Notes & Reviews:
Following Anna Netrebko's astounding success in Salzburg's Il Trovatore production we are pleased to announce a very exciting opera release for the start of 2015, recorded during her U-Live tour in 2012 Anna Netrebko performs Iolanta, title role of one of Tchaikovsky's most passionate, evocative scores and one of opera's most enigmatic figures She has made this character her own and has dedicated herself to championing this under-appreciated work. Acclaimed performances in Baden-Baden and Salzburg have opened the eyes of critics and opera fans to Iolanta's captivating blend of romance and mysticism Set in 15th Century France, the piece tells the story of Iolanta, the blind daughter of King Rene, who, through a dramatic trial of love and faith, achieves not only sight but spiritual transcendence In this live recording, maestro Emmanuel Villaume, with whom Netrebko collaborated on the successful "Souvenirs" album, leads a stellar cast comprising a number of Russia's biggest opera stars (Markov, Skorokhodov, Kowaljow). The hand-picked company of supporting artists makes in this a significant addition to Netrebko's discography and an artistically valuable addition to the DG catalogue Excerpts from Iolanta have already been heard on two of Anna's most successful releases: The Russian Album, and Duets Netrebko is scheduled for eight staged performances of Iolanta at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in January-February 2015, as well as a four-city ULive produced European tour of concert performances and a Royal Albert Hall date later in the season.
Sunday Times, 18th January 2015
Tchaikovsky's score is one of his most effusive lyrical outpourings, with passages of heart-stopping beauty. Netrebko, singing in her own language, is unsurpassable in this music. Her lyric soprano voice is at its peachiest, opening out thrillingly for ecstatic climactic high notes. Her Vaudemon(t) is Sergei Skorokhodov, the finest new Russian tenor since Galuzin. I'll be surprised if any opera recording surpasses this in 2015.
Netrebko's at her absolute best in this role, which really plays to her strengths. Much of the music lies in the voluptuous middle of her voice and she never sounds pushed or over-parted...Her colleagues are no less impressive, particularly the steely-voiced tenor Sergey Skorokhodov who sings with tireless ardour and real poetry as her lover Vaudemont and Vitalij Kowaljow as her tormented father.
Gramophone Magazine, January 2015
[Netrebko] has never been better than here, where her head and heart are so self-evidently engaged. Her opening ariosa establishes the glorious complexion of her voice - a creamy, dark coloration extending unblemished throughout the range...The refinement of Villaume's conducting is a constant source of delight: it nuances and tempers even the most wholehearted flights of fancy.
Tchaikovsky's last opera is a flawed piece capable of reaching realms of longing romanticism others cannot...Netrebko is on a crusade to make it better known in the West...The other singers are pretty good - the lyrical Vitalij Kowalyow as RenT, Lucas Meachem a velvety Ibn Hakia, Sergey Skorokhodov's beautifully smooth, masculine tenor VaudTmont full of romantic ardour.
Netrebko sounded gloriously comfortable in her native language and pouring out a stream of gold-shot-with-silver sound even throughout the range. I doubt if the role has been sung better in living memory.
Financial Times, 17th January 2015
Netrebko sounds radiant, if improbably imperious as the young, blind princess, who magically finds love and sight in the arms of the smitten Count VaudTmont, sung by rousing tenor Sergey Skorokhodov. Emmanuel Villaume conducts a very decent supporting cast.
The Times, 30th January 2015
The Slovenian Philharmonic delivers impressive wind sonorities in a score packed with striking instrumental details...Netrebko never once disappoints. She sings in Russian, and there's music just in the milky way she pronounces a word like lyubimuyu (favourite)...Skorokhodov's VaudTmont is the ardent lover personified.
The Telegraph, 31st January 2015
Tchaikovsky might have written the role of Iolanta...with Anna Netrebko in mind, so perfectly does it suit her impulsive musical style and heart-on-sleeve warmth of personality...Villaume's forthright conducting and the ardent Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra bring things to boiling point.
The Guardian, 21st January 2015
[Netrebko's] commitment is never in doubt, nor her artistry. Her deployment of unearthly, veiled tones in the opening scenes suggest a waif-like figure troubled by emotions she can barely comprehend. Later, as light enters Iolanta's life for the first time, her terror and rapture are quite shockingly vivid.
Recording information: Philharmonie Essen (11/2012).
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Works DetailsTchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Iolanta, Op. 69
- Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume
- Ensemble: Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra
- Running Time: 2 min. 12 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1891