Rolando
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Jul 11, 2014

Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

Rolando Villzón kicks off the summer festival season at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, where he stars opposite Diana Damrau in three gala concert performances of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail July 21, 24 and 27. The performances are part of Rolando Villazón and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s Mozart opera cycle for the Deutsche Grammophon label.

Rolando portrays the sensitive Belmonte in the company of a leading cast that includes Diana Damrau as Konstanze, Thomas Quasthoff as Bassa Selim, Anna Prohaska as Blonde, Paul Schweinester as Pedrillo, and Franz-Josef Selig as Osmin. Nézet-Séguin conducts conducts the Vocalensemble Rastatt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Deutsche Grammophon has released complete recordings of Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni. Last fall, Rolando released a solo album of Mozart Concert Arias, a collection of rarely recorded concert arias for tenor written by the genius composer​, with Antonio Pappano and the London Symphony Orchestra. Discover the Mozart discography here.

Jun 10, 2014

Rolando to make stage debut as Ferrando in new production by Claus Guth of Così fan tutte at Teatro alla Scala

Following his solo recital at the Milan house last month with Daniel Barenboim, Rolando Villazón returns to the Teatro alla Scala to make his stage debut at Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte in performances June 19 to 30. The Mexican tenor portrays Ferrando in a new production by Claus Guth opposite Maria Bengtsson as Fiordiligi, Katija Dragojevic as her sister Dorabella, Adam Planchetka as Guglielmo, Serena Malfi as the cunning Despina, and Michele Pertusi as Don Alfonso. Daniel Barenboim conducts. Purchase tickets here.

Rolando's performance of Ferrando is captured on Deutsche Grammophon’s complete recording of Così fan tutte, the second installment of the Mexican tenor and Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s cycle of Mozart's seven mature operas. Order the album here.

May 20, 2014

La Scala recital with Daniel Barenboim May 25

This Sunday, May 25, Rolando Villazón appears in recital at the Teatro alla Scala with the eminent pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim. Together, they present a program comprising Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones populares españolas, and selections from Giuseppe Verdi’s Sei Romanze and from Fernando Obradors’s Canciones clásicas españolas. Purchase tickets here.

Rolando’s recital anticipates his appearances at La Scala in Così fan tutte, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Performances take place June 19 to 30.

May 12, 2014

Rolando Villazon’s 2014/15 season

The 2014/15 season features Rolando Villazón as singer, director, and author, with highlights including an eleven-city concert tour; leading roles at the Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Royal Opera House; original stagings of Donizetti’s Viva la mamma, Verdi's La traviata, and Puccini’s La rondine, and the launch of his debut novel Kunststücke in German.

Following performances at the Verbier and Salzburg Festivals as well as the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden this summer, Rolando Villazón launches the release of his debut novel in German under the title Kunststücke at a release event with the Berliner Ensemble in the theatre company's namesake city on August 29. In the fall, he takes his book on the road for readings in Vienna (September 7), Hamburg (October 1), Cologne (October 8), Göttingen (October 15), and Munich (November 27). Following the presentation of Kunststücke in Berlin, Rolando heads to the Musikfest Bremen to reprise his acclaimed performance in Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda on September 4.

A major highlight of the autumn will be an eleven-city concert tour with soprano Pumeza Matshikiza and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Guerassim Voronkov. The tour takes Rolando to Zlín (October 11), London (October 14 w/ Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra), Moscow (October 17), Vienna (October 20), Paris (October 22), Hamburg (October 28), Düsseldorf (November 1), Munich (November 4), Helsinki (November 8 w/ Estonian State Symphony Orchestra), Aalborg (November 13), and Hannover (November 26).

The 2014/15 season also sees Rolando stage directing a number of productions. On January 17, 2015, he presides over the opening night of his production of Viva la Mamma at Volksoper Wien. Donizetti’s operatic comedy marks his directorial debut at the Austrian house. Later in the spring, Rolando Villazón brings his directorial vision to La rondine at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, which presents Puccini’s bittersweet romance beginning March 8, 2015. Finally, from May 22 to 29, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden mounts a new staging of Verdi’s La traviata, as helmed by Rolando.

Onstage next season, Rolando will also be heard as featured guest with Daniel Barenboim for the Staatsoper Berlin’s New Year’s Concerts, on December 31, 2014 and January 1, 2015. He continues his appearances at the German house as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth (February 7, 11, 15) and as concert soloist with the Staatskapelle Berlin under the baton of the legendary Plácido Domingo on February 17. From March 28 to April 4, Rolando reprises his highly acclaimed title role performances in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Rolando then returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin to star in the title role of Verdi’s Don Carlo April 23, 30, and May 3.

Next summer, Rolando will reprise his Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at London's Royal Opera House. The tenor’s Covent Garden performances take place June 12 through July 3. On June 21, 2015, Rolando joins his frequent collaborator Yannick Nézet-Séguin for a concert in Montréal with the French Canadian conductor’s Orchestre Métropolitain. The duo reunites July 16 and 19 at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden for gala performances of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.

 

May 8, 2014

London Mozart Concert Arias performance caps off European tour to critical acclaim

Rolando Villazón and the Kammerorchester Basel, led by Florian Donderer, capped off their seven-city European tour together at London’s Cadogan Hall with a performance hailed by The Guardian as “a serious reinvention project well executed by a singer of note, to illuminate neglected arias by someone who never wrote anything that can be overlooked”–four stars.

The Times, in its review, also awarded the concert four stars as it noted Rolando’s "chuckling coloratura that revealed a still impeccable technique and sense of showmanship. It made even the tiny aria Va, dal furor portata, written in London by the nine-year-old Mozart, into a thrilling vocal and emotional workout.”

Praise followed Rolando throughout his tour. In Munich, “The audience went ballistic, and rightfully so,” noted Abendzeitung München. Suddeutsche Zeitung praised Rolando’s signature commitment to the music: “Villazón begegnet Mozart mit dem stimmlichen Aplomb, bisweilen auch den veristischen Gestaltungsmitteln des 19. Jahrhunderts. Es ist ein stark rhetorisches, sehr gestisches Singen, das Mozart quasi zum Italiener ehrenhalber macht. (…) (Das) verschafft Villazóns Gesang eine große Direktheit und Dringlichkeit. (...) Damit tut Villazón, was Mozart in einem Brief fordere: Dass der Sänger auch im Konzert vollständig in die Figur hineinschlüpfen solle. Vielleicht sollte man ihn nicht mehr nach Sängermaßstäben messen, sondern nach denen eines ungemein sympathischen Gesamtkunstwerks.” In Prague, where the Mozart Concert Arias tour began, OperaPlus.cz relished Rolando’s voice in the repertoire: "Villazon and his darker tenor voice completely govern intonation, breath, declamation and vocal technique, including coloraturas.”

Later this month Rolando Villazón returns to the Teatro alla Scala, where he gives a recital with Daniel Barenboim (May 25) and stars in Così fan tutte June 19 to 30.

May 1, 2014

Mozart Concert Arias tour culminates in Berlin & London, La Scala recital and Così on the horizon

Rolando Villazón looks ahead to the culmination of his Mozart Concert Arias European tour, celebrating the Austrian composer’s rarely recorded works for tenor in concerts across Europe. The spring tour with the Kammerorchester Basel and Florian Donderer culminates in two final stops at the Philharmonie Berlin this Friday, May 2 and at London’s Cadogan Hall on Tuesday, May 6.

In its review of Rolando’s Munich concert, Süddeutsche Zeitung praised Rolando’s total commitment to Mozart’s music: “Villazón begegnet Mozart mit dem stimmlichen Aplomb, bisweilen auch den veristischen Gestaltungsmitteln des 19. Jahrhunderts. Es ist ein stark rhetorisches, sehr gestisches Singen, das Mozart quasi zum Italiener ehrenhalber macht. (…) (Das) verschafft Villazóns Gesang eine große Direktheit und Dringlichkeit. (...) Damit tut Villazón, was Mozart in einem Brief fordere: Dass der Sänger auch im Konzert vollständig in die Figur hineinschlüpfen solle. Vielleicht sollte man ihn nicht mehr nach Sängermaßstäben messen, sondern nach denen eines ungemein sympathischen Gesamtkunstwerks.”

Just yesterday, Rolando appeared at the Apple Store in Berlin to host the presentation of Daniel Barenboim’s new digital record label Peral Music. On May 25, the Mexican tenor performs a vocal recital with the pianist and conductor at the Teatro alla Scala. Rolando’s La Scala appearances continue from June 19 to 30, when he reprises the role of Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte under the direction of Barenboim.

Apr 24, 2014

Tune in: Rolando hosts “Saturday Classics” and premieres Don Giovanni documentary on BBC

Ahead of his Mozart Concert Arias performance at London’s Cadogan Hall on May 6, Rolando Villzón celebrates the composer on the BBC on April 26 as part of the network’s 18th-century-themed season.

Rolando hosts BBC Radio 3’s “Saturday Classics” this Saturday, April 26 from 2:00pm - 4:00pm BST. Listen online here. That evening at 8:30pm BST, Rolando’s documentary “Mozart in Prague: Rolando Villazón on Don Giovanni” premieres on BBC2. The television feature was filmed earlier this year in Prague, where Don Giovanni had its premiere on October 29, 1787. In the forthcoming documentary, Rolando explores the run-up to that candle-lit first performance, looking at the music of the opera and the social setting in which it was first performed, before recreating in great detail the finale of the opera as it would have looked and sounded on that autumn evening. By talking with a range of experts and drawing on historical sources, Rolando brings to life the period’s setting, costumes and audience and presents a detailed portrait of the world in which the opera was first performed.

On May 6, Rolando returns to London for his celebrated program of Mozart Concert Arias at London’s Cadogan Hall with the Kammerorchester Basel. 

Apr 15, 2014

On the air this Thursday: Rolando guests on ZDF's Wilkommen bei Carmen Nebel

As the Easter holiday approaches, Rolando Villazón is a celebrity guest on ZDF's Wilkommen bei Carmen Nebel, airing this Thursday, April 17 at 20:15 CET. For his appearance on the German talk and entertainment show, Rolando performs an aria from his Mozart Concert Arias album, which he is touring across Europe this spring, and takes part in an Easter-themed competition.

Find your local listings here. 

Apr 10, 2014

Rolando stars in sold-out performances of Verdi’s La traviata at Bayerische Staatsoper

Fresh from the first leg of his critically acclaimed Mozart Concert Arias tour, Rolando Villazón returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Alfredo in three sold-out performances of Verdi’s La traviata April 15 to 25. The Mexican tenor stars opposite Sonya Yoncheva as Violetta and Leo Nucci as Giorgio Germont in a production by Andreas Reinhardt. Pietro Rizzo conducts.

Later this month, Rolando returns to the road with the Kammerorchester Basel, continuing his Mozart Concert Arias tour at the Konzerthaus Dortmund (April 29), Philharmonie Berlin (May 2), and London’s Cadogan Hall (May 6). This summer, he appears in recital with Daniel Barenboim at the Teatro alla Scala (May 25), where he also stars in Così fan tutte June 19 to 30. In July, Rolando continues his Mozart opera cycle with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, performing and recording Die Entführung aux dem Serail at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.

Apr 3, 2014

Mozart Concert Arias tour thrills audiences and critics

“The audience went ballistic, and rightfully so,” raves Abendzeitung München of Rolando’s latest Mozart Concert Arias performance. Critical praise has greeted Rolando’s European tour, which continues in Vienna this evening (April 3), Paris (April 6), Dortmund (April 29), Berlin (May 2), and London (May 6). Rolando shines in the repertoire, writes Operaplus.cz, noting how “Villazón and his darker tenor voice completely govern intonation, breath, declamation and vocal technique, including coloraturas….”

Süddeutsche Zeitung hailed Rolando’s total embrace of Mozart’s music: “Villazón begegnet Mozart mit dem stimmlichen Aplomb, bisweilen auch den veristischen Gestaltungsmitteln des 19. Jahrhunderts. Es ist ein stark rhetorisches, sehr gestisches Singen, das Mozart quasi zum Italiener ehrenhalber macht. (…) (Das) verschafft Villazóns Gesang eine große Direktheit und Dringlichkeit. (...) Damit tut Villazón, was Mozart in einem Brief fordere: Dass der Sänger auch im Konzert vollständig in die Figur hineinschlüpfen solle. Vielleicht sollte man ihn nicht mehr nach Sängermaßstäben messen, sondern nach denen eines ungemein sympathischen Gesamtkunstwerks.”

Click here for details about the Mozart Concert Arias tour.