The conductor Teodor Currentzis and his MusicAeterna orchestra and choir are recording the three Mozart operas to libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte for Sony Classical. These studio recordings are being made in Perm, on the edge of Siberia and about 1400 kilometers east of Moscow. Currentzis, who is artistic director at Perm’s opera house, has created an artistic community that operates under unique circumstances that allow for unlimited rehearsal time as well as the option to perform only when the rehearsal process has been deemed complete. The Nozze di Figaro recording was made over a period – unheard of these days – of 14 hours per day for 11 days.
Athens-born Currentzis (born in 1972) moved to St Petersburg in 1994 to study with the legendary conducting teacher Ilya Musin. It was during his time at Novosibirsk as musical director of the Opera, that Currentzis founded MusicAeterna. Of his Mozart cycle he has said, ‘There are so many recordings which convey the general spirit of Mozart’s music. The only point in making a new one is to give the audience a chance to hear and learn about all the magic which this score holds. I made this recording because I wanted to show what can be achieved if you avoid the factory approach of the classical music mainstream. My credo is that every performance you give has to be like a pregnancy. You have to dream and you have to wait until the time comes when you see the miracle happening. If you’re not like that in music, you lose the central idea of music.’
So far, both Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte have been recorded with Don Giovanni scheduled for September 2014. The casts for the first two recordings include – for Le nozze di Figaro – Andrei Bondarenko as Count Almaviva, Simone Kermes as Countess Almaviva, Christian Von Horn as Figaro and Fanie Antonelou as Susanna. The Così fan tutte cast comprises Simone Kermes as Fiordiligi, Malena Ernman as Dorabella, Christopher Maltman as Guglielmo, Kenneth Tarver as Ferrando, Konstantin Wolff as Don Alfonso and Anna Kasyan as Despina.
Figaro is due to be released in February in a variety of formats ranging from high-resolution Blu-ray to LP as well as CD and digital formats including Mastered for iTunes.