Top positive review
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The perfect follow up to the BBC's Opera Season
on 20 February 2012
As a big fan of the superstar tenor I really enjoyed Rolando Villazon's appearances on 'Popstar to Operastar' as Mentor and performer. He is now appearing as presenter in a similar programme on German TV but this is more like 'Cardiff Singer of the World' with rising young opera singers. He modestly said that he would not have been given the prestigious role without having done 'Popstar to Operastar'. He certainly conveys his knowledge of opera in an entertaining and warm hearted way. The introduction by Rolando on the CD insert is utterly charming. I hope you too will enjoy the "wonderful moments of this glorious art form with some of the greatest performers of both the past and present" selected for us here by Rolando.
Rolando Villazon contributed to the 2010 BBC Radio3 In Tune's A-Z of Opera which is still available on podcast on the BBC R3 website. Entertaining and informative it celebrates opera through the eyes of the world's leading singers, conductors, directors and opera enthusiasts. Rolando contributed to the programme celebrating the tenor. Also on the Radio3 website is a timeline which takes us through opera from 1597 to 2010 describing the opera genres and top composers.
For the 2011 BBC's Opera Season programmes Rolando Villazon was presenter of BBC4's 'What Makes a Great Tenor?' "The great tenor Rolando Villazon takes us inside the world of the sexiest and most risky of all operatic voices." Standing on the stage of the Royal Opera House, taking us behind the scenes, introducing clips and talking to major stars he was a brilliant programme presenter and guide. Also on BBC4 the lauded Opera Italia series with Royal Opera House Director Antonio Pappano traced the history of Italian Opera and featured some of the stars on this CD.
I have only one minor criticism, of 'Voi Che Sapete' which is the embellished version to showcase a soprano voice. I find some of the notes rather strange, flat or 'sagging'. I have several versions of this delightful aria in my collection and this is my least favourite. Magdalena Kozena is a MET star with a large discography and is otherwise worthy of inclusion here.