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Definitely an opera star
on 9 February 2010
Mexican born (1972) Rolando Villazon's career has been simmering since 1999 after his award winning performance at the Operalia International competition in Puerto Rico. Since then he has established himself in the opera world as a leading tenor having performed in numerous performances worldwide.
But it was not until the 2010 ITV1 television show Popstar to Operastar that he has found widespread recognition, helped in no small way by his slightly flamboyant and eccentric antics as one of the judges on the show.
Viewers of the show will wonder what this album content is, and although to non opera fans the track list may be unfamiliar, much of the music will be instantly recognisable. It's a mixture of familiar favourites with a few lesser known works thrown in. I think it works very well, particularly the duets with Russian soprano Anna Netrebko.
Of the 15 tracks, 8 have been previously available and the other 7 were recorded in December 2009 after his surgery for throat problems. A little repetition for existing fans maybe, but that's offset by a chance to hear that the post op voice still works. But the real intention of this album, released at the half way stage of the TV show, is to capture a wider audience from outside the traditional opera fan base.
I'm all for broadening one's appreciation of music, and while I agree with Villazon's claim that `anyone can sing opera', I think I'd be polite in saying that the TV show reveals some can sing it a little better than others.
A great album which serves as a perfect introduction to Villazon and should not disappoint viewers (myself included) of the TV show