This article is a translation of the french one ( https://lephiltredisolde.com/2019/01/10/les-plus-grandes-mezzo-sopranos-anita-rachvelishvili/ ). The writer is French and English is not her native language so please, be indulgent towards any mistakes. Thank you.
New series on the site composed by portraits dedicated to the greatest mezzo – sopranos of our time. We start with the most outstanding mezzo : Anita Rachvelishvili.
Her powerful voice and ability to nuance her singing captivate her audience. Her stunning stage presence and the subtlety of her interpretations make each one of her performances an event.
The beginning of a triumphant career
Anita Rachvelishvili is a rare talent. She is the youngest singer to have sung on the opening night of La Scala ( at only 25 ! ) : it was in 2009 and it was her first Carmen. She sang the title role opposite Jonas Kaufmann and Daniel Barenboïm was conducted. Her stunning interpretation of the role opened her the doors of the most prestigious Opera houses : she made her Met debut in 2011 with this role. Her career has just begun and she is considered as one of the greatest opera singers. A few years later, the mezzo is still at the top and she impresses at every one of her performances. We come back to four of her greatest roles.
Her sensual Carmen
Carmen is HER role. Anita Rachvelishvili is a superb Carmen because she is never vulgar. She brings to the Habanera, a hit of the lyric repertoire, a touch of mystery. Singing with great sensuality, she captivates us in « Près des remparts ».
We have rarely seen and heard such a subtle interpretation of Carmen. Her singing full of colours, the nuances she brings to her singing, everything makes her Carmen so fascinating.
Anita Rachvelishvili will sing Carmen at the Opera de Paris in April : https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-18-19/opera/carmen
Her deeply moving Azucena
Listening to her Azucena, we understand why Verdi hesitated to call his opera « La Gitana ». We have never heard such a sensitive Azucena. The mezzo gives us a historical interpretation of the role. Respecting the score written by Verdi, she brings deeply moving nuances to her singing. Her « Stride la vampa » and her « Ai nostri monti » are so moving that we can not keep from crying. Her Azucena is a revelation, a transformation.
Her captivating Dalila
Her Dalila is irresistible. Her voice is like a caress. We have never heard a Dalila softer in the aria « Printemps qui commence » : she sings it like she is whispering it to the ear of her lover. « Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix » is a captivating aria : the mezzo sings it with a lot of softness. But her Dalida can also be vehement like in the scene with the High Priest : Anita Rachvelishvili shows us all the power of her voice. A very remarkable Dalila, so fascinating !
Anita will sing the role of Dalila at the Met in March : https://www.metopera.org/Season/2018-19-season/samson-et-dalila/
Her grandiose Amneris
Superb from the beginning of the opera to the end, she gives us a complex interpretation of Amneris. This Amneris incredibly young is sensual, jealous, arrogant and repentant. Anita Rachvelishvili‘s powerful voice and the sensuality of her low notes are ideal for the role of Amneris. Her ability to nuance her singing and her so pure high notes make also her performance so exceptional. She is superb at the beginning of the second act. She brings a lot of sensuality and softness to this powerful woman character. Once again, her performance is fascinating. It is impossible to find a best Amneris.
Anita Rachvelishvili will sing again Amneris at the Met in a new production directed by Michael Mayer in the future seasons…
Her future great roles
Anita Rachvelishvili is the best Verdi mezzo-soprano of our time so we are very excited about her upcoming Eboli. In the french repertoire, we also imagine what fascinating Didon ( Les Troyen ) and Charlotte she would be. We can have an idea listening to her first solo album, Anita ( 2018 ). This album is wonderful : we can hear her singing her emblematic roles like Carmen or Dalila but also her future roles like Eboli or Charlotte.
Anita Rachvelishvili is actually singing in Adriana Lecouvreur at the Met : : https://www.metopera.org/season/2018-19-season/Adriana-Lecouvreur/.