =)
Ps: I'm sorry that I didn't post it earlier, but maybe you are despite still interessted in: BR Klassik broadcasts at the moment Rolando's Werther at the Bastille opera recorded in 2008. The transmission have started at 7.00 p.m. click here for listening...
"My wife Paula and I attended the Les Contes d'Hoffmann performance at the MET on 19-December which was also simulcast around the world as a live broadcast. As snow was encroaching on New York City, the crowds came out to see the Tales of Hoffmann. I totally agree with Irina, that there is truly nothing like a live performance, although this spectacle deserves a second review with the encore HD performance in January. Although there were some vacant seats due the inclement weather it was clear that Netrebko has her devoted following. The gift shop was playing a DVD of her Berlin Concert with Villazon and Domingo and copies were literally flying off the shelves. One woman flew in from Dallas just for this performance. The MET intentionally sanitized this production leaving out the partial nudity (G strings and pasties) reviewed by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times.
There was a rousing ovation for James Levine who recently returned from back surgery for a ruptured disc. He has the uncanny ability to allow the orchestra to support, but not overpower the singers. Bartlet Sher the director pretty much took a static opera with no dimension of time or change of venue. and made a spectacle of the opera. While there were some incongruities, it pretty much came off rather well and was very well received. Olympia, the mechanical doll played by Kathleen Kim was adorable, cute and sang with coloratura ease. She danced and walked like a mechanized doll as the voice lifted just like a young adolescent nymph. This was not the role for Netrebko. Although other productions have had wind up keys built into the costume, this rendition was just adorable. Ekaterina Gubanova as Giuletta was stiff and uninspiring. The part of Nicklausse sung by Kate Lindsay was just average, as her voice and expression appear not ready for prime time. Alan Held had a commanding presence as Dr. Miracle and sang with convincing authority. The clear winners of the afternoon were Joseph Calleja as Hoffmann and Anna Netrebko as Antonia. Calleja displayed confidence, presence and endurance. His voice has an unusual tenderness and affection that is reminiscent of Jussi Bjorling. Calleja had strength, the ability to project and literally sang the entire opera without much rest. His tenderness in recounting his lost loves came across with passion and conviction. This is an enormous role early in his career and it was clear that he was up to the task. Although Anna Netrebko's role as Antonia in the 2nd act was limited, she ruled the stage with passion, illumination and exquisite acting ability. One only has to think of her Salzburg Traviata for an analogy. Her deep Slavic tone and elegant poise was well suited to this role. She truly commanded the stage and all around her. Her duets with Hoffman were poignant, elegant and dramatic. She had the ability the sing along with his commanding presence. She was dressed in a beautiful nightgown that highlighted her style, grace and sumptuous figure. It is evident that she has lost much weight after her pregnancy, but her voice and timbre have become richer, more colored and exquisite. There were time when you could pick out her voice on top of the chorus. She has not lost her high register at all and there were some hints of exquisite trills in her singing. In short, this role was made for her, a sumptuous, melancholy lover with a great sense of pathos and drama. At intermission, I met a gentlemen who was at her MET debut in War and Peace. He said that he heard a lone voice above the chorus that transcended all. He said that he knew then that she was very special as only time would demonstrate. He loved her role here, but was not as enthusiastic about her coloratura capabilities in Lucia last year.
The production did have some weaknesses that seemed to detract from the overall message. In the opening of the third act which simulated an orgy or bordello, the well choreographed dancers with exquisitely flexible bodies were on top of men reminiscent of strippers at a bar. Their modern day costumes seemed out of place from the elegant victorian gowns and long coat worn by Hoffmann. My wife found some of this mildly offensive and inappropriate. If this was the sanitized version, I am sure that other performances had similar responses. Parts of the opera appeared to make fun of the Jews and were mildly anti-Semitic in nature. While not offensive, it is clear that Bartlet Sher chose to highlight these issues in his interpretation. I found it to be mildly amusing and perhaps this reflects some of Offenbach's beliefs.
Some general thoughts are in order. Having attended opera and concerts throughout Europe, I am astounded by the lack of decorum of many participants in the audience. On a Saturday afternoon where tickets are rather expensive, I am shocked by people dressed in dungarees and sweatshirts. My opinion is that the audience should be respectful to others in the audience as well as the performers. People sitting next to me in the opera talked throughout the opera and you could hear the incessant vibration of cell phone and occasional audible ones that were extremely bothersome. As Hoffmann was singing his heart out in the 3rd act, a cell phone went off at the most inopportune time. I realize that times are much more casual than in the past, but a modicum of decorum, appropriate dress and behavior is a rather low bar for such an exquisite art form.
In closing our trip to NYC was well worth the effort. Netrebko was enchanting, ravishing and skilled in her abilities. Our trip home was delayed by snow and ice, but fortunately we had a young female bus driver that was safety conscious, courteous and skilled in her driving abilities. She had to stop 4-5 times to clear ice from the wipers. Fortunately she beat the storm as she traveled North to Boston.
Looking forward to Boheme later this spring as well as Carmen with Garanca.
Many thanks to you, Howard, for your great and detailled review ! Feels like you have been there yourself !
(I'm sorry I don't know why it appears like this...and I don't know how to change it...)
Wow Rolando's season schedule is finally available ! =) Great that he will really sing his Händel concerts. But it makes me sad that I have school when he gives his Händel concert in Munich =( C'est la vie.
Der Star-Tenor Rolando Villazón wird seine Zwangspause am 22. März 2010 an der Wiener Staatsoper mit Donizettis "Liebestrank" beenden.
Anfang November wandte sich Rolando Villazón auf seiner Website via Videobotschaft an seine Fans, mit den Worten: "Meine Stimme ist zurück". Im April hatte der 37-Jährige alle Konzerte abgesagt, weil er sich wegen einer Zyste an den Stimmbändern einer Operation unterziehen musste. Mittlerweile steht fest, wo und wann der charismatische Mexikaner sein Bühnen-Comeback geben wird. Wie die Wiener Staatsoper am Montag in einer Aussendung bekanntgab, wird Villazón am 22. März 2010 in Donizettis "Liebestrank" singen.
Bereits nach seiner ersten fünfmonatigen Zwangspause im Jahr 2007 hatte sich Villazón für das Haus am Ring als Ort seines Comebacks entschieden. Mit ihrem gemeinsamen Auftritt in "Liebestrank" an der Staatsoper hatten Rolando Villazón und Anna Netrebko zudem 2005 den Medienrummel um das neue "Traumpaar der Oper" ausgelöst. Laut dem Spielplan der Staatsoper wird Ileana Tonca am 22. März die Adina an der Seite von "Nemorino" Villazón sein.
Weitere Auftritte in Villazóns Kalender
Laut Villazóns Management soll der Tenor weiters am 26. und 31. März sowie am 2. April an der Berliner Staatsoper in Tschaikowskis "Eugen Onegin" auftreten. Das berichtete das Magazin News via Aussendung. Es sollen Konzerte in Paris und Baden-Baden folgen, ehe er am 21. Mai mit in Jürgen Flimms "La Traviata"-Inszenierung in Zürich debütieren soll. Bei den Salzburger Festspielen, so News weiter, übernehme Villazón nicht den Romeo an der Seite von Anna Netrebko in Gounods "Roméo et Juliette". Dafür sei am 15. August ein Liederabend mit Pianistin Hélène Grimaud geplant.
There is much to cheer about in the Metropolitan Opera’s phantasmagorical new production of Offenbach’s “Contes d’Hoffmann” (“Tales of Hoffmann”), which opened on Thursday night.
The mezzo-soprano Ekaterna Gubanova as the Venetian courtesan Giulietta As conceived, this production was to have featured the tenor Rolando Villazón as the poet, wild-eyed dreamer and delusional lover Hoffmann. When Mr. Villazón, in the midst of a vocal crisis, pulled out last spring, the young Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, who had never sung this daunting role, accepted the assignment. On Thursday he gave his all, singing with ardor, stamina and poignant vocal colorings and winning a rousing ovation. There were technically shaky elements to his performance, and his focused, quick vibrato revealed every slight inaccuracy of pitch. Still, the insecurity actually befitted Mr. Calleja’s take on the character, laid bare emotionally.
The soprano Anna Netrebko may have disappointed her fans by deciding not to sing all four of Hoffmann’s love interests, as originally planned. But she was vocally lustrous, charismatic and wrenching as Antonia, the sickly and frustrated singer who has been warned that singing will lead to her death. She also made a captivating and tart Stella, the prima donna Hoffmann is smitten with.
And James Levine, in his first performance at the Met since losing some two months of work because of back surgery, received a prolonged ovation from a welcoming audience when he appeared in the pit. He then drew a supple and bewitching performance from the great Met orchestra.
Still, the post-premiere discussion will probably focus on the acclaimed director Bartlett Sher’s fantastical production. Mr. Sher proved himself to opera buffs with his sleek and charming 2006 production of Rossini’s “Barber of Seville,” in revival at the Met this season. “Hoffmann” is a far more challenging and elusive assignment.
For me, the staging is marred by moments of excess and busyness. And Mr. Sher may have done too much analysis of the work’s psychological subtexts. We get a little bit of everything in the stage imagery: pasty-faced characters out of a Kafka tale; waiters in bowler hats who could have stepped out of a Magritte painting; decadent, orgiastic Felliniesque scenes at the palace in Venice where the courtesan Giulietta presides; and more.
Yet Mr. Sher, working with the set designer Michael Yeargan and the costume designer Catherine Zuber, does get to the emotional core of the opera. This Hoffmann, dressed in a plain suit suggesting 1920s Eastern Europe, spends most of his days seated at a humdrum writing table, with a battered typewriter and a small desk lamp. That desk is where he belongs. At least that is the conviction of the Muse of Poetry, who in the guise of Nicklausse, Hoffmann’s devoted friend, follows him everywhere. The mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, singing with warmth and subtlety and looking alluringly androgynous, makes a trustworthy muse.
Luther’s tavern, next to the opera house where Stella is starring in “Don Giovanni,” is the only public place where Hoffmann is in his element. During the Prologue, egged on by the students who frequent the tavern and hang on his stories, Hoffmann sings an impish ballad about the dwarf Kleinzach, which Mr. Calleja dispatched with snappy energy and ringing top notes.
After the Prologue, during the next three acts, all flashbacks, Hoffmann tells the students the stories of his three disastrous romantic obsessions. Mr. Sher makes clear that these really are tall tales. Imagery and characters bleed from one story into the others. In the workshop of the eccentric inventor Spalanzani (the hearty tenor Mark Schowalter), where the guests assemble to see the demonstration of Olympia, his mechanical doll, voluptuous women dressed in nothing but G-strings and pasties wander through the audience. Two acts later they are seen again as occupants of the palace of the Venetian courtesan Giulietta.
It makes sense that Hoffmann’s stories would become jumbled in his mind, and in his telling. Still, the act featuring Olympia is quite a jumble. This mechanical doll is one of a whole product line of dolls, who strut about in garish ballet dresses. Some of the guests seem to have drifted in from “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” The staging has style and wit, but it seems too busy, too much.
Ideally, Offenbach wanted one soprano to sing all four of Hoffmann’s love interests. Ms. Netrebko may have been wise to pass on Olympia. The role’s high-flying runs and roulades require a true, agile coloratura soprano, and this production has one in the petite Kathleen Kim, who excelled in Olympia’s showpiece aria, singing with pinpoint pitch, bright tone and impressive accuracy.
The mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova was a suitably dark-hued and sensual Giulietta, dressed incongruously in an 18th-century gown. The baritone Alan Held was husky-voiced, imposing and often chilling, portraying the four devilish villains who torment Hoffmann.
The tenor Alan Oke was delightful in four minor character roles, especially as Franz, the hapless servant in Antonia’s house who secretly longs to be a singer. (This was a far cry from his Met debut performance as Gandhi in Philip Glass’s “Satyagraha.”)
Whatever the vocal issues with Mr. Calleja’s Hoffmann, he withstood the pressure of singing this formidable role for the first time in a major new production at the Met, and saved the day. He needs to do more work with his voice, but he is a gifted and promising tenor.
There is an enormous controversy about the score of this opera. Offenbach died four months before the work’s 1881 premiere in Paris. None of the versions of the work that have appeared over the years, some of them corrupted, can be said to be authentic. I will have more to say on this question later. Mr. Levine, as is his prerogative, conducted a version that he and advisers at the Met fashioned from existing sources.
Whatever scholars of “Hoffmann” believe about the validity of the choices made here, the opera as presented had integrity and dramatic flow. If the production is not a revelation, the Met’s new “Hoffmann” is a musically gratifying and vividly theatrical staging of a haunting and, in its way, profound work.
(I know that I actually don't have any rights on the pictures, but please don't post them anywhere ! I really needed a long time to create them and they are made with all my love for them both, so please respect this. You can of course save them for your personal gallery if you want. Thanks)
Anna Netrebko & Rolando Villazón - World's greatest opera couple
Anna Netrebko & Rolando Villazón - Welcome back on stage "Traumpaar"
Anna and Rolando are my absolutely favorite couple in opera ! There's such a special chemistry between them. I decided to make a blog devoted to Anna AND Rolando and not even one about Anna OR Rolando. I hope you will like my blog. Constructional animadversion is desired and I am thankful for all suggestions !