AUTUMN / WINTER 2014 NEWS
Vivica helps Belgium commemorate the start of World War I and takes Rivalries on the road; Saimir continues his celebration of Verdi and trades the Seine for the Potomac in Washington National Opera's La bohème

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♪ After ending her 2013 - 2014 Season by igniting a production of Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri for Opera Fairbanks with coloratura pyrotechnics that lit up the theatre even when the electricity failed, Vivica Genaux inaugurated the 2014 - 2015 Season with performances of Mozart's Requiem and Piet Swerts's specially-composed oratorio Le sack de Louvain in Leuven, Belgium, commemorating the centennial of the 1914 German invasion of the city at the beginning of World War I.

Soprano Ilse Eerens (left), VIVICA GENAUX (center), and conductor David Angus (right) in performance in Leuven's WWI commemoration, 24 August 2014 [Photo © 2014 by Albertine Eylenbosch; used with permission]
Soprano Ilse Eerens (left), Vivica Genaux (center), and conductor David Angus (right) in performance during Leuven's WWI commemoration, 24 August 2014
Photo © 2014 by Albertine Eylenbosch; used with permission
♪ The July release of Vivica's Sony Classical studio recording, Rival Queens, provided a thrilling souvenir of her Baroque Rivalries concert program. Uniting her with soprano Simone Kermes, Cappella Gabetta, and Andrés Gabetta, Rival Queens offers world-première recordings of music composed for the great rival prime donne of the Eighteenth Century, Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni. The Rival Queens concert tour continues to take Vivica throughout the world: in November and December 2014, she will don Faustina's battle gear in Rheinfelden and Olten, Switzerland; Halle, Hamburg, Baden-Baden, and Landau in der Pflaz, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; and Luxembourg.

♪ September found Vivica in Hannover, Germany, for a pair of concerts with Concerto Köln at the Niedersächsischen Musiktage and in Rieti, Italy, for a performance of sacred music by Vivaldi and concert performances of Bellini's I Capuleti ed i Montecchi with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi at the Reate Festival. The Bellini performances were recorded for future commercial release on the Glossa label. An appearance at the VCBM Monteverdi Vivaldi Festival 2014 in Venice on 4 October enabled Vivica to present a program of Baroque cantatas by Händel, Porpora, and Alessandro Scarlatti with her own Progetto V/Vox Baroque Ensemble.

Vivica Genaux (left) and Carlos de Aragón (right) with Progetto V/Vox Baroque Ensemble at the VCBM Monteverdi Vivaldi Festival 2014 in Venice, 4 October 2014 [Photo © 2014 by Raphaël Federici; used with permission]
Vivica Genaux (left) and Carlos de Aragón (right) with Progetto V/Vox Baroque Ensemble at the VCBM Monteverdi Vivaldi Festival 2014 in Venice, 4 October 2014
Photo © 2014 by Raphaël Federici; used with permission


♪ Vivica recently accepted an invitation from Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble to participate in a concert of Airs pour Farinelli at Grenoble's MC2 on 9 December. Ten days later, she will make her Chinese début in the title rôle of Händel's Giulio Cesare with Opera Fuoco at the first Shanghai Baroque Festival.


♪ For Saimir Pirgu, the month of July was dedicated to performances of Verdi's Messa da Requiem under the baton of Riccardo Muti, first in Italy at the Ravenna Festival and Sacrario Militare di Redipuglia and then in Slovenia at the Ljubljana Festival. He returned to the Messa da Requiem in August at the Donostia-San Sebastián Musical Fortnight in Spain under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.


(from left to right) Soprano Tatiana Serjan, mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, Maestro Riccardo Muti, Saimir Pirgu, and bass Riccardo Zanellato in performance of Verdi's Messa da Requiem at the Ravenna Festival, 6 July 2014 [Photo © 2014 by the Ravenna Festival; used with permission]
(from left to right) Soprano Tatiana Serjan, mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, Maestro Riccardo Muti, Saimir Pirgu, and bass Riccardo Zanellato in performance of Verdi's Messa da Requiem at the Ravenna Festival, 6 July 2014
Photo © 2014 by the Ravenna Festival; used with permission

♪ After charming Chicago-area audiences with his Don Ottavio in
Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Ravinia Festival in August, Saimir traveled to London to impersonate the Duca di Mantova in Covent Garden's production of Verdi's Rigoletto in September and October. In December, he will reprise his acclaimed interpretation of Alfredo in Verdi's La traviata at the Wiener Staatsoper in performances conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.


Soprano Tamara Wilson (left) as Donna Anna, Maestro James Conlon (center), and Saimir Pirgu as Don Ottavio (right) in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Ravinia Festival, 14 August 2014 [Photo by Pedro de Jesus, © 2014 by the Ravinia Festival; used with permission]
Soprano Tamara Wilson (left) as Donna Anna, Maestro James Conlon (center), and Saimir Pirgu as Don Ottavio (right) in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Ravinia Festival, 14 August 2014
Photo by Pedro de Jesus, © 2014 by the Ravinia Festival; used with permission


♪ Saimir will spend November in the District of Columbia as Rodolfo in Washington National Opera's eagerly-anticipated new Jo Davies production of Puccini's La bohème. He will bid farewell to 2014 at the Deutsche Oper Berlin with performances as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore.

♪ In the last quarter of 2014, Saimir celebrates the release of three notable recordings. Due for release on Blu-ray and DVD from EuroArts in late October is San Francisco Opera's production of Bellini's I Capuleti ed i Montecchi. Available in November on Blu-ray and DVD from Arthaus Musik will be his 2013 Vienna Musikverein performance of Verdi's Messa da Requiem under the direction of Mariss Jansons, complemented by BR-Klassik's CD release of a recording of the October 2013 Munich Philharmonie im Gasteig performance of the same work, also under Maestro Jansons's baton.



Spring 2015 promises much excitement for both Vivica and Saimir. In the first quarter of the new year, Vivica will make her rôle début as Ruggiero in Händel's Alcina in Moscow and tour Japan with Europa Galante. Saimir returns to London's Wigmore Hall for his second appearance in the Rosenblatt Recitals series, followed by a reunion with Maestro Muti in Chicago for performances of Mozart's Requiem.

Stay tuned!



Donna Leah Smith, a beloved member of the KKN Enterprises family, recently said goodbye to her desk in Casa di Pino in order to continue her studies and pursue her promising career as a coloratura soprano. Her superlative contributions to KKN Enterprises will be greatly missed, but we look forward to learning of her future accomplishments.


Get to know the newest addition to the KKN family, Elena Bloom, on the Meet our Cast page!