YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–One of the most famous world baritones–Renato Bruson–will perform in Armenia on February 5 together with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra–at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall. The concert–dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide–will mark Bruson’s first visit to Armenia.
Initiated by the head conductor of the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia Eduard Topchian–negotiations with Bruson began last year–but the agreement was reached recently.
Arias and overtures from Giuseppe Verdi’s operas will be performed–with the cost of tickets ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 drams ($6-20).
"We have established all the conditions for the Armenian spectators to have an opportunity to hear the world-famed baritone," said Topchian.
A concert with world-famed tenor Placido Domingo in Yerevan is currently in the works–which will also be dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. The State Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia has been negotiating with Domingo’s manager for the past several months.
Bruson–one of the foremost Verdi and bel canto baritones of his generation–was unable to afford any kind of musical schooling at a young age–but his family encouraged him to sing in the local church choir. After finishing regular school–he auditioned for the Padova Conservatory–and was offered a five-year scholarship–where he studied with Elena Fava Cerati–who trained him thoroughly in the bel canto style and technique.
He made his opera debut as the Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore at Spoleto in 1961.
He appeared at the Met for the first time in 1969–as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor–and made his La Scala debut in Linda di Chamonix in 1972.
In 1973–he made his Chicago Lyric Opera debut as Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera–and in 1975 he made his Covent Garden debut in the same role–substituting for an ill Piero Cappuccilli. His Vienna State Opera debut was in 1978–as Verdi’s Macbeth.
He sang with Riccardo Muti for the first time in 1970–and over the years became an adherent of Muti’s insistence on singing come scritto–without singer-interpolated high notes–believing that this focuses attention on the music and drama rather than the singer.
He frequently championed the songs of Tosti–and was named an honorary citizen of Cortona–Tosti’s home city–in recognition of this. While his Verdi roles are perhaps his best-known–especially Macbeth–Rigoletto–Renato (Un Ballo in Maschera)–and Simon Boccanegra–he sang in no fewer than seventeen Donizetti operas during the 1970s and 1980s–just ahead of the crest of a great resurgence of interest in lesser-known nineteenth-century works.
With his soft–rich–deep voice he has emerged as the leading romantic baritone of our time–specializing above all in Donizetti and Verdi–but not disregarding eighteenth-century opera.