Review of Soprano Hibla Gerzmava’s North American solo recital debut in “An Evening with Hibla Gerzmava” accompanied by pianist Ekaterina Ganelinaat at Carnegie Hall

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Review by: Andrea Nierenberg

“An Evening with Hibla Gerzmava” certainly conquered many hearts in Carnegie Hall, not only as a beautiful vocal recital, and also as a deeply moving musical journey.

Rocking the room with her magnificent voice and presence, Soprano Hibla Gerzmava made her North American solo recital debut in “An Evening with Hibla Gerzmava” in the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 8. To a thunderous round of standing ovations, the Russian Soprano engaged the audience from the minute she stepped on to the stage. Accompanied by the brilliant internationally acclaimed concertmaster and long term recording partner on piano, Ekaterina Ganelina, the two women captivated every person in the audience with their superb skill, style and performance.

Ms. Gerzmava regularly performs leading roles in opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, London’s Covent Garden, the Mariinsky Theatre, and opera houses in Vienna, Paris, and Rome. She won the Grand Prix at the Tchaikovsky International Competition, the first and only time in the competition’s history that the highest prize has been awarded to a vocalist.

Ms. Gerzmava’s Carnegie Hall recital included romances by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff as well as highlights of the European golden opera repertoire by Bellini, Handel, and Verdi.

The name of Hibla Gerzmava has been famous in the opera world since 1994, when at age 24 the Abkhazian-Russian soprano won the Grand Prix at Tchaikovsky International Competition, entering its history as the first and only vocalist to have been awarded the highest prize. As One of the most in-demand recitalists today and a mainstay at most leading opera houses worldwide, Ms. Gerzmava is by right considered a vocal phenomenon. It is the rare quality of her voice that turns each of her performances into an event to remember. Filled with sensual energy and haunting beauty, Ms. Gerzmava’s voice pierces the listener’s heart and captivates it with the power of genuine emotion.

“An Evening with Hibla Gerzmava” certainly conquered many hearts in Carnegie Hall, not only as a beautiful vocal recital, and also as a deeply moving musical journey.

 

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AN EVENING WITH SOPRANO

HIBLA GERZMAVA

OCTOBER 8, 2015 at 8 PM    

STERN AUDITORIUM AT CARNEGIE HALL

(881 Seventh Avenue)

 

www.CarnegieHall.org

Soprano Hibla Gerzmava (www.Hibla.ru/en) makes her North American solo recital debut in “An Evening with Hibla Gerzmava” at Carnegie Hall (881 Seventh Avenue) on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 8pm. Tickets, which range from $19-125 dollars are available through the Carnegie Hall website (www.CarnegieHall.org), in person at the Carnegie Hall box office or by calling 212-247-7800.

Accompanied on the piano by Ekaterina Ganelina, Ms. Gerzmava’s Carnegie Hall recital will include romances by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff as well as highlights of the European golden opera repertoire by Bellini, Handel, and Verdi.

Hibla regularly performs leading roles in major opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, London’s Covent Garden, Mariinsky Theatre, and opera houses in Vienna, Paris and Rome. She won the Grand Prix at the Tchaikovsky International Competition, the first and only time in the competition’s history that the highest prize has been awarded to a vocalist.

Originally from the Republic of Abkhazia, Hibla will be coming from Moscow for this concert. She will also be starring at The Metropolitan Opera in Puccini’s Turandot, performing the part of Liu this Fall (September 23,26,30; October 3; November 7,12) and in Verdi’s Otello in Spring 2016, performing the part of Desdemona (April 20,23,28; May 2,6)

 

The New York Times called Hibla “the warm-voiced soprano with affecting poise and strong-willed intensity” while Opera Today raved, “the sensational soprano Hibla Gerzmava is the most remarkable new talent encountered in many a year.”

Ms. Gerzmava will be singing the following (subject to change):

Tchaikovsky: “It Was in the Early Spring,” Op. 38, No. 2

Tchaikovsky: “Tell Me, What’s in the Shade of the Branches,” Op. 57, No. 1

Tchaikovsky: “Quietly flew the soul in the heavens above,” Op. 42, No.2

Tchaikovsky: “The Crown of Roses,” Op. 54, No. 5

Tchaikovsky: “The Cuckoo,” Op. 54, No. 8

Tchaikovsky: “Does the day reign?,” Op. 47, No. 6

Rachmaninoff: “Twilight,” Op. 21, No. 3

Rachmaninoff “Lilacs,” Op. 21, No. 5

Rachmaninoff “The Migrant Wind,” Op. 34, No. 4

Rachmaninoff “Before My Window,” Op. 26, No. 10

Rachmaninoff “Child, thou art as beautiful as a flower,” Op. 8, No. 2

Rachmaninoff “They Answered,” Op. 21, No. 4

Handel: “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Rinaldo

Verdi: “Mia madre aveva una povera ancella…Salce…Ave Maria” from Otello

Verdi:  “Tu Del mio Carlo…” from Masnadieri

Bellini: “Casta Diva…” from Norma

This concert is part of the XIV Music Festival “Hibla Gerzmava Invites…” that took place in Vienna’s Musikverein in April 2015, in Sukhumi in July, and will end in New York in October 2015.

 

For more information on Hibla Gerzmava, please visit www.Hibla.ru/en/ or her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCed-t0VW9WPZEsKdYP7X2zQ?app=desktop

 

ABOUT HIBLA GERZMAVA

Hibla Gerzmava is one of the most sought-after opera stars in the world, and one of the few Russian singers who can truly be called an ‘opera diva’. A national artist of both the Russian Federation and the Republic of Abkhazia, Hibla is a unique phenomenon on the Russian opera stage. Bright and direct, emotional and passionate, she performs leading female roles in a wide repertoire of celebrated operas. She is also an amazingly talented actress, enhancing the insights of production directors with her own deep and intuitive understanding of character.

 

Hibla Gerzmava is soloist at the Moscow Academic Music Theatre of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich- Danchenko, and a guest soloist at leading opera houses worldwide – including the Mariinsky Theatre, London’s Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and opera houses in Vienna, Paris and Rome. Hibla Gerzmava won the Grand Prix at the Tchaikovsky International Competition, the first and only time in the competition’s history that the highest prize has been awarded to a vocalist. She has performed with such outstanding musicians and conductors as Lorin Maazel, Antonio Pappano, Marco Armilyato, Adam Fischer, Irzhe Belohlávek, Vladimir Spivakov, Valery Gergiev, Alexander Rudin, Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Basil Sinai, and many others. In February 2014 she took part in the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, performing the final song Olympic Waltz, accompanied by the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.

 

Hibla is the winner of the Golden Orpheus Theatre Award and the Casta Diva Prize in the Best Singer category, the Russian National Theatre Award Golden Mask, as well as the Moscow Prize in literature and art. She is also a first prize winner of the Triumph award for the highest achievement in art and literature. She began 2015 performing the role of Antonia in Jacques Offenbach’s opera The Tales of Hoffmann, with the Metropolitan Opera. She will return to the Met in September to sing the part of Liu in Puccini’s Turandot, and again in April 2016 when she will take the role of Desdemona in Verdi’s Othello.

 

In May 2015 Hibla performed the lead role of Médée in Luigi Cherubini’s opera of that name, at the Moscow première at the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre and in June 2015, she returned to Vienna for a second series of performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, in which she will sing Donna Anna.

 

Hibla also has her own unique project – a crossover concert programme entitled ‘Opera Jazz Blues’, featuring the Daniel Kramer trio – in which she brings together classical singing styles with jazz improvisation, performing original and highly distinctive interpretations of music by a wide range of composers including Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti and Gershwin. In the Abkhaz language, Hibla means ‘golden-eyed’, and Hibla’s most precious gift is the one that has captivated millions of listeners – the gift of her golden voice.

 

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“An Evening with Hibla Gerzmava” at Carnegie Hall (www.CarnegieHall.org) takes place on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 8pm. Tickets, which range from $19 – 125 dollars are available through the Carnegie Hall website, in person at the Carnegie Hall box office or by calling 212-247-7800.

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