Today's Classical Music Video

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rolando Villazon Sings "Pourquoi me reveiller" from Werther

Fans of Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon have reason to celebrate.  On May 5, the tenor had a triumphant return to Royal Opera Covent Garden in the title role in Massenet's Werther, receiving unanimously positive reviews. After three years of vocal ill health that involved two hiatuses from the stage, many cancellations and eventually surgery to remove a cyst in his vocal cord, it appears Villazon is singing well once again. Observers note a newfound security in his top register and the absence of the tendency to push his lyric tenor for a bigger, more dramatic sound.  Let's hope this is the start of a new phase in his career.  Performances of Werther continue on May 11, 14, 17 and 21. Here is Villazon singing "Pourquoi me reveiller" at the Paris Opera in March 2009.  He sings with his trademark honeyed mezza voce, only betraying signs of strain and flatness at the top when he tries to push his instrument. His Charlotte is American mezzo Susan Graham, and Kent Nagano led the Paris Opera forces in a beautifully shaped reading.  Hopefully video or audio clips of Villazon's current Covent Garden performances will appear on Youtube. 

- Joseph K. So



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