"Ladies and gentlemen from all over the world, welcome to this brand new forum destined to all those opera lovers. It is my intention to create a cultural space to remember the great composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, as well as all the stars that walked through the most famous stages around the world like Caruso, Gigli, di Stefano, Pavarotti... I also intend this forum to be a debating space where readers can state their opinions, ideas, advises, likes and dislikes.

Through the last years opera has been losing popularity at the expense of more modern music, and though the heyday of the latter is a social and cultural worldwide phenomenon, it would be of great value to retrieve the transcendental meaning of opera in the history of man.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, may the world take its seat, let the curtain raise, come up to the stage with me and be the performers of this experience..."


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Anna Netrebko, the superstar for the 21st century

Born in September 1971 in Russia, Anna Netrebko is a well reknown soprano, not only for her lovely voice and excellent technique but also for her unparalleled beauty.

While studying at the Saint Petersburg' conservatory, Netrebko worked as a floor cleaner as an odd-job at the Mariinsky Theatre (home of the Kirov Opera) where she called the attention of the conductor Valery Gergiev, who subsequently became her vocal mentor. Guided by him, Netrebko made her debut in that theatre as Susanna in Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro". She kept on singing prominent roles with the Kirov Opera in "La Sonnambula", "Die Zauberflöte", "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" and "Lucia di Lammermoor".

In 1995, the 24-year-old Netrebko made her American debut as Lyudmila in Glinka's "Ruslan and Lyudmila" at the San Francisco Opera. She is known as an acclaimed interpreter of Russian operatic roles such as Natasha in Prokofiev's "War and Peace", Louisa in "Betrothal in a Monastery" and Marfa in "The Tsar's Bride", and also made successful forays into belcanto repertoire as in "Rigoletto", "La Bohème" and "I Capuleti e i Montecchi".

In 2002, Anna Netrebko made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Natasha in the premiere of "War and Peace". In the same year, she sang her first Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni" conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Her 2003 repertoire included performances as Violetta in "La Traviata", the title role in "Lucia di Lammermoor" and Donna Anna at the Royal Opera House. In the same year Netrebko released her first studio album, "Opera Arias", which became one of the best selling classical recordings of the year. The following year she released her second album, "Sempre Libera", and she sang "Roméo et Juliette" with Rolando Villazón, her couple, with whom she sang "L'elisir d'amore" in 2005. Her most recent role (2007) is Elvira in Bellini's "I Puritani" at the Metropolitan Opera.

In December of 2007 Netrebko will be reprising her role as Juliette in "Roméo et Juliette" with Joseph Kaiser, Roberto Alagna and Matthew Polenzani at the Metropolitan Opera, and she will be singing at the annual New Year's Eve Gala conducted by Paul Nadler.