Rólando Villazón. August 30th. Tivoli, Copenhagen.
I have either heard or seen most of Rólando Villazón´s performances after his "come-back" this January - from his shaky Vienna Manon to his underpowered performance in Barenboim´s Verdi Requiem in February. Then a wonderful recital in March with Daniel Barenboim to be followed by him being severely overparted, but expressive as Don Carlo in London. Finally, in Salzburg last month he was much more vocally solid as Roméo, but still he seemed to tear rather heavily on his vocal substance...
However, based on Friday´s recital in Tivoli, Copenhagen, these problems seemed to belong to the past. Rólando Villazón was simply superb. Everything seemed to work for him - the top was rock-solid, even when force was applied, his intonation was faultless and he was completely in technical control. That he also appears immensely likable as well as expressive is not new. But vocally performance was simply the best I have yet heard from him..
He chose to sing a rather obscure selection (listed below) of arias from late-romantic Italian operas coupled with popular songs such as O sole mio, complete with some audience members waving with Mexican flags on the first row and several middle-aged women approaching the stage to give him flowers. An evening of popular opera, in the best sense of the word. However, the programming was also very intelligent on Villazón´s part giving him ample opportunity to show off his relatively dark voice and ability to maintain legato lines.
Rólando Villazón appeared with his frequent conducting partner Marco Zambello, who unfortunately wasn´t able to infuse much life into the orchestral interludes. Not that anyone came for their sake anyway.
A great evening with an exstatic audience of who´s who in Copenhagen and a well-deserved success for Rólando Villazón who looked genuinely happy and less maniacal than usual.
And the tickets: As this concert was reschedule of the concert he cancelled last August only 100 tickets were available this year and the ticket office claimed that none would be returned, at least not on the internet. This was of course not true - we bought four tickets the day before the performance on the normal internet booking site. What´s new?
Programme (only Villazóns arias listed ):
1. Ponchielli: Cielo e mar (La Gioconda)
2. Cilea: La dolcissima effigie (Adriana Lecouvreur)
3. Cilea: L´anima ho stanca (Adriana Lecouvreur)
4. Ponchielli: Il padre (Il figlioul prodigo)
5. Verdi: Questa e quella (Rigoletto)
6. Verdi: O inferno! Amelia qui! (Simon Boccanegra)
7. Verdi: O! Fede negar potessi (Luisa Miller)
8. Gomes: Indenditi con Dio! (Fosca)
Three extras, a.o. O sole mio and GrAnada !
Overall impression (scale of 1-5, 3=average):