Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I received a copy of this album to review. I loved this album from the first song until the last.

Here's the press release:



Available October 5, 2010

"…a charismatic performer with undeniable audience appeal" – The New York Times

Sony Classical proudly announces its debut release by the highly-acclaimed tenor Vittorio Grigolo. Hailed as one of the finest tenors in recent times, Grigolo’s recording of The Italian Tenor will be available on October 5 and features famous arias and lesser known discoveries. Also, on October 16, Grigolo makes his highly anticipated debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Rodolfo in La Bohème.

Grigolo purposely waited to record his first operatic solo album until he had something unique to communicate in the repertoire. According to Grigolo, “I chose arias representing the culture I come from.”

Born in Tuscany, Grigolo began his career as a young boy performing as a soloist in the celebrated Sistine Chapel Choir. His distinctive voice attracted the praise of the great Luciano Pavarotti when, at age thirteen, he starred alongside him as the Pastorello in Tosca at the Rome Opera. He went on to be the youngest tenor ever to debut at the legendary La Scala, Milan and has conquered many of the world’s great opera houses since, appearing with the finest artists and conductors of our day. Grigolo made his Chicago debut in 2008 starring in a tribute to Pavarotti in front of thousands at Grant Park. He made his Washington, D.C. debut in 2009 sharing the stage with Renée Fleming in a lauded production of Lucrezia Borgia conducted by Plácido Domingo. Recently, he triumphed in his debut at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in Massenet’s Manon.

The Italian Tenor presents arias from three great operatic composers - Gaetano Donizetti, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. These include Donizetti's “Una furtiva lagrima” (L'Elisir d'Amore) which was made famous by Enrico Caruso, whose famous performance of the aria paved the way for the opera's return to the repertoire after years of neglect. Equally as beautiful is Spirto gentil (La Favorita) in which the lead character laments the loss of his love forever.

The recording also presents Grigolo as five Verdi characters. His selection begins with Quando le sere al placido from Luisa Miller and continues with Ella mi fu rapita and Possente amore from Rigoletto. Verdi’s early opera Il Corsaro is rarely performed on stage today, but the young tenor triumphed in the title role at the Zürich Opernhaus earlier this year and wanted to include it on the album. The arias Tutto parea sorridereand Si de’ Corsari il fulmine demonstrate his lyrical and dramatic gifts, as does the chosen aria from Un Ballo in Maschera, - Forse le soglia se m'e forza perderti. Following the cavatina Ah si ben mio coll’essere”, Grigolo makes a rare venture into the spinto tenor repertoire with Di quella pira (Il Trovatore).

The Puccini selection features a seldom heard aria from the composer's first opera, Le Villi, Ecco la casa...torna ai felici di. Grigolo was drawn to the unusually dark, almost Wagnerian colors of the piece. Donna non vidi mai (Manon Lescaut), sung at the beginning of the opera as des Grieux falls in love with the young Manon, provides a clear contrast to the despair of Cavaradossi in E lucevan le stelle (Tosca) as the painter awaits his execution. The aria Firenze è come un albero fiorito from Puccini's only comic opera, Gianni Schicchi, foreshadows the melody of the celebrated “O mio babbino caro” in its central section. Of course, no survey of the Italian tenor repertoire would be complete without the most loved aria of them all - Che gelida manina (La Bohème).

The Italian Tenor was recorded in the Teatro, Regio di Parma, a venue particularly associated with Verdi. It was recorded with the resident orchestra and conductor Pier Giorgio Morandi, with whom Grigolo shares a personal musical connection and admires greatly. Grigolo makes special mention of Plácido Domingo for having offered him guidance and unwavering support throughout Grigolo’s career.

The sponsor Sony has agreed to send a copy of this album to one of my blog followers. In order to enter just make a comment about your favorite type of music. You must be a blog follower to enter.

This is going to be a quick one, so enter by Friday December 17th, 2010 at 7 PM EST. I will use a random number generator to pick the winner and email the winner. The winner will have 72 hours to respond with mailing address and I will get that to the sponsor who will mail the CD to the winner.

Comment #9 wins, I just emailed you!


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