Verdi year begins – watch footage from the session
Tenor Rolando Villazón has been in the studio to record a disc of Verdi arias, for release just ahead of the composer's bicentenary anniversary year. Sessions took place at the Auditorium della Rai 'Arturo Toscanini' in Turin at the end of September, with the Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, for Deutsche Grammophon. It will be a swift turnaround – the release is scheduled for November.
The release draws on music from works including Rigoletto, Falstaff, La Traviata and the Requiem – as well as lesser-known operas including Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio and I Lombardi alla prima crociata.
Villazón describes the project as a: 'carefully-crafted personal selection of Verdi arias and songs that takes us on a musical journey, beginning with Verdi's earliest composition, dating from 1838, and continuing through popular and lesser known pieces all the way to the very last aria he wrote for the tenor voice: the beautiful "Dal labbro il canto estasiato vola" from Falstaff.'
The Mexican tenor’s performance in Massenet’s Werther saw it reach the final three of the Opera category in this year’s Gramophone Classical Music Awards. More recently, he appeared on a DG release of Don Giovanni conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. This new Verdi album is the first of a number of albums from high-profile singers due to make an appearance to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth in 2013.
You can watch some footage from the sessions, as well as hear Villazón and Noseda discuss the recording, in this short video from DG – and look out for a an article about the recording early next year in Gramophone magazine.