2012 - 2013 SEASON
The dazzling, vocally distinctive, theatrically engaging mezzo-soprano VIVICA GENAUX continues to garner kudos for her compelling performances on the world’s great musical stages, not only for her extraordinary technique and the beauty of voice, but also for her vibrant character portrayals. She is consistently lauded as one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Baroque and bel canto music and continues to explore new avenues in this area.
This season, Ms. Genaux continues to balance her appearances in the United States and abroad with operatic engagements, concerts and recitals in new venues and countries, as well as returns to sites of previous audience and critical triumphs. She adds three characters to her repertoire, two by Händel (Nerone in Agrippina and Rossane in Alessandro), as well as one worlds apart from her usual Fach, Bizet’s free-spirited, captivating gypsy, Carmen, bringing her total repertory to fifty-five roles, thirty-five of which are en travesti. She also sings Angelina in La Cenerentola, and Gilade in Vivaldi’s Il Farnace, as well as a Johann Adolf Hasse role dear to her heart, the male half of Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra; explores the orchestral songs of Berio and Britten; sings a New York City recital; and performs concerts with a host of the leading period instrument ensembles. Her first recordings for the DECCA and Sony/deutsche harmonia mundi labels, Baroque Divas and A Tribute to Faustina Bordoni, respectively, will be released, as will another memorable collaboration with Fabio Biondi/Europa Galante on Virgin Classics (Vivaldi’s L’oracolo in Messenia), and Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra (label to be announced).
The mezzo commences the 2012-13 season with Carmen - the first of her new roles during the season and arguably the nineteenth-century successor to many of the headstrong, seductive Baroque characters she has already memorably portrayed. This also marks her debut with the Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie (September 25, 27, 29; October 1, 3, 5 & 7). Immediately thereafter, the entire company brings their production of the Bizet masterpiece to the Opéra Royal at the Chateau de Versailles (October 14m, 16 & 18). November and December bring the singer back together with Cappella Gabetta on tour in Switzerland and France to mark the release of their Sony/Deutsche Harmonia Mundi CD commemorating the artistry of legendary singer Faustina Bordoni who inspired so much great music from both Händel and Hasse (her husband): Lucerne (November 10), Rheinfelden (November 30), Schaffhausen (December 1), Villars-sur-Glâne/Fribourg (December 2), and Lyon (December 4). In the midst of this, she also performs something of a repertory departure for her, Berio’s Folk Songs, as well as some of the orchestral songs of Britten with the FVG Mitteleuropa Orchestra in Udine (November 14). In Athens, she performs a mixed bill of Baroque and pre-Classical arias with George Petrou leading Armonia Atenea (November 18). December 9 finds her enjoying the first of three engagements in her native USA – joint recital with bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch, accompanied by Craig Rutenberg, at New York’s Morgan Library under the auspices of the George London Foundation for Singers.
In the new year, Ms. Genaux returns to one of her most frequently-performed and cherished roles, Angelina in La Cenerentola, in three engagements, the first of which marks a company debut with the Staatsoper Hamburg (January 22, 24, 27 & 30); then for returns to Palm Beach Opera (February 15, 16 & 17m) and Pittsburgh Opera (April 27, 30; May 3 & 5m). She rejoins Cappella Gabetta to bring their Händel/Hasse Bordoni tribute to Paris’ Salle Gaveau (February 1). A frequent visitor to Vienna, she offers Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra with Claudio Osele conducting Le Musiche Nove to mark her Musikverein debut (March 8). At Cracow’s Misteria Paschalia Festival she teams up for a concert with frequent collaborators, Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante (March 31). Returning to the Palais de Versailles, she portrays Gilade in Vivaldi’s Il Farnace with Diego Fasolis leading Concerto Köln (April 4). For her first pairing with the ensemble El Ayre Español and its conductor Eduardo López Banzo she takes on a new role, the depraved Nerone in Händel’s Agrippina: at Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional de Música (May 12), at the Bozar in Brussels (May 13) and at Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (May 15).
Among Ms. Genaux’s engagements in the 2011 - 2012 season were presentations of three Vivaldi works: Il Farnace with Diego Fasolis leading I Barocchisti in Locarno, Bremen, Ambronay, Lausanne, at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and in staged performances in Strasbourg and Mulhouse; Juditha Triumphans in Cracow and Dortmund; and L’Oracolo in Messenia with Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante in Caen and at Vienna’s Konzerthaus (where it was recorded by Virgin). Additional vocal works included Johann Christian Bach’s Zanaïda at Paris's Cité de la Musique and Rossini's L’Italiana in Algeri in Oviedo. Additionally, she performed concerts with Cappella Gabetta (Bremen), Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco and around the Bay area, a Gala Benefit on the stage of the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the German AIDS Foundation, with Collegium 1704 (Strings of August Festival/Prague), a U.S. tour with Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante (all-Vivaldi) including stops at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Hall and Zankel Hall at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Baroque cantatas with Progetto V/Vox at Denmark’s Hindsgavl Festival, a 30th Anniversary Gala in Oderzo, Italy for the Ezio Pinza Council for American Singers of Opera (EPCASO), and a concert of the works of Glück and his contemporaries with Accademia Bizantina and Ottavio Dantone in Nuremberg.
Ms. Genaux’s professional stage debut was with the Florentine Opera in October 1994 as Isabella in Rossini's L’italiana in Algeri. She subsequently sang the role with numerous companies, including the Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, San Francisco Opera, and Turin’s Teatro Regio, among others. Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia is her most-performed role, having sung it with twenty-one companies including the Wiener, Deutsche and Bayerische Staatsopers, New York's Metropolitan Opera, De Nederlandse, Washington National and Dallas Operas, and at the Dresden Festival. She has played Angelina (the title role) in Rossini's La Cenerentola with twenty-two companies including the Semperoper, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opera Orchestra of New York (at Carnegie Hall), Washington Concert Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, New Israeli Opera, Japan Opera Foundation, and the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Among her other bel canto and French grand opéra credentials are the trouser parts of the title part in Rossini's Tancredi (Vienna, Budapest); Neocle in Rossini's L’assedio di Corinto (Baltimore); Malcolm in Rossini's La donna del lago (Caramoor); Orsini in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia (Caramoor, Minnesota Opera); Falliero in Rossini's Bianca e Falliero (Washington Concert Opera); Pippo in Rossini's La gazza ladra (Caramoor); Arsace in Rossini's Semiramide (Minnesota & Caramoor); Romeo in Bellini's I Capuleti ed i Montecchi (Minnesota, Pittsburgh); Hassem in Donizetti’s Alahor in Granata (Seville); Urbain in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots (Bilbao), as well as Edemondo in his Emma di Resburgo (Vienna). In the Baroque and early-Classical repertoires her Händel roles are the most varied and numerous, encompassing everything from fearless generals to ruthless goddesses, from impetuous young men to love-sick maidens disguised in male attire, from caped Crusaders to the most nefarious of villains and finally to allegorical visions: Galatea in Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Berlin, Salzburg/Whitsun); Il Piacere in Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Madrid, Vienna); Bradamante in Alcina (Paris); the title role in Ariodante (Dallas, San Diego), as well as Polinesso in the same opera (Paris, London, Madrid, Vienna); the title role in Arminio (Solothurn, Siena, Amsterdam); the title role in Giulio Cesare (Washington), as well as Sesto in the same opera (San Diego); the dual roles of Juno and Ino in Semele (Les Talens Lyriques in Paris and London, and at the New York City Opera); and the title role in Rinaldo (Montpellier, Innsbruck). She has also labored lovingly to help widen the appreciation for the works of Johann Adolf Hasse, both in her many concerts and on stage as Piramo in Piramo e Tisbe (Salzburg, Montpellier); Marc’Antonio in Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra (Paris, Brussels) and Selimo in Solimano (Berlin, Dresden). Additionally, she has made a strong impact as Penelope in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d’Ulisse (Munich–three engagements); the title role in Vivaldi’s Giustino (Solothurn); Irene in Vivaldi's Bajazet (Vienna, Yokohama, Montpellier, Venice, Cracow, Paris, Madrid, Metz); Antiope in Vivaldi' Ercole sul Termodonte (Cracow, Vienna, Paris); San Teologia in Alessandro Scarlatti’s La Santissima Trinità (Palermo, Lyon, Paris); Nerone in Domenico Scarlatti’s Ottavia restituita al trono (San Sebastián); Macario in Leonardo Leo’s Sant’Elena al Calvario (Cracow); Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Los Angeles); and in a pair of Haydn roles, Costanza in L’isola disabitata (Bamberg) and Ernesto in Il mondo della luna (Vienna).
Included among her many notable past concert and recital engagements have been those with: the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, La Cetra, Collegium Apollineum, Il Complesso Barocco, Concentus Musicus Wien, Concerto Copenhagen, Concerto Italiano, Concerto Köln, Europa Galante, Freiburger Barockorchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Kammerorchester Basel, Kammerorchester moderntimes_1800, Les Paladins, Les Talens Lyriques, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and at the BBC Proms; festival appearances in: Rome, Prague, Ludwigsburg, Halle, Schwetzingen, St. Denis, Lanaudière, Montpellier, San Remo, Antibes, Ravello and Caramoor; performances with: the Münchner Kammerorchester, New York Chamber Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York Festival of Song, in her native Alaska (Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau), at the Wiener Konzerthaus, London’s Barbican Center, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Teatro Real in Madrid, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, on a South American tour (São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro/Montevideo and Buenos Aires), Herbst Theater in San Francisco and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, as well as on French TV on “Les Victoires de la Musique” and Eve Ruggieri’s “Musique au cœur 5 étoiles”.
Ms. Genaux's discography and videography continue to grow steadily. Four (4) previously-mentioned recordings are scheduled for 2012 - 2013 release: Vivaldi's L'Oracolo in Messenia with Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante on Virgin Classics; A Tribute to Faustina Bordoni (featuring music by Händel and Hasse) with Cappella Gabetta on Sony/deutsche harmonia mundi; Baroque Divas with mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg, soprano Sandrine Piau, and Armonia Atenea, conducted by George Petrou, on DECCA; and Johann Adolph Hasse's Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra, with Claudio Osele leading the forces of Le Musiche Nove, on a label still to be determined. Among her recent releases are the 2010 Oehms Classics CD of Hasse’s Sanctus Petrus et Sancta Maria Magdalena, led by Michael Hofstetter from the 2008 Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiel; a DVD of the Vienna production of Franz Joseph Haydn's Il mondo della luna, led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt on the Unitel Classica/C Major label (2010); and the Virgin Classics CD of Vivaldi’s Ercole sul Termodonte (2010/11), with Fabio Biondi leading Europa Galante and a cast that includes Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Philippe Jaroussky and Rolando Villazón. Ercole was given a 2011 Echo Klassik Prize for “Opera Recording of the Year (17th-/18th-Century)”, marking the Ms. Genaux's third Echo award for her work with the Biondi/Europa Galante team, preceded by Pyrotechnics – Vivaldi Opera Arias (Virgin, 2009), which also received a 2010 Grammy© nomination for “Best Classical Vocal Performance,” and by Vivaldi's Bajazet (Virgin, 2005), which was also Grammy©-nominated. Among other CD and DVD recordings in Ms. Genaux's discography are the world-premiere recording of Vivaldi’s L’Atenaide, with Federico Maria Sardelli leading the Orchestra Barocca Modo Antiqua on the Naïve label; Virgin Classics' Händel/Hasse, Opera Arias and Cantatas (2006), with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy; Alessandro Scarlatti's La Santissima Trinità (Biondi/Europa Galante) released in 2004; and, from 2003, her first solo disc on the Virgin Classics label, Bel Canto Arias, featuring works by Rossini and Donizetti, with John Nelson conducting the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Harmonia Mundi produced two Baroque recordings, both conducted by René Jacobs, which have garnered copious critical and popular accolades: Händel’s Rinaldo, in 2003 and the Grammy©-nominated Arias for Farinelli in 2002. Händel's Arminio, recorded live in 2001 under Alan Curtis's baton and released on Virgin Classics, won the 2002 International Händel Prize. Other live recordings include Donizetti's Alahor in Granata opposite Juan Diego Flórez on the Almaviva label; Rossiniana, released by Agorà, with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi; and An Evening of Arias and Songs by Gioacchino Rossini with accompanist Martin Dubé. A documentary, A Voice out of the Cold, has been seen on television worldwide. Fracture (starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling), her first feature film, in which she made a cameo appearance, was released internationally in Spring 2007 and is now available on DVD.
In May 2008 Pittsburgh Opera honored Ms. Genaux with their Maecenas Award and the previous year she garnered the New York City Opera’s Christopher Keene Award. She is also the recipient of other distinctions: the Premio “Opera CD Classics – Città di Mondovi” and the Florentine Opera’s Marie Z. Uihlein Artist Prize. She has also been recognized by several other musical organizations, including the Fort Worth, Baltimore and Palm Beach Operas. In 1997 she won a prestigious ARIA Award, and was lauded as the “1999 Artist of the Year” by the Dresden Music Festival. She makes her home in Motta di Livenza and studies with Claudia Pinza, continuing her long-time association with EPCASO (Ezio Pinza Council of American Singers of Opera).
[Updated 25 April 2013]