Julia Varady: Der Fliegende Holländer / La Forza del Destino / Aida / Il Trovatore / Otello
It was not until 1993 – relatively late in her career – that Julia Varady made her Vienna State Opera début with a tempestuously acclaimed performance as Senta in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer that allowed her to show off her greatest strengths: her immaculate voice production, her unfailing dramatic instinct and her sure sense of character. Her belated début in no way detracted from the enthusiasm and admiration of her audience on that occasion. Quite the opposite, in fact: as with all her appearances, Julia Varady’s performances remain lodged in the audience’s memory in spite of her all too early retirement from the operatic stage only three years after her first appearance in Vienna. All the roles that Julia Varady sang in the city are documented here in the form of excerpts: not only Senta but also four of the Verdi roles with which she was most closely associated:
Julia Varady as Desdemona
Foto: Wiener Staatsoper/Axel ZeinigerAida, with Franz Grundheber and Marjana Lipovšek as her partners; Leonore in both Il trovatore and La forza del destino; and Desdemona in Otello. She often performed alongside the tenor Giuseppe Giacomini, who is also to be heard in the present excerpts and with whom Julia Varady was able to savour the subtleties and explosive climaxes to which most interpretations of Verdi’s most dramatic scores unfortunately fail to do justice. Julia Varady’s utterly distinctive and unique vocal artistry prove that in spite of all the prophecies of doom great performances are still possible in any major opera house that operates the repertory system as long as suitable singers are central to the performance.