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Commentary

Hibla Gerzmava [Photo by Vlad Loktev]
14 Sep 2015

Hibla Gerzmava to Debut at Carnegie Hall

The name of Hibla Gerzmava has been famous in the opera world since 1994, when at age 24 the Abkhazian-Russian soprano won the Grand Prix at Tchaikovsky International Competition, entering its history as the first and only vocalist to have been awarded the highest prize.

Hibla Gerzmava Makes North American Solo Recital Debut at Carnegie Hall

A commentary by Raisa Massuda

Above: Hibla Gerzmava [Photo by Vlad Loktev]

 

One of the most in-demand recitalists today and a mainstay at most leading opera houses worldwide, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Paris Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper, Ms. Gerzmava is by right considered a vocal phenomenon.

While the soprano’s unusually vast vocal range makes her one of the most diverse classical singers today (over the past decade her repertoire has broadened from Baroque to verismo to classical crossover), it is the rare quality of her voice that turns each of her performances into an event to remember. Filled with sensual energy and haunting beauty, Ms. Gerzmava’s voice pierces the listener’s heart and captivates it with the power of genuine emotion.

Following her 2015 Metropolitan Opera triumph as the doomed Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, the artist will mark her North American solo recital debut with “An Evening with Hibla Gerzmava”, a dramatically intense recital program that will take place on the main stage of Carnegie Hall on October 8, 2015.

Accompanied on the piano by internationally acclaimed concertmaster and long-term recording partner Ekaterina Ganelina, Ms. Gerzmava will unveil the rich and mysterious world of arias and romances of the late 18th - early 20th centuries.

On the heels of her 2014 album “Vocal Cycles and Romances by Russian Composers” (also with Ms. Ganelina at the piano), the soprano will open the evening with a selection of idyllic and slightly nostalgic romances by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff set to the lyrics of Russian and European poetry luminaries. In the second part of the program the artist will turn to a more dramatic repertoire and explore the depths of a woman’s soul through the arias of ill-fated opera heroines - from Handel’s grief-stricken Almira to Bellini’s enigmatic Norma, whose cavatina Casta Diva is known to be among Ms. Gerzmava’s signature pieces.

“An Evening with Hibla Gerzmava” will no doubt conquer many hearts in Carnegie Hall, not only as a beautiful vocal recital, but also as a deeply moving musical journey. For more information about this recital, presented by XIV Music Festival "Hibla Gerzmava Invites...", and to purchase your tickets, visit Carnegie Hall's website www.carnegiehall.org

Raisa Massuda

Raisa Massuda is an opera and recital reviewer, writing articles for Mandolin Vision, Bachtrack.com and Delos Productions.

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