Anna Netrebko is arguably the most famous opera singer currently performing on the opera stage. Born on Sept. 18, 1971, Netrebko has broken many records as she has topped the pop charts in Germany and was the first opera singer to be on the Time’s 100 most influential people. She became the first soprano to headline three opening nights at the Metropolitan Opera and has showcased a diverse range of roles.
In addition to winning multiple awards, she has an extensive range of recordings from CDs to DVDs of many of her staple roles. However, some of her most acclaimed and signature roles have never received any type of commercial release or were never recorded for posterity. The following list showcases some of the roles that Netrebko performed but are currently unavailable to listen to or watch.
Juliette in “Roméo et Juliette”
This is perhaps one of Netrebko’s greatest roles to date. The soprano lived and breathed this role and she sang it with a ton of passion and charisma. Back in 2008, the Metropolitan Opera recorded her portrayal on HD, which includes one of the most showstopping moments in recent opera history. However, after a triumphant run, the opera was never released on DVD or CD. It is available on the Met HD player, but it deserved more.
Netrebko performed this role back in 2006 at the Vienna State Opera and while most will say she was not the right fit for the high flying coloratura, she was incredibly suitable to pull some impressive high notes. The New York Times raved about her performance and said, “First and foremost is the voice, with a creamy roundness that moves smoothly up to a lovely, clear top.” With such success as Amina, a recording would have been expected, particularly as the Vienna State has documented many of Netrebko’s unforgettable performances. However, there is no known audio or video recording.
Natasha in “War and Peace”
This is considered one of Netrebko’s earliest signature roles. It was the role with which she made a successful Metropolitan Opera debut and which garnered her attention in 2002. It also marked her first on-stage collaboration with Dimitri Hvorostovsky. The opera was recorded on a radio broadcast and a portion was released on Netrebko’s CD celebrating her 10 years at the Met. But for fans who want to hear what the young soprano promised, there is no complete document available on CD. Only Met player subscribers have the advantage.
Gilda in “Rigoletto”
Let me get started by saying that this was in no way one of Netrebko’s greatest roles. But she still had some success with it at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House, among other houses. When she did it at the Met with Rolando Villazon, critics stated, “Though she handled the coloratura passagework with agility (despite shakiness on a couple of climactic top notes), she brought visceral emotion to her singing, which sometimes caused her to miscalculate phrasings and take extra breaths. Still, her intensity and affecting vulnerability compensated for the loss of elegance.” Like “War and Peace,” the Met has an audio recording that would be a great CD and treat for fans of the beloved soprano.
In 2009 Netrebko’s Antonia from “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera and in 2010 her Michaëla from “Carmen” was recorded from the Vienna State Opera. However, neither opera was ever released on a physical medium.
AND THESE ARE WISHES
While there are commercial releases of “Manon Lescaut,” “Iolanta” and “Giovanna D’Arco,” all these are on CD. But for fans who want to see the total artistry of Netrebko, watching the Diva is a must. And there are three video recordings of these roles that have sadly never obtained a commercial release.
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