Artist Of The Week: Ermonela Jaho To Make Washington DC Debut In Her Signature Role

By Francisco Salazar

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is one of the most heartbreaking operas and a staple of the repertoire. It has also become the vehicle for Ermonela Jaho, the Albanian soprano who is now associated with the role and has performed it throughout the world.

After conquering major theaters in New York, London, Bologna, Paris and Venice, Jaho makes her Washington National Opera debut as Ci0-Cio San this month. The soprano recently sang the role at the Covent Garden where she garnered rave reviews and critics said, “Ermonela Jaho is unforgettable” and “Jaho alternates between vulnerability and feistiness.” As a vivid actress and interpreter, Washington D.C audiences are in for an unforgettable night at the opera.

And for those who are unable to attend Jaho’s DC debut, the soprano will continue to perform “Butterfly” at the Teatro Real this summer in July and then in Peralada. In November she takes the role to the Champs Elysée before performing it in Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed production at the Metropolitan Opera.

Jaho garnered prominence after winning numerous competitions in Milan, Ancona, and Rovereto. She was also signaled out by Katia Ricciarelli as a promising voice in the opera world.  She would later go on to sing at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro La Fenice, Teatro Verdi Trieste and Wexford Festival Opera before becoming an international sensation and becoming a mainstay at the Covent Garden in London.

Besides the role fo Cio-Cio San, the soprano has also become famous for her interpretation of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena.” She also recorded an acclaimed CD of Mascagni’s “Zaza,’ which Opera Rara released with Riccardo Massi and Maurizio Benini conducting.


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