"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.


Carlos said...

Some mistakes in this article. First of all, obviously, Rolando Villazón is not her husband! In addition, Plácido Domingo will not conduct the New Years Eve Gala.

Carlos said...

Furthermore, Rigoletto and La Bohème do not belong to the belcanto repertoire.

Carlos said...

Her first Dona Anna was at the Mariinsky Theater on 18. May 2002, not at the Salzburg Festival.
It is well known that Rolando Villazón has cancelled all the performances of Roméo et Juliette at the MET, so he will not be there in December.

Nacho Ventura.- said...

Carlos, thanks a million for leaving your comments!... Anyway, let me correct some things:

1)Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko are a couple, I don't know exactly whether they are married or not but, as a matter of fact they live together in Austria.

2)I never said her first Donna Anna was at the Salzburg Festival, I only said it was in 2002. Nevertheless you are right with Rolando Villazón cancelling his performances for "Roméo et Juliette", actually the role of Roméo will be sung by Kaiser, Alagna and Polenzani; and the New Year's Eve Gala will be conducted by Paul Nadler.

3)Definitely, "Rigoletto" and "La Bohème" belong to the belcanto repertoire.

Again, thanks a lot for your comments!

Carlos said...

Hi Nacho,

Definitely we have different point of views on some aspects.

You are right about Donna Anna, you did not said it was in Salzburg but you said that it was conducted by Harnoncourt, as he did it in Salzburg. According to the information I have, her first one was at the Mariinsky. I can not say who was the conductor, but probably it was not Harnoncourt.

Bel canto takes place before Verdi and some of the main composers are Donizetti, Rossini and Bellini. So I would not say that any of the operas from Verdi or Puccini belong to the bel canto period.

I knew you were aware of the cast changes for Roméo et Juliette, as you had post them before this article.

Anna split with her long-time boyfriend Simone Alberghini some time ago. She said that she has started a new relationship some months ago, but I do not believe at all that she is with Rolando as a couple. As far as I know, Rolando was living in Paris and recently he was looking for an appartment in Barcelona. Some friends of a friend of mine saw him in Barcelona and they were talking to him for a while, telling them that he was looking for an appartmente there. Some people believe that her new boyfriend coul be Erwin Schrott.

Greetings from Barcelona

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I love Netrebko and it is cool forum I also don't believe that she is with Rolando, I think they kind of hint at it because it helps record sales, lol. She was also linked to Valery Gergiev long time ago, interesting if that was true at all...I saw him in the magazine with a Netrebko look-a-like on the picture! I first thought it was Anna, but turns out it's a pianist- Lola Astanova also Russian. Looks like Gergiev has found another Netrebko... je-je.

Nacho Ventura.- said...

Hello everyone!

Antique-rose, thank you very much for leaving your comment here! It makes me glad knowing that people visit my blog. I'm an Opera-lover and I want to share this passion with all those who love opera. As I said in my first post, I want this blog to be an open space for debating, exchange ideas, opinions, etc.

Carlos, I didn't mean that "Rigoletto" and "La Bohème" belonged to the belcanto period, we both know very well that the best icons of it are Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti. Verdi is considered belonging to the romantic period and Puccini to the verismo perdiod eventhough a quite moderated one. What I meant is that both "Rigoletto" and "La Bohème", compared to the rest of the operas of both composers, have belcanto reminiscences, and they demand and must be sung "alla maniera de" belcanto style. Anyway, it is an interesting subject to discuss about, probably I'll be posting an article on the different tendencies of Opera schools in the future. By the way, I've been in Barcelona in February of this year for the first time, I LOVED IT!!! Congrats for the city you have!!!

Thanks to everybody!!!
Nacho Ventura.-