Sony Classical has got its contracts department busy again, signing the young Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze. Now 27 years old, she has already become familiar to audiences in many of the world’s musical capitals in recent years, through a series of leading roles.
The Tbilisi-born singer studied at the Accademia del Teatro Scala and won the 2006 Leyla Gencer Vocal Competion. She made her La Scala main house debut aged only 24, as Marie in Donizetti’s La fille du regiment. Salzburg and London (and Milan) audiences have seen her as Gounod’s Juliette, New Yorkers saw her Gilda in Rigoletto, while she starred in Rossini’s Il turco in Italia for Los Angeles Opera. She also features alongside Plácido Domingo and Angela Gheorghiu in DG’s new recording of Giordano’s Fedora.
In a press release, Machaidze said, “I am thrilled to become a new exclusive Sony artist. It is truly an honour to join the wonderful artists already on the Sony label and most of all, to have such a superb artistic team to collaborate with. To be given the chance to record at this early age makes this signing extra special for me”.
Her first Sony recording will feature bel canto arias and is due to be released during the spring. Accompanying her will be the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Communale di Bologna conducted by another young artist, the Communale’s principal conductor Michele Mariotti.
This is the latest in a series of signings – with the emphasis seemingly on youth as well as talent – by Sony over the past 12 months or so under their newish president Bogdan Roscic. The highest profile was their poaching of the superstar pianist Lang Lang from DG, but others have included the violinists Ray Chen and Jack Liebeck, the pianists Simone Dinnerstein and Khatia Buniatishvili and the conductor Kristjan Järvi. DG were doubtless piqued by the Lang Lang swoop, but with their declaration of a renewed push for “core” classical recordings, expect to see a marked fightback from the venerable German label.