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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Tchaikovsky: Iolanta'
Artist - Anna Netrebko

Following Anna Netrebko's astounding success in Salzburg's Il Trovatore production, Deutsche Grammophon have just released an amazing, and that is no wayward way to summarize this release, trust me, new recording. Recorded during her U-Live tour in 2012, Anna Netrebko performs Iolanta, title role of one of Tchaikovsky's most passionate, evocative scores and one of opera's most enigmatic figures.

Creating a little background for those that don't know, Anna Netrebko was born in Krasnodar (Russia), in a family of Kuban Cossack background. While a student at the Saint Petersburg conservatoire, Netrebko worked as a janitor at Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. Later, she auditioned for the Mariinsky Theatre, where conductor Valery Gergiev recognized her from her prior work in the theatre. He subsequently became her vocal mentor.

Under Gergiev's guidance, Netrebko made her operatic stage debut at the Mariinsky at age 22, as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She went on to sing many prominent roles with the Kirov Opera, including Amina in La sonnambula, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor.

From there, as I'm sure you all now know, Netrebko has musically soared, and here on this live recording, maestro Emmanuel Villaume, with whom Netrebko collaborated on the successful Souvenirs album, leads a stellar cast comprising a number of Russia's biggest opera stars.

Inclusive of performers such as Markov, Skorokhodov, and Kowaljow, the hand-picked company of supporting artists makes in this a significant addition to Netrebko's already highly impressive discography.

Wisely spread here over two discs, housed in a lovely, well-packaged box, set in 15th Century France, Tchaikovsky’s final opera is an enchanting fairy tale with dark undercurrents about a beautiful blind girl who falls in love for the first time. A one-act work based on a popular 19th-century play, it was first performed in St. Petersburg in 1892, less than a year before the composer’s premature death, sharing the stage with The Nutcracker (which also had its world premiere that day).

Anna Netrebko has the distinction of being invited to appear in three consecutive opening night new productions at the Metropolitan Opera: Anna Bolena in 2011, L'elisir d'amore in 2012, and Eugene Onegin, in 2013. She also performed the Olympic anthem at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, near her native Krasnodar. Iolanta receives its first-ever Met production in the 2014–15 season, as part of a double bill with Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle.