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After his celebrated Gounod and Massenet aria album which received a Gramophone Award and a Grammy nomination, Rolando Villazon returns with his 3rd recital on Virgin Classics, featuring great tenor arias by Puccini, Bizet, Verdi, R. Strauss and Tchaikovsky, as well as gems from lesser-known works such as Martha and Alessandro Stradella, by Flotow and Fedora by Giordano.
Rolando VillazonRolando Villazon was born in 1972 in Mexico City, Mexico. At the age of 11, he joined the Espacios academy for the performing arts, where he studied music, acting, contemporary dance and ballet. In 1990 Villazon met baritone Arturo Nieto who introduced him to the world of opera and became his voice teacher. Two years later, he entered the National Conservatory of Music to continue his vocal preparation with Enrique Jaso. There, he sang "Dorvil" from La Scala di Seta, "Florville" from Il Signor Bruschino, and "Alessandro" from Il Re Pastore. After winning two national contests in Mexico City and Guanajuato, Villazon became a student of baritone Gabriel Mijares, with whom he continued his studies before launching an international career.Rolando Villazon has won numerous major awards. In February 2003 he received the French honour Les Victoires de la Musique in the category "Foreign Discovery of the Year". His first solo recording featuring Italian arias was awarded the Echo Classics 2004 prize. The following year he won the same prize in the "Singer of the Year 2005" category. Along his nomination for the prestigious Gramophone "Artist of the Year" and "Record of the Year" awards, he won "Best Recital Recording 2005" as well as the annual Opernwelt magazine's "Singer of the Year" award. This second solo recording featuring French arias earned him a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Classical Vocal Performance".
Here, in his third solo-recital CD, Rolando Villazon continues to impress; in fact, he gets better and better. Most tenors paint in broad strokes--the listener recalls the visceral reaction to a solid, high B-flat, or the ability of a big voice to effect a smooth diminuendo. But Villazon, with plenty of those tricks up his sleeve as well, is a rarity--a subtle, intelligent tenor. Even when approaching a chestnut like "Amor ti vieta" Villazon manages something special: he gives the aria's final note a slight crescendo and diminuendo within the space of a second or two, and it adds a surge of passion that all the yelping in the world can't compare with.
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