In these first days of September, we celebrate the Birthdays of two of the most beloved Opera singers, Soprano Julia Varady and Bass René Pape.
Among of her many roles, my favorite performance of Julia Varady was as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
I saw her for the first time in the 1987 Salzburg production of Don Giovanni along with Samuel Ramey and Ferruccio Furlanetto, and with Herbert von Karajan conducting and her voice impressed me so much.
Actually, in my humble opinion, Julia Varady is one of the greatest as Donna Elvira (Kiri te Kanawa is my other favorite in this role!) and that is why I am posting a video of her singing
“Mi tradì quell’alma ingrata”.
That is the moment when I became a fan of her.
Not only of the greatest performers of Mozart but also one of the greatest in the difficult role of Abigaille in Verdi’s Nabucco.
Among in her many different roles in such different operas of Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, R Strauss, Rossini…. Julia Varady is definitely one of the most versatile sopranos. I am a fan of both Julia Varady and her husband, the glorious Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The Fischer-Dieskau-Varady marriage is one of my favorites of the Operatic world, along with the Mirella Freni-Nicolai Ghuiaurov marriage.
Happy Birthday Julia Varady!
René Pape is one the best and most famous Bass singers of modern Opera, among his best roles are Gurnemanz in Wagner’s Parsifal, Leporello and also Don Giovanni in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Sarastro in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, König Marke in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (in which he will perform again in the new season of the MET at the final days of September) King Phillip in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Mephistopheles in Gounod’s “Faust”, the title role of Boito’s Mefistofele, the title role of Boris Godunov, Banquo in Verdi’s “Macbeth”, Hunding in Wagner’s “Die Walküre”, Pogner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, King Heinrich in Wagner’s “Lohengrin”, Figaro in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” and Rocco in Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio”.
I have to say that it will be a huge pleasure to watch René Pape as König Marke in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in this new season of the MET in HD. He is considered one of the greatest in this role. Two years ago, René Pape gave a recital at the MET, only a few famous Opera singers have gave solo concerts at the monumental Metropolitan Opera House, being Luciano Pavarotti some years ago and (now recently in this year Anna Netrebko) and René Pape the only ones who had sold out ticket recitals at the MET.
Happy Birthday René Pape!