SPRING / SUMMER 2014 NEWS
Vivica conquers Chicago and San Francisco, and Saimir shines in LA Opera Lucia di Lammermoor

Spring is a time of rejuvenation in nature and artistic freshness at KKN Enterprises...


♬ In addition to recording sessions with Sony Classical and the continuation of her critically-acclaimed Rivalries tour with soprano Simone Kermes, Vivica has shared her affection for overlooked repertoire with appreciative audiences on two continents during the first quarter of 2014. Her first new rôle of 2014, Sesto in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, garnered plaudits in Valladolid, Spain, and she breathed new life into the title rôle of Ferdinando Bertoni's Orfeo in the first performance of the opera in the 21st Century (Teatro Comunale di Ferrara). On the concert stage, Vivica unveiled two new programs: the first, an Homage to Pauline Viardot, was presented as a benefit for medical construction projects in the Republic of Benin, sponsored by the Lions Clubs of Motta di Livenza, Oderzo, and Conegliano. The second program took her to Prague for a concert with Collegium 1704 and Václav Luks that celebrated Il divino Boemo with seldom-heard arias by Bertoni, GaluppiGluck, and Mysliveček.


Vivica as Sesto in Mozart's LA CLEMENZA DI TITO at the Teatro Calderón, Valladolid, Spain [Photo © Ismael Medina Benito, 2014]
Vivica as Sesto in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito at the Teatro Calderón, Valladolid, Spain [Photo © Ismael Medina Benito, 2014]

♬ In February, Vivica made her long-awaited début with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a concert including bravura arias by Broschi, Hasse, Porpora, and Vivaldi. Critic John von Rhein wrote in the Chicago Tribune that 'the dark beauty and focus of her sound, combined with her uncanny facility and accuracy she brought to the most ornate coloratura passages were impressive indeed. Genaux is one Baroque singer who never sacrifices dramatic truth to "authenticity."'

♬ In April, Vivica reunited with Maestro Nicholas McGegan, who conducted her CSO début concerts, for performances in the San Francisco Bay area of Vivaldi's oratorio Juditha triumphans with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and an extraordinary cast. Cy Ashley Webb enthused on StarkInsider.com that 'Vivica could [sing ASCII code], all the while convincing you that the most heart-rending drama [had] just taken place.'


Vivica receiving the adulation of the Prague audience after her concert IL DIVINO BOEMO with Collegium 1704 and Václav Luks [Photo by Michal Adamovský, © 2014 by Collegium 1704]
Vivica receiving the adulation of the Prague audience after her concert Il divino Boemo with Collegium 1704 and Václav Luks [Photo by Michal Adamovský, © 2014 by Collegium 1704]

♬ From California, Vivica traveled to France for her last new rôle of the 2013 - 2014 Season, Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, at Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie. She reprised the rôle at the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles in mid-June.






♫ After starting 2014 with a return to the Opernhaus Zürich production of Verdi's Rigoletto for a reprisal of the portrayal of the Duca di Mantova about which Courtney Smith wrote in Auditorium Magazine that he 'mastered brilliant diction over clear, ample, brilliant high notes while swaggering through his character's mountainous range,' Saimir took California audiences and critics by storm with his characterization of Edgardo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. 'As Edgardo, [Lucia's] star-crossed lover, Saimir Pirgu blossomed wonderfully in the heights and rose with unflagging stamina and clarity to the cruelly high-flying lines in his death scene,' Chris Pasles wrote in The Los Angeles Times. 'The Albanian tenor acted with virile and persuasive energy, signaling in his quicksilver shifts in emotion that he, like all the principals, was a bit mad.'


Saimir as the Duca di Mantova and soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda in Verdi's RIGOLETTO at Opernhaus Zürich [Photo © 2013 by Opernhaus Zürich]
Saimir as the Duca di Mantova and soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto at Opernhaus Zürich [Photo © 2013 by Opernhaus Zürich]

♫ Before returning to Opernhaus Zürich in June for the company's final two performances of Rigoletto of the season, Saimir joins soprano Angela Gheorghiu for a Gala Concert at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu on 25 April. He then joins Maestro Riccardo Muti for performances of Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle in Vienna's Musikverein in May. In June, he again flexes his Verdian muscles as Alfredo in La traviata with San Francisco Opera. August will find him singing Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Ravinia Festival.


Saimir as Edgardo in Donizetti's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at Los Angeles Opera [Photo by Robert Millard, © 2014 by Los Angeles Opera]
Saimir as Edgardo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at Los Angeles Opera [Photo by Robert Millard, © 2014 by Los Angeles Opera]

♫ Saimir is excited to have recently announced that his 2014 - 2015 Season will begin with much-anticipated performances of the Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto at London's Royal Opera House in September and October, Rodolfo in Puccini's La bohème at Washington National Opera in November, and Alfredo in La traviata at the Wiener Staatsoper in December.