This week the Teatro Massimo di Palermo opens its production of Massenet’s “Werther” with two tenors. The first is Francesco Meli, a well-known performer who has scaled the heights of some of the world’s opera houses. However, the second tenor, Shalva Mukeria, will make his role debut and that is a reason for celebration.
The tenor has been hailed by critics for her gorgeous voice and his flexibility, particularly in the Bel Canto style. With “Werther,” Mukeria will move into more dramatic territory. While the role is sung by lyrics, Massenet gives the character many intense moments that have brought many spinto tenors to perform the work. Mukeria will put his dramatic chops to work this week as he continues to expand his repertoire.
The tenor from Georgia has maintained a profile throughout Europe as a member of the Odessa Opera Theatre singing roles such as Nemorino in “L’Elisir d’Amore,” Alfredo in “La Traviata,” Duca di Mantova in Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” Edgardo in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La Bohème.”
He also made his US debut in 2004 at the Santa Fe Opera with Natalie Dessay in Bellini’s “La Sonnambula” and since then he has performed in Washington in Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena.” The tenor has also performed with the Vienna State Opera as part of the company’s ensemble and has also made his Teatro alla Scala debut.