Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Birthday: Anna Netrebko

"Les belles fleures...Quand j'aurai votre âge"
Benvenuto Cellini (Berlioz)
"Anna Yuryevna Netrebko (Russian: Анна Юрьевна Нетребко; born September 18, 1971) is an operatic soprano. She now holds dual Russian and Austrian citizenship and currently resides in Vienna. She has been nicknamed 'La Bellissima' by fans. Netrebko was born in Krasnodar (Russia), in a family of Kuban Cossack background. While a student at the Saint Petersburg conservatoire, Netrebko worked as a janitor at Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. Later, she auditioned for the Mariinsky Theatre, where conductor Valery Gergiev recognized her from her prior work in the theater. He

"D'Oreste, d'Ajace" Idomeneo (Mozart)
subsequently became her vocal mentor. Under Gergiev's guidance, Netrebko made her operatic stage debut at the Mariinsky at age 22, as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She went on to sing many prominent roles with the Kirov Opera, including Amina in La Sonnambula, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. In 1994, she sang the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte with the Riga Independent Opera Avangarda Akadēmija under conductor David Milnes. In March 2006, Netrebko applied to become an Austrian citizen, receiving her citizenship in late July. According to an interview in the Austrian weekly news, she will live in Vienna and Salzburg. This has led to some backlash in Russia. Netrebko cites the cumbersome and humiliating process of obtaining visas (as a Russian citizen) for her many performances abroad as the main reason for obtaining Austrian citizenship. In

"O ne rydai, mai Paolo"
Francesca da Rimini (Rachmaninov)
March 2007, Netrebko announced that she would be an ambassador for SOS Children's Village in Austria, and be a sponsor for the Tomilino village in Russia. In April 2008, Netrebko announced that she and her fiancé, Uruguayan baritone Erwin Schrott, had married. Their son Tiago Aruã Schrott was born on September 5, 2008 in Vienna. In July 2011, she talked of opening a restaurant. In 1995, at the age of 24, Netrebko made her American debut as Lyudmila in Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila at the San Francisco Opera. Following this successful performance, she became a frequent guest singer in San Francisco. She is known as an acclaimed interpreter of other 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. Netrebko has also made successful forays into bel canto and romantic roles such as Gilda in Rigoletto, Mimi in La bohème, Giulietta in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and Elvira in I Puritani. In 2002,

"Si, mi chiamano Mimì"
La Bohème (Puccini)
Netrebko made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Natasha in the Met premiere of War and Peace. In the same year, she sang her first Donna Anna at the Salzburg Festival's production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She also performed at the Russian Children's Welfare Society's major fund raiser, the 'Petroushka Ball.' She returned to the Ball in 2003 and 2006 and is an honorary director of the charity. In 2003, Netrebko performed as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata in Munich, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Los Angeles Opera, and Donna Anna at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Her second album, Sempre Libera, was released the following year. She later appeared as Violetta Valéry in La Traviata at the Salzburg Festival, conducted by Carlo Rizzi and in 2008 she performed the same role at Covent Garden to triumphant acclaim on the opening night, opposite Jonas Kaufmann and Dmitri Hvorostovsky in performances conducted by Maurizio Benini. However, she

"Depuis le jour" Louise (Charpentier)
cancelled three subsequent performances due to suffering a bronchial condition. This was the second time she had cancelled her performances at the Royal Opera House, having withdrawn from some performances of Don Giovanni the previous summer due to illness. On May 30, 2007, Netrebko made her Carnegie Hall debut with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Originally scheduled for March 2, 2006 Netrebko postponed the recital because she did not feel artistically ready. Netrebko appeared at the Last Night of the Proms on 8 September 2007 where she performed 'Ah! Se una volta ... Ah! Non credea mirarti ... Ah! Non giunge' from La Sonnambula, 'Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß' (Giuditta) and the song 'Morgen!' by Richard Strauss (with violinist Joshua Bell). In the fall of 2007 she reprised her role as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera. In

"Quel guardo il cavaliere"
Don Pasquale (Donizetti)
December 2007, Netrebko performed for Martin Scorsese, a 2007 Honoree, at the Kennedy Center Honors, and in May 2008 she made a much-awaited debut at the Paris Opera in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, with Joyce DiDonato as her Romeo. Netrebko was scheduled to sing Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor in October 2008 at the Metropolitan Opera, but due to her pregnancy she decided to drop out of the role. In her first performance after her maternity leave, Netrebko sang Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor when it opened at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg on January 14, 2009 in a production from the Scottish Opera led by John Doyle. She then sang the same role in January and February 2009 at the Metropolitan Opera. Netrebko appeared as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Royal Opera House in Spring 2009, and as Violetta in La Traviata in June 2009 at the San Francisco Opera. On November 13, 2010 in a matinee performance broadcast nationally by PBS, she sang the role of

"Solveig's Song" Peer Gynt (Grieg)
Norina in Don Pasquale at New York's Metropolitan Opera House under conductor James Levine. On April 2, 2011, she sang the title role of Gaetano Donizetti's Anna Bolena at the Vienna State Opera for a sold-out premiere there, and the repeat performance on April 5, 2011 was broadcast live to cinemas around the world. In the fall of 2011, she will sing the title role of Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera and make her Carnegie Hall recital debut. Time magazine placed her on its Time 100 list in 2007. She was identified by the journal Musical America as 'a genuine superstar for the 21st century' and was named 'Musician of the Year' for 2008. She has also been described by Associated Press as 'the reigning new diva of the 21st century.' She was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation (2004) and was made a People's Artist of Russia by President Putin in 2008. Playboy magazine placed her in their 'sexiest babes of classical music' list. Netrebko has also won two prestigious Classical BRIT Awards: the 2007 Singer of the Year Award and the 2008 Female of the Year." [Source]

"Casta diva" Norma (Bellini)

"Pie Jesu" Requiem (Lloyd Webber)

"Ave Maria" Otello (Verdi)

"Oh! Quante volte" I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bellini)
"Inflammatus et accensus" Stabat Mater (Rossini)