Surprise – we are changing things up a bit for this week’s Artist of the Week. It’s more like Artists of the Week simply because it was impossible to ignore their tantamount importance on this week’s collaboration.
Juan Diego Flórez and Olga Peretyatko are two of today’s greatest stars in the opera world and this week both singers will take on new roles at the Opera de Monte-Carlo in a new production of “Les Contes d’Hoffmann.”
Over the years Flórez has been the king of Bel Canto, singing roles from Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini and has also triumphed in numerous baroque and French works. In the past few years, the Peruvian tenor has moved into heavier repertoire exploring new roles such as Werther, for which he received raves, as well as Edgardo in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Gennaro in “Lucrezia Borgia. He has also taken on the role of the Duke in “Rigoletto” and is slated to sing his third Verdi role next season in “La Traviata.” With Hoffmann, Flórez takes on one of the longest and biggest French roles and one that has been sung by both Lyric singers as well Spinto tenors.
In his debut, he will be joined by his frequent on-stage partner Olga Peretyatko who is also making her role debut as the four heroines. It’s a feat that few sopranos have attempted. She joins a selective group of superstars including Joan Sutherland, Edita Gruberova, Diana Damrau, and Ruth Ann Swenson, among others.
For Peretyatko, it is also one of her first major French roles as she has dedicated most of her career to the Italian and German repertoire. Alongside Flórez with whom she has collaborated on “Matilde di Shabran” and “Rigoletto,” Peretyatko should triumph.
For those interested in seeing the chemistry between these two artists there is a recording of “Matilde di Shabran” from Decca Classics. The DVD comes from the Pesaro festival in what was Flórez’s breakout role and one of Peretyatko’s early triumphs.