Finally! Elīna Garanča makes her Bay Area debut at Weill Hall, Tuesday, April 9, 2013
She’s graced the stages of the world’s top opera houses, notably stunning at the Met three seasons ago with her break-out role as Carmen. She was set to have her West Coast debut with San Francisco Opera in “Werther,” fall season 2010, but unexpectedly cancelled. The closest we’ve come to seeing her up close was catching her riveting Sesto in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD simulcast of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (December 1, 2012) at the Rialto Cinemas—wowing us with her opening “Parto, parto” and her Act II aria “Deh per questo istante.” Finally! Latvian mezzo soprano, Elīna Garanča, makes her West Coast debut in recital on at Green Music Center’s Weill Hall on Tuesday, April 9—her only West Coast appearance this year. What a coup for GMC! But it’s been quite a year for mezzos—Stephanie Blythe and Joyce Di Donato gave unforgettable performances earlier in the season.
Garanča’s rich mezzo, musicianship, and compelling stage portrayals have established her as one of the world’s newest opera stars. In 2005, she locked in a coveted exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Now, at 36, she’s in her prime. Along with her last best-selling solo album, Romantique (2012)(works by Berlioz, Donizetti, Gounod, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Vaccai), she has been releasing a series of glam-shots that accentuate her striking beauty and sensuality. And like, Joyce DiDonato, who wowed us with her amazing red gown, Garanča also loves to dress up, so get ready for some amazing dresses on Tuesday!
On April 26, Deutsche Grammophon will release its recording of Metropolitan Opera’s 2009 production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola in which she sings Angelina, the opera’s central role. Critic Steve Smith raved in a New York Times review (5.7.2009) that she was “technically flawless: her voice lustrous and even throughout her range and at any dynamic; her delivery, silken and seemingly effortless.”
Reviews of this particular performance run hot and cool. She was in recital this past Saturday at Carnegie Hall, with the same program she’s doing for GMC. Critics praised her voice, precision and preparation but pointed to her lack of connection with the audience. Forging that intimate connection is the factor that immortalizes a technically great singer, which Garanča already is. The warm, intimate, and relaxed atmosphere of Weill Hall should go a long way towards taking care of that. It’s been an elixir for the divas who’ve appeared there so far and we’ve experienced them at their finest.
Garanča’s program centers on love—a mother’s love for her newborn child, the early pangs of romance, the solidarity of a great marriage, and the warm contentment of a bond that has matured over many years. She’s selected three of the masters of German lieder: Robert Schumann, Alban Berg, and Richard Strauss. The cornerstone for the recital is Schumann’s Frauenliebe und – leben, which she said in an interview with Carnegie Hall is her current favorite lied cycle.
“Zwei Lieder der Braut””
Frauenliebe und – leben”
“Sieben frühe Lieder”
“All mein Gedanken”
“Ach Lieb, ich muss nun scheiden”
Elīna Garanča introducing the romantic repertoire of her latest CD, “Romantique”
Elīna Garanča sings Mozart’s “Parto, ma tu ben mio” from “La celmenza di Tito”
Elina Garanca sings Gypsy-themed songs, introducing “Habanera,” her 2010 solo album.
Details: Elīna Garanča performs April 9, 2013 at 8 p.m. at Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park. Ticket purchases can be made online at www.gmc.sonoma.edu, or, over the phone with the Sonoma State University Box Office at 866.955.6040. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. The Box Office re-opens one hour before the performance.
Parking: As you enter the Sonoma State University campus from the Rohnert Park Expressway, there are multiple parking lots immediately to your right. Parking Lots L, M, N and O are available for parking for GMC performances. Parking is $10. Have cash ready.