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Ildar Abdrazakov sings Escamillo at Met on Feb 23

Fresh off performances at Munich’s Bavarian State Opera as the buffoonish Don Basilio in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov has been called back to New York’s Metropolitan Opera—where he sang the title roles in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni in the fall—to give a single performance as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. What’s more, the Saturday, February 23 performance will be broadcast around the world over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Radio Network at 12:30pm EST. When Abdrazakov (pronounced ahb-drah-ZAH-koff) last sang the role of the swaggering toreador in the Met’s 2004-05 season, the New York Times wrote that he proved himself “a worthy Escamillo” who helped provide one of the night’s “most effective dramatic highlights.” Richard Eyre’s production of Carmen at the Met also stars Anita Rachvelishvili in the title role, with Nikolai Schukoff as the soldier Don José and Michele Mariotti on the podium. In addition to his recent performances at the Met as Figaro and Don Giovanni, the Ufa native made role debuts there last season as King Henry VIII in the house’s season-opening production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and as Dosifei in Mussorgsky’s rarely-seen epic Khovanshchina. The New York Times named the latter one of the top ten performances of 2012.
Later this spring, the young bass returns to Europe, headlining Don Giovanni at the Vienna State Opera on a star-studded cast that includes Erwin Schrott as Leporello, Marina Rebeka as Donna Anna, and Véronique Gens as Donna Elvira, under the baton of Louis Langrée (March 2–10). Then, to close the season, Abdrazakov gives only his second performances as King Philip in Hugo de Ana’s staging of Don Carlo at the Torino Opera, with Ramón Vargas in the title role and Gianandrea Noseda conducting (April 10–21).
Born in 1976 in the city of Ufa, then the capital of the Soviet Republic of Bashkiria, Ildar Abdrazakov traces his lineage back to Genghis Kahn. His parents were both artists: his mother was a painter, and his late father, a director. He began acting in his father’s stage and film productions at age four, and it was these early experiences that inspired him to pursue a career in the arts. Upon graduation from the Ufa State Institute of Arts, he joined the Bashkirian Opera and Ballet Theatre. In the late 1990s, he won a string of prestigious vocal competitions: the Moscow Grand Prix named after Irina Arkhipova, the Glinka International Vocal Competition, the Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition, and the International Obrazova Competition. His 2000 win at the Maria Callas International Television Competition in Parma thrust him into the international spotlight and led to his debut at La Scala the following year.
Since 2007, Abdrazakov has been an ambassador for the Zegna & Music project, a philanthropic initiative founded in 1997 by Ermenegildo Zegna to promote music and its values. Abdrazakov’s concert attire is generously provided by the designer.
Further details follow, and more information is available at the web sites listed below.
Ildar Abdrazakov: spring engagements
Feb 23
New York, NY
Bizet: Carmen (Escamillo)
Metropolitan Opera House / Michele Mariotti
March 2, 5, 7 & 10
Vienna, Austria
Mozart: Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni)
Vienna State Opera / Louis Langrée
April 10, 12, 14, 17 & 21
Torino, Italy
Verdi: Don Carlo (Filippo II)
Torino Opera / Gianandrea Noseda
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© 21C Media Group, February 2013


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