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Soprano Gheorghiu stars in La rondine at the Met’s NY’s Eve Gala

At the Metropolitan Opera’s
annual New Year’s Eve Gala this
year, New Yorkers can experience Angela Gheorghiu in La rondine, and celebrate
not only New Year’s Eve, but also Ms. Gheorghiu’s 15th anniversary
with the Company.  Opening on
December 31, this production of Puccini’s 1917 rarity is the one with which the
Romanian soprano scored a resounding personal and professional triumph in her
long-awaited San Francisco Opera debut in November 2007.


Starring as Magda in La rondine last November, Ms. Gheorghiu
became the toast of opera-obsessed San Francisco.  A half-dozen rave reviews popped up after the first performance,
and features sprouted from every publication in the Bay Area during the
run.  The San Francisco Chronicle
review read, in part:


company debut is long overdue, but her performance in the signature role of
Magda was worth the wait.  Her tone
was strong but tender, with an irresistible blend of earthiness and purity, and
when she lofted the high notes of ‘Chi il
bel sogno di Doretta
,’ her breath control and flawless intonation seemed to
make time stand still.


A Contra Costa Times headline called Angela Gheorghiu: “the wind
beneath the wings for S.F. Opera’s production of La rondine”, and the
described the greatness of her performance: “What makes her
extraordinary is the genuineness of her singing – there’s nothing artificial or
self-consciously ‘operatic’ about it.”


Gheorghiu has a voice that people want to hear,” states Opera News in this month’s cover
feature, continuing:


“And what a strange and brilliant
voice it is, not only for the way it sounds but for what it can do.  The quality is itself paradoxical: it
sounds unnervingly fragile, constantly shuddering on the verge of tears, but it
also has a wild, stabbing thrust. 
Gheorghiu is that rare soprano with a slender sound that is so densely
packed with color, strength, and vibration that it can survive roles that make
bigger, wobblier lyric voices split open.”


The Opera News feature points up Ms. Gheorghiu’s continuing popularity
in the United States and describes the diva as “a marketing force to be reckoned with”:


 “[Peter] Gelb is committed to bringing the soprano to the
house more often and with greater fanfare – he booked her for an HD
transmission of Bohème … , a concert in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park last
summer, and a forthcoming new production of Carmen.  And Gelb isn’t the only one.  David Gockley, general director of San
Francisco Opera, arranged for Gheorghiu to make her debut with his company in
2007, utilizing the same production of Rondine she brings to the Met
this month.  After 15 years as a
star, Gheorghiu is still a marketing force to be reckoned with, and they must
know it.”


Metropolitan Opera audiences
have long been acquainted with the artistry of Angela Gheorghiu, since her
debut as Mimì in the beloved Franco Zeffirelli production of La bohème
in December 1983, right through her return last season to that same production
(revived by Zeffirelli himself for the Met:
Live in HD
transmission, and now available on an EMI Classics DVD).  Her revelatory performances the
previous season as Amelia in Verdi’s Simon
, opposite Thomas Hampson, were also rapturously received.  The Associated Press waxed poetic in
recalling Gheorghiu’s “crystal-clear warmth, topped by high tones that floated
into a sweet stratosphere … .  At
moments, her shimmering soprano seemed ‘like gold to airy thinness beat,’ to
borrow the words of poet John Donne.”


In 2006, Ms. Gheorghiu’s
breakthrough year here, New York
magazine named her Traviata a “Best
of 2006,” calling her Lady of the Camellias “a worthy successor to Garbo and Callas”: “The pathetic image of a
fragile courtesan with a delicate cameo face [was] riveting, and her
wine-colored voice commanded the score’s feverish coloratura and its lyrical


Not seen at the Met since
1936, La rondine received its U.S. premiere
in 1928, when the company presented it as a novelty – a “Viennese operetta” by
Italy’s most popular composer, so the Met’s production also marks the 80th
anniversary of the opera’s American debut.  Onstage as Magda in La
, as in life, Angela Gheorghiu will be partnered by her husband,
French tenor Roberto Alagna, who plays Ruggero.  In the words of the Met’s website, “Gheorghiu plays the kept
woman who gambles on true love, and Alagna is the man who makes her question
the cost of her glittering existence.” 
Happy New Year!


Angela Gheorghiu releases My Puccini on EMI Classics

To honor her favorite
composer Giacomo Puccini, Angela Gheorghiu has released Angela
Gheorghiu: My Puccini
EMI Classics. 
This collection is an homage to the composer’s legend, featuring the
finest arias from his best-loved operas from Ms. Gheorghiu’s extensive EMI
Classics discography, including several collaborations with her husband, tenor
Roberto Alagna.  Accompanying the
CD is a special bonus DVD of previously unreleased material, including footage
of Ms. Gheorghiu singing Puccini, as well as an interview with her speaking
about the composer.


For a full performance
calendar and more information, please visit:



Angela Gheorghiu at the Met

December 31: Angela Gheorghiu portrays Magda in the
Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Puccini’s La rondine.  Opening night is also the Met’s annual
New Year’s Eve Gala.  [Also Jan 3,
7, 10, 13; Feb 11, 14, 19, 23, and 26] 

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