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Violeta Urmana goes on tour with Isolde: Two orchestras, Act 2 in London and Baden-Baden and four semi-staged complete performances across Europe. (BK)


"Radiant top notes, well-rounded timbre in all registers, innately musical phrasing, precise diction and intelligent acting made a true experience of her Viennese debut in the role," concluded the “Wiener Zeitung” of Violeta Urmana's Isolde at the Vienna Staatsoper in December 2009. And Das “Opernglas” wrote: "Great vocal art; with what furious wrath she shapes Isolde's outbursts in the first act and with what consummate rapture the entire second act is sung! The singer crowns her achievement with a gently restrained “Liebestod “ embedded deep in the orchestral sound, where the sustained piano of her soprano makes one imagine her breathing her last."


Isolde will dominate Violeta Urmana's professional life for the next few months. Concert performances of the second act at the BBC Proms and in Baden-Baden with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Simon Rattle and alongside Ben Heppner's Tristan will be followed in September by a tour with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. Under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen, she will be Isolde in a semi-staged production in Lucerne, Dortmund, Birmingham and London. The installations by video artist Bill Viola, who attracted attention in 2005 with his visualisation of Wagner's opera in Paris, will provide a fascinating optical frame to this musical event.


Only last year, Violeta Urmana described Isolde as her "favourite role for the future", a role whose appeal lay in "singing this unbelievably ecstatic, exalted and wonderful music." Isolde is now central to her varied repertoire, in which Wagner is complemented by the operas of Giuseppe Verdi in particular. Violeta Urmana has benefited from her training in Italian opera when forming the character of Isolde, a part which for all its high drama she sees as steeped in lyricism.

The schedule of performances featuring Violeta Urmana as Isolde is as follows::

Tristan und Isolde, 2nd Act only
/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Sir Simon Rattle)
Ben Heppner: Tristan

Franz-Josef Selig: König Marke

Sarah Connolly: Brangäne

Timothy Robinson: Melot

Henk Neven: Kurwenal

1.8.2010. BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall

4.8.2010 Baden-Baden, Festspielhaus

Tristan und Isolde, semi-staged / Philharmonia Orchestra London, Esa-Pekka Salonen
Gary Lehman: Tristan

Anne Sofie von Otter: Brangäne

John Relyea: König Marke

Jukka Rasilainen Kurwenal

Stephen Gadd: Melot
10.9.2010 Luzern, KKL - im Rahmen des Lucerne Festivals

17.9.2010 Dortmund, Konzerthaus

23.9.2010 Birmingham, Symphony Hall

26.9. 2010 London,  Royal  Festival Hall


Bill Kenny

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