Press Room

Ildar Abdrazakov stars in title role of “Attila” on new Mariinsky DVD/Blu-ray

Around the time Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov was wowing audiences and critics with his 2010 performances in the title role of Verdi’s Attila at the Metropolitan Opera, maestro Riccardo Muti told Opera News: “From the vocal and the theatrical points of view, he could be the ideal interpreter of the part for our time.” Further evidence that this prediction has come to pass arrives on May 14 with U.S. release of the Mariinsky label’s first DVD/Blu-ray release: Attila, starring Abdrazakov and conducted by Valery Gergiev. Filmed in high-definition at St. Petersburg’s historic Mariinsky Theatre, this DVD/Blu-ray of the hit production directed by Arturo Gama will help mark this year’s bicentennial of Verdi’s birth. Reviewing one of Abdrazakov’s Met performances, the New York Times described the bass as a “young, imposing Attila … Mr. Abdrazakov has a sturdy, dark and rich voice that carries well. Yet it was the refinement and clarity of his singing, the Verdian accents, that made him so moving … Mr. Abdrazakov’s Attila conveyed both the character’s ferocity and inner turmoil.”
A two-time Grammy Award winner for his Verdi recordings, Abdrazakov has quickly established himself as one of opera’s most sought-after basses. Since making his La Scala debut in 2001 at age 25, the Russian singer has become a mainstay at leading houses worldwide. The Mariinsky DVD/Blu-ray of Attila sees Abdrazakov perform alongside soprano Anna Markarova (Odabella), baritone Vladislav Sulimsky (Ezio) and tenor Sergei Skorokhodov (Foresto). As is the case with many of Verdi’s works, Attila – his ninth opera, which premiered in Venice in 1846 – is imbued with the spirit of Risorgimento, the national liberation movement of the Italian people against foreign rule and for the unification of trampled Italy. The plot tells of the struggle of Aquileia, one of the last remaining strongholds of once majestic Rome, against the barbarian hordes of Attila, King of the Huns.
On stage this spring, Abdrazakov has taken the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Vienna State Opera, and he portrayed King Philip II in Hugo de Ana’s staging of Verdi’s Don Carlo at the Teatro Regio di Torino. This month, the bass rejoins Gergiev to resume the role of Attila for a performance of Verdi’s opera at the Moscow Easter Festival (May 15), and this summer he sings performances of the Italian composer’s Requiem in Dresden, Vienna, Paris and Verbier. Looking ahead, Abdrazakov opens the 2013-14 season by making his staged debut in the title role of Boito’s Mefistofele at the San Francisco Opera (Sept 6-Oct 2).
Ildar Abdrazakov
Born in 1976 in Ufa, then the capital of the Soviet Republic of Bashkortostan, Ildar Abdrazakov traces his lineage back to Genghis Khan. His parents were both artists: His mother was a painter, and his late father was a director. He began acting in his father’s stage and film productions at age 4, 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, Italy, 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 clothing designer Ermenegildo Zegna to promote music and its values. Abdrazakov’s concert attire is generously provided by the designer.
Ildar Abdrazakov: upcoming engagements
May 15, 2013 
Moscow, Russia
Verdi: Attila (Attila)
Moscow Easter Festival
Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra and Chorus / Valery Gergiev

May 20, 2013
Salzburg, Austria
Whitsun Festival
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar”
Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra and Chorus / Valery Gergiev
May 23, 2013
Sukhum, Abkhazia
Festival Hibla Gerzmava
National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia / Vladimir Spivakov
May 28, 2013
Dresden, Germany
Verdi: Requiem 
Teatro Regio di Torino / Gianandrea Noseda                        

May 29, 2013
Vienna, Austria
Verdi: Requiem 
Teatro Regio di Torino / Gianandrea Noseda
June 10, 11, 2013
Paris, France    
Verdi: Requiem 
Bastille Opera / Philippe Jordan
July 4, 2013
Mikkeli, Finland
Mikkeli Festival
Shostakovich: Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti
Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev
Aug 1, 2013
Verbier, Switzerland
Verbier Festival
Verdi: Requiem
Verbier Festival Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda, Conductor
Sept 6, 11, 14, 17, 20, 24, 29(m) & Oct 2, 2013       
San Francisco, CA
Boito: Mefistofele (Mefistofele – staged role debut)
San Francisco Opera / Nicola Luisotti
#          #          #
© 21C Media Group, May 2013 


Return to Press Room