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Byline: Juan Antonio Lanuza
Today's column is about the lyric and coloratura sopranos I have heard during the past 10 years in the US (mostly at the Metropolitan Opera), Milan, Vienna, Lausanne and Zurich.
Elisabeth Futral, Natalie Dessay, Ainhoa Arteta and Maria Bayo are some of the best young and very talented coloratura/lyric sopranos. I attended Futral's sensational Met debut as "Lucia" on a subfreezing January morning two or three years ago. Arteta, a very attractive woman with a good voice, has to be seen; her Traviata was better seen live rather than listening to the broadcast of the same opera - she is a great actress. At present, Cristina Gallardo-Domas is one of the best Violettas (Traviata). At present Ruth Ann Swensen is one of the best American sopranos. She also makes a very interesting Lucia. Natalie Dessay was electrifying in the opera Hamlet; she sang some of the most difficult music while lying down in the floor. Catch them and judge for yourself.
RUTH ANN SWENSEN * Gran Teatro del Liceo, Barcelona, Spain: La Traviata (Verdi), Jan. 12, 16. * Metropolitan Opera, New York City: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), Jan. 10, 14, 18, 21, 30, Feb. 2, 6, 9; Rigoletto (Verdi), Feb. 22, 25, March 1, 5, 9, 13, 16, 20, 25, 29, April 2, 6, 10. * War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California: Guilio Cesare (Handel), June 19, 22, 26, 29, July 3, 7.
NATALIE DESSAY * Opera de Lyon, Lyon, France: Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), Jan. 10, 13, 16, 19, 22. * Auditorio di Via della Conciliazione, Rome, Italy: March 8, concert featuring compositions by Mozart, Bach, Gluck, Traetta with Christophe Rousset conducting Les Talens Lyriques. * Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris, France: Acis and Galatea (Handel), March 23, concert version with Sara Mingardo, Laurent Naouri, and Le Concert d'Astree conducted by Emmanuel Hanm. * Salle Pleyel, Paris, France: April 5, concert featuring excerpts from Ariadne auf Naxos (R Strauss) and Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Mozart) with Christophe Eschenbach conducting the Orchestre de Paris. * Teatro Real, Madrid, Spain: April 10, concert with Louis Langree conducting the Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid. * Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria: La Sonnambula (Bellini), April 4, 8, 13, 16. * Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, France: Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), June 21, 24, 27, 30.
EDITA GRUBEROVA * Opernhaus, Zurich, Switzerland: La Sonnambula (Bellini), Jan. 19, 23, 26, 30, Feb. 7, 13, 17. * Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Germany: April 19, song recital with pianist Friedrich Haider. * Wigmore Hall, London: April 12, song recital with pianist Friedrich Haider. * Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria: Roberto Devereux (Donizetti), May 10, 14, 18. * National Theater, Munich, Germany: I Puritani (Bellini), July 5, 10; July 15, Gala Concert with Vesselina Kasarova and Marcello Viotti conducting the Bayerisches Staatsorchester.
SUMI JO * Auditorio di Via della Conciliazione, Rome: Feb. 10, 11, 12, concert featuring Symphony #4 (Mahler) with Myung-Whun Chung conducting the Orchestra dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. * Maison de Radio France, Paris, France: March 7, concert featuring Christus (Liszt) with Evegeny Svetlanov conducting Marina Domashenko, Donald Litaker, Vladimir Petrov, the Choeur de Radio France, and the Orchestre National de France. * Cathedrale Notre-Dame, Leon, France: March 10, concert featuring Christus (Liszt) with same singers/orchestra/chorus/conductor of March 7. * Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles: Die Zauberflote (Mozart), March 24, 29, 31, April 3, 6, 7, 10.
ELIZABETH FUTRAL * Wortham Center, Houston, Texas: Of Mice and Men …