With Gounod’s Faust,
Foto: Bettina StößPiotr Beczala says “Salut” to the international record-buying public. There are no doubt many tenors who describe Fritz Wunderlich as their great model, but there can be few who stand up to the comparison with such humility and such awareness of the responsibility that it implies: he has built up his career with great care, but thanks to the abundant resources at his disposal, he has already been invited to all the world’s greatest opera houses. In 2006, for example, he was acclaimed as the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. That same year he confirmed his reputation as an outstanding Mozartian as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival. He will be returning to both these centres of musical excellence in 2008, appearing as the Prince in a new production of Dvořák’s Rusalka in Salzburg and taking the part of Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the Met, alongside Diana Damrau’s Lucia. It is with an excerpt from this last-named opera that Piotr Beczala launches his début recital on the Orfeo label, a co-production with Bavarian Radio in which he is accompanied by the Munich Radio Orchestra under Ion Marin. Piotr Beczala not only sings show-stopping arias that are associated with many other great tenors and that include excerpts from Rigoletto, L’elisir d’amore and Roméo et Juliette, but he also proves himself a master of a far less familiar repertory, performing the numbers in question with the same beauty of tone and delight in interpretative detail.
Foto: Bettina StößWhether in the serenade from Mascagni’s Iris that lies uncomfortably for many of his colleagues or in the impassioned arioso from Leoncavallo’s La bohème (heard here in an instructive parallel with Puccini’s better-known version) or in the charming romances from the opéras comiques of François Bazin and Aimé Maillart, Piotr Beczala has at his disposal all the necessary and desirable vocal and interpretative gifts. Excerpts from Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and Massenet’s Werther, finally, reveal the tenor in two other parts in which he has recently caused a sensation: he sang the former role at last summer’s Munich Opera Festival at the Bavarian State Opera and appeared in the latter part only a few weeks ago at the Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin. It is not hard to predict that in future the list of Piotr Beczala’s internationally acclaimed appearances will continue to increase.