Artist Of The Week: Anja Harteros Set For A Triumphant Role Debut in ‘Andrea Chenier’

By Francisco Salazar

Anja Harteros is one of the greatest dramatic sopranos of our time. Her repertoire ranges from Verdi, Puccini to Wagner. She has performed in all the greatest opera houses and her performances are often sold out.

This week she debuts the role of Maddalena in Giordano’s “Andrea Chenier.” It is quite a surprise that Harteros has never taken on the role as she has performed numerous verismo roles throughout her career and this one seemed like an obvious. However, that was not necessarily the case.

Harteros’ voice has been described as having “pure high notes, and her use of pianissimo is breathtaking.” She is also described as a natural actress who can easily work with her colleagues.

For her role debut, she will have her frequent stage partner Jonas Kaufmann. Both share a unique chemistry that has come through in numerous opera including Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” “Don Carlo” and “La Forza del Destino.” And that chemistry is likely to be present throughout Giordano’s fabulous duets in the opera.

Maddalena is not Harteros’ only debut this season. She next appears at the Salzburg East Festival where she will portray Sieglinde in Wagner’s “Die Walkure” for the first time and she will also sing Elizabeth in Wagner’s “Tannhauser.” Her surge into the Wagnerian repertoire comes after her success in “Lohengrin” back in 2009.

Her season concludes this summer when she reprises her role as Lenora in Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” and Maddalena in “Andrea Chenier.”

Harteros is a leading soprano who has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, Semper Oper, Dresden, Opera National de Paris as well as the Bayerische Staatsoper. She has also performed at the Salzburg and Royal Opera House among others.

In addition to her work in the dramatic repertoire, Harteros has performed Mozart and Strauss operas and has also commanded an extensive concert repertoire that includes Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” Verdi’s Requiem, and Strauss’s “Four Last Songs.”

She also has a huge recording catalog that includes CDs of “La Traviata” and DVDs of “La Forza del Destino,” “Don Carlo,” “Idomeneo” and “Lohengrin’ among others


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