OPERA

Cielo e Mar Rolando Vil­la­zon Deutsche Gram­mophon

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

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.

Gra­ham Strahle

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