❄ WINTER 2014 - 2015 NEWS ❄
Vivica keeps warm with Vivaldi and Veracini,
and Saimir heats up London and Chicago

Outside, temperatures may be falling,
but the mercury is rising in the exciting winter
atmosphere ignited by the KKN Enterprises family!

► After thrilling audiences in both opera and concert throughout the final quarter of 2014, Vivica Genaux soared into the new year with her first performance of the rôle of Ruggiero in Händel’s Alcina, delighting listeners in Moscow and shared with viewers throughout the world via live broadcast. From the snowy landscapes of Russia, the tremendously successful and critically-acclaimed Rival Queens tour with soprano Simone Kermes, Cappella Gabetta, and Andrés Gabetta transported her to celebrated concert halls in Lucerne, Paris, and Vienna. She also delighted listeners and critics alike in Madrid and Valencia with her inaugural interpretation of the rôle of Farnaspe—created by Farinelli—in Francesco Maria Veracini’s recently-rediscovered Adriano in Siria.

Vivica in Moscow as Ruggiero in Georg Friedrich Händel's ALCINA
Vivica sings the leading rôle of Ruggiero in
Georg Friedrich Händel's Alcina in Moscow, January 2014

► February and March keep Vivica’s passport busy. In the UK, she and Europa Galante take the stage of Birmingham’s Town Hall for a Vivaldi concert before heading to London for a concert performance of L'oracolo in Messenia at the Barbican. Then, they journey to the Land of the Rising Sun for more Vivaldi performances in Yokohama, Tokyo, and Matsumoto. Thereafter, she returns to Vienna for a concert featuring sacred music by Vivaldi with Bach Consort Wien and to Germany for a Rival Queens show in Ludwigsburg. Also in February, ALPHA's DVD and Blu-ray recordings of Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie's and Le Poème Harmonique's 2014 production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, in which Vivica portrayed the tragic Queen of Carthage, will be released in Europe: release in the USA will follow on 31 March.

Vivica on DVD and Blu-ray: Purcell's DIDO AND AENEAS (ALPHA 706)

► Looking forward to late spring, Vivica will expand her gallery of portraits of legendary wild women of the operatic stage with her headlining depiction of the title character in Cavalli’s Veremonda, l'amazzone di Aragona at Spoleto USA. The Charleston performances in late May and early June will be the first that the opera has received since the Seventeenth Century. Also in May, she will give a very special recital in Madrid to honor legendary Spanish mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza.

► After winning audience’s hearts as Rodolfo in Washington National Opera’s critically-acclaimed new production of Puccini’s La bohème and celebrating the releases of BR-Klassik’s CD recording and Arthaus’s DVD and Blu-ray recordings of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in the autumn, Saimir Pirgu traveled to Vienna to perform the rôle of Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata on the stage of the Staatsoper before singing Nemorino in Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore for Deutsche Oper Berlin. He then rang in 2015 with a New Year’s concert in Budapest and Deutsche Oper’s AIDS Gala.

► The last weeks of 2014 and first weeks of 2015 saw Saimir's filmography expand with two important DVD and Blu-ray releases: San Francisco Opera's I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, in which he sang Bellini's music for the Capulet firebrand Tebaldo, on EuroArts and Opernhaus Zürich's production of Rigoletto, preserving his Duca di Mantova, on Accentus.

Saimir on DVD and Blu-ray: Bellini's I CAPULETI ED I MONTECCHI (EuroArts EUA 2059668)

► Furthering his relationship with the institution that witnessed his UK début in 2004, Saimir returns to London’s celebrated Rosenblatt Recital Series at Wigmore Hall on 10 February, accompanied by Simon Lepper. He then joins Riccardo Muti in Chicago for performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Saimir as Alfredo in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA at the Wiener Staatsoper, with Ermonela Jaho as Violetta, December 2014 [Photo © Wiener Staatsoper]
Saimir sings Alfredo in Verdi's La traviata at the Wiener Staatsoper
with Ermonela Jaho as Violetta, December 2014
Photo © Wiener Staatsoper

► A particular highlight of Saimir’s upcoming engagements is his rôle début as the Shepherd in the Royal Opera House’s first production of Szymanowski’s Król Roger, opening on 1 May and running through 19 May. Another rôle début takes him to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa in July for his first performances with the Israel Philharmonic, in which he will unveil his portrayal of Riccardo in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera under Zubin Mehta’s baton. Late spring and early summer will find Saimir returning to Berlin to sing Alfredo, reprising his signature rôle of the Duca di Mantova in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Wiener Staatsoper, and portraying Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the fabled Arena di Verona.

► In recent weeks, Karen has continued to deepen her dedication to ensuring the bright future of the Arts by mentoring young singers and providing a nurturing exchange of ideas as they consider important career decisions. Likewise, she has shared her expertise and passion for the Performing Arts by serving in an advisory capacity for several initiatives. She is particularly excited by her work with the San Francisco-based Ars Minerva, on the Advisory Board of which both she, Vivica, and dear friend Frederica von Stade have seats. Founded by gifted mezzo-soprano Céline Ricci with the aim of rediscovering overlooked musical treasures of the Venetian Carnavale season, Ars Minerva will present its first operatic production, Daniele da Castrovillari’s 1662 La Cleopatra, at San Francisco’s Marines’ Memorial Theatre on 14 and 15 March 2015, with Céline in the title rôle heading an ensemble of talented young singers and musicians.

Ars Minerva presents Daniele da Castrovillari's 1662 LA CLEOPATRA