Cielo e Mar Rolando Villazon Deutsche Grammophon
THE opera world has been watching Rolando Villazon for about three years. His five- month withdrawal from public performance last September, apparently due to exhaustion, brought fears that this exciting tenor of the younger generation might have burned out. Happily, the Mexican singer is back, recently giving concert performances in The Netherlands and Germany. His first solo recital disc with Deutsche Grammophon, recorded early last year, does not disappoint and shows what all the fuss is about. Villazon seems to have inherited the vocal genes to make him a successor to Placido Domingo. He has a dark- toned, muscular voice and emotive force. In a selection of mostly lesser- known arias by Verdi, Ponchielli, Boito and other Italian opera composers, he sings with heroic strength and marvellously intense drama. Each performance sounds loaded to the hilt with emotion. Under conductor Daniele Callegari, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi plays to an admirably high standard.