The Royal Opera House has announced that Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky has agreed to sing in concert with Music Director Antonio Pappano.
The recital will take place on Wednesday 24 June and will replace that which was to be given by Rolando Villazón. The Mexican tenor recently announced the cancellation of all engagements until the end of 2009 due to the diagnosis of a cyst on one of his vocal cords.
The Royal Opera is particularly delighted to have Hvorostovsky in concert as the 24 June recital will mark the baritone's first solo recital at Covent Garden.
The programme is varied: it will feature arias by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov in the first half and Italian arias and Neapolitan songs in the second.
Hvorostovsky's relationship with the Royal Opera is a long-standing and successful one. His most recent role is Count di Luna during the current season's production of Il trovatore, featuring also Roberto Alagna (read our review here).
Hvorostovsky's first appearance at Covent Garden dates back to 1992, when he interpreted Riccardo in I puritani. Since then, his collaborations with the Royal Opera have been numerous. Roles he has sung include Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro; Giorgio Germont in La traviata (read our review here); Renato in Un ballo in maschera; the title roles in Rigoletto and Eugene Onegin.
Acclaimed for his portrayal of an enigmatic and intense Onegin and for his Verdi interpretations, Hvorostovsky is particularly interested in the Russian repertoire, that will be an important part of his ROH recital. In a recent interview with Dominic McHugh, the baritone emphasised his emotional relationship to the music of his native land: 'Almost my entire concert repertoire has been devoted to singing Russian repertoire. I have some French and German and Italian stuff too, of course, but I remain a specialist of Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, and I'm working on a new programme now that combines bits of Liszt and Faure with Tchaikovsky and Taneyev. Mostly I remain the Russian recitalist.'
This concert is another prestigious achievement for Antonio Pappano, who has been Music Director of the Royal Opera since 2002. He has conducted an extensive number of important productions at Covent Garden, including the world premiere of The Minotaur by Harrison Birtwistle in April 2008, and the Royal Ballet's Sinfonietta in 2003.
During the current season, he has conducted Don Giovanni, La fanciulla del West, Les Contes d'Hoffmann as well as concert performances of Britten's War Requiem and Verdi's Messa da Requiem. In the final part of the 2008-09 schedule he will lead performances of Lulu (from 4 June), La traviata (from 18 June) and Il barbiere di Siviglia (from 4 July).
Photo: Dmitri Hvorostovsky; Photo credits: Pasha Antonov.
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