Anita Rachvelishvili: When I sing, I feel like I’m in a different dimension on stage.

According to Mº Riccardo Muti she is without doubt, the best Verdian mezzo-soprano today on the planet”. Born in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, she studied piano at the Mukhran Machavariani School and singing at the Vano-Sarajishvili Conservatory under the guidance of Manana Egadze. She received a scholarship from the president of Georgia and in 2007, she won the Paat Burchuladze Prize. She made his operatic debut, while she was still at student of Conservatory, at the Opera in Tbilisi as Maddalena in Rigoletto and as Olga in Evgheni Oneghin. She became internationally known when, on December 7th, 2009, the opening night of Tetro La Scala’s season, she performed the title role of Carmen alongside Jonas Kaufmann, in a production staged by Emma Date, under the baton of MºDaniel Barenboim. Her repertoire includes major Verdi’s opera, but also some French titles such as Carmen and Samson et Dalila. The season 2020/21 will bring her back at Teatro alla Scala as Amneris from Aida, alongside Saioa Hernandez (Aida), Francesco Meli (Radames) and Amartuvshin Enkhbat (Amonasro) conducted by Riccardo Chailly, also in Amsterdam with the same role, at Wiener Staatsoper as Carmen, in Arena di Verona and at Bayrische Staatsoper, Munchen as Amneris.

Congratulations, dear Anita, for the 2 performances of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. Even if the rain stopped the performance last night, the public of Festival Verdi had the chance to listen to you during the open dress rehearsal and during the first performance in Parco Ducale, attending also an important event, your debut in Parma and at Festival Verdi. How about your experience here and about the time you have spent recently in Italy?

My experience in Parma was very special, because, as you said, it was my debut here, in Parma, and in Festival Verdi. It did not happen until now, even if there were many offers through the years, be-cause we weren’t able to meet our schedules. I am very glad that, ironically, thanks to Covid-19 restrictions, it finally happened and that I was part of the soloist quartet of the Requiem. The weird thing is that most of my work in these times is in Italy. It wasn’t like that before. I used to work mostly in the United States, in Germany, France… but Italy, which was in a terrible situation because of the pandemic, is the place where it is possible to work in the theaters.I am very happy that I returned to Italy, working in different places such as Napoli, now Parma and I am going to La Scala for Aida, then I will have a concert in Bologna with Jonas Kaufmann… I think Italy is doing pretty well, considering what happened here and I am very proud that, despite all the problems that Italy had in terms of the economic support of culture, the theaters will manage to do more than Germany, than Austria, countries with better financial conditions. Italian theaters managed to start over after a very difficult time and to serve art as they always do.

Besides being here, in Parma, for the first time, you also collaborated with M° Roberto Abbado for the first time, for Verdi’s vocal-symphony masterpiece Messa da Requiem

Messa da Requiem is definitely one of my favorite pieces in the entire vocal-symphonic repertoire. I sang it for the first time in 2010 and it has a very important impact on me. M° Abbado offers a particularly beautiful interpretation to this work. The encounter with him, with the Choir of Teatro Regio and with the Orchestra La Toscanini was one that I would like to repeat as soon as possible.

Read the entire interview here, in the 6th issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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