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The Romantic Hero

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Performer: Vittorio Grigolo
  • Audio CD (19 May 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Classical
  • ASIN: B00HEYF4EC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,358 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Werther, Acte III: "Pourquoi me réveiller"
  2. Romeo et Juliette, Acte II: "L'amour, l'amour...Ah, lève-toi soleil"
  3. Carmen, Acte II: "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée"
  4. Faust, Acte III, scène 4: "Quel trouble inconnu... Salut, demeure chaste et pure"
  5. Manon, Acte II: "En fermant les yeux... C'est un rêve"
  6. Manon, Acte III, scène 2: "Je suis seul... ah fuyez, douce image"
  7. L'Africaine, Acte IV: "Pays merveilleux... O Paradis"
  8. La Juive, Acte IV: "Rachel, quand du seigneur"
  9. Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Epilogue, scène 2: "O Dieu de quelle ivresse"
  10. Romeo et Juliette, Acte IV: "Va! Je t'ai pardonné... Nuit d'Hyménée"
  11. Le Cid, Acte II, scène 3: "Ah! Tout est bien fini... Oh Souverain, o Juge, o Père"
  12. Romeo et Juliette, Acte V: "C'est là! Salut! Tombeau! Sombre et silencieux"

Product Description

Established as one of the world’s leading Italian tenors, an integral vehicle in Vittorio’s operatic trajectory has been French opera. His extraordinary international breakthrough came in the role of Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon alongside Anna Netrebko at the Royal Opera House in 2010. He astounded the audience and critics:
‘The birth of a star’ - EVENING STANDARD
‘The most sensational debut to be heard at Covent Garden for some time’ - THE GUARDIAN

The following year critics applauded his return to the Royal Opera House London to sing the title role in Faust alongside a stellar cast including Angela Gheorghiu, René Pape and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

His previous professional appearances in key French repertoire also include performances as Romeo in Romeo & Juliette at both La Scala and Los Angeles Opera (both in 2011) and the title role in Zürich Opera House’s production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann that same year.

To the famous heroic arias such as Romeo’s “L’amour, l’amour…Ah, lève-toi soleil”, Des Grieux’s “ah fuyez, douce image” and Faust’s “Salut, demeure chaste et pure”, Vittorio has also added lesser-known arias from La juive , l’Africaine and Le Cid. All roles meet the description of the romantic hero, full of love, passion, and jealousy.

As Vittorio explains:
“In this very special album, my first departure into the French repertoire, I wanted to look back on and explore the kind of figure that is the true romantic hero. It’s the hero that makes me feel alive when I am on stage. I chose the French hero because each aria is special for me in a certain way, and reveals something hidden inside me. For example, the love in Roméo et Juliette is very intense, quite unlike anything today, when everything is so fast. Is it still possible to love like this, to know this kind of feeling?

Manon, Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Le Cid –the roles in these works encompass every aspect of the French hero. Again that is part of the reason for my choice. The Italian way of singing is native to me. But sometimes in life we change course to follow a sign that is not the one of our birth; instead we go forward in the ascendant. The French hero is my ascendant.

Though I started learning to sing using the Italian bel canto technique, I have now got to the point where I am conscious of what I can express in, what I have to say about, the French hero. And that is partly because of my natural temperament. When I was a kid, I was always the hero, I was too much, I had to rein myself in; now I don’t need to, because I can use that aspect of my personality on stage in these marvellous French operas and everybody loves it. What was excessive then in a child works well now for the stage.”

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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I heard Vittorio Grigòlo at Covent Garden last Monday in "Werther" and was very impressed; furthermore, I am convinced that through careful management his voice has grown in amplitude since he recorded this disc three years ago. He nonetheless attempts several roles here which are really for a spinto tenor in the heroic French repertoire, as several other fundamentally lyric voices like Thill and Vanzo have done in the past.He gets away with it although there is no denying that just occasionally a little less artistry and a little more sheer heft are called for. For example, he cannot emulate the swell Caruso brought to the B flat of "Tu m'appartiens" (actually ,as Caruso sings it in Italian, "Tu m'appartieni'") in the aria "Ô paradis" and instead opts for an "artful" piano ; however, he concludes the aria with that same note full voiced to show he's got it in him.

Top notes allied to an unfailingly beautiful tone come easy to this singer; his top C in "Salut, demeure" soars upward with nary a hint of strain and his poetic delivery of the French text, virtually flawless except for a minor error on "jeter" in the "Carmen" aria, makes him sound entirely idiomatic and fluent. He even emulates the French-speaking Alagna by using the guttural "R" instead of the forward Italianate trill favoured by some singers when singing in this notoriously difficult language.

Great singers like Corelli and Björling were able to span this repertoire, too, and Grigòlo by no means sounds over-parted in it. I still pefer to hear Björling above all in the top B's of "Parais! parais!" but I enjoyed this recital so much that once I had listened once through I immediately started all over again.
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I first heard him Grigolo in the Mantua Rigoletto,and thought he was avoice to watch,the first disc he made was good,but something missing,now here he is in a programme of French arias,and it is glorious!I think he has found his niche,the French repertoire suits him at this stage of his career,later-maybe he can go into the heavier roles,but please,not for a while yet,do not ruin the voice like so many others before him,by taking on the meatier roles before he is ready.
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I have been a bit hard on Grigolo in earlier reviews, doubting whether the voice was robust enough to project effectively on stage. Well, reviews from recent performances have indicated that he can make himself heard just fine, and this pleasant album provides some confirmation of that. He cuts loose at moments here with a bigger sound, and he does just fine. It's true that the sweetness of the voice is best heard in his softer singing, but there's nothing ugly or forced at the end of "O paradis," for example, and his account of "Ah! Fuyez" comes across with the kind of desperation that I find missing in "Pourquoi me reveiller," in which he sounds altogether too soft-centered at the end, despite some nice ringing high notes earlier. I would have liked too a bit more machismo at the the end of "Ah! Leve-toi, soleil!" too, but Grigolo's default mode in recording seems to be to sing off the words rather than find a firm musical line to shape. The duet from "Romeo et Juliette" ("Nuit d'hymenee") is interesting in this regard -- the soprano seems in a slightly different aural space than Grigolo and she is both singing out, maintaining a line, AND being expressive, while Grigolo, singing sweetly enough, seems closer in and given to an altogether softer style. For all that, the duet works well, and Sonya Yoncheva does a fine job as a positive and attractive Juliette.

My reservations about this disc, then, are stylistic rather than vocal, so it's important to say that what bothers me might not bother most listeners. There isn't an ugly sound to be heard, the orchestral work is fine, and the balance of voice and orchestra is well managed. Add to that the fact that here we have an Italian tenor singing less familiar (in some cases) material in excellent French throughout. There's much to enjoy here.
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I had waited for quite some time for this CD to be released but it was well worth the wait....Its a must have CD for any classical music lovers.....Vittorio's velvet voice is so easy to listen to....its a voice you never tire of listening to...
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One of his best
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This a voice that reminds me of rich dark chocolate. He sings so effortlessly. This CD is just perfect!
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I didn't enjoy this as much as his previous recordings, so a little disappointed.
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