12/3/2018, 7:30 p.m., Smetana Hall of the Municipal House, Prague
The American soprano, Nadine Sierra, who turned thirty last May, became in 2009 the youngest winner of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and in the same year won second prize in the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in Helsinki. Her definitive breakthrough on the international scene came with her dazzling debut as Gilda (Rigoletto), at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, on 2 December, 2015; her performance was lauded as discovery of the season by the New York Times critic. She then made a no less triumphant debut in the same role at Milan’s La Scala, on 13 January, 2016, opposite Leo Nucci as the title hero. The frenetic applause that burst out after their duet in Act 2 was eventually instrumental in doing away with La Scala’s traditional ban on encores: following the tacit approval of the company’s artistic director, Alexander Pereira, the duet was repeated in its completeness! Nadine has since then returned to the Met on several occasions: in 2017 as Mozart’s Zerlina in Don Giovanni and as Ilia in Idomeneo; and again in December 2017 and January 2018, as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. In the spring of 2019 she will return to her creation of Verdi’s Gilda. Farther afield, she sang Nanetta (Falstaff) at the Opéra National in Paris in the summer of 2018, and is about to appear in the same role at the Berlin Staatsoper during the 2018/2019 season, followed by another commitment there in June 2019, as Gilda. In April 2019 she will create the title part in Massenet’s Manon at the Opéra National de Bordeaux, under the baton of Marc Minkowski.
Apart from having already made a name for himself before international audiences, notably in Germany and the United States, in this country tenor Petr Nekoranec has been until recently best known in Brno where he has created the title role of Rossini’s less well-known opera Le Comte Ory (in a production premiered in May 2017). Given that, his recent recital at Prague’s Rudolfinum, in June 2018, with Vincenzo Scalera accompanying him at the piano, left the audience in this city as well in no doubt as to Petr Nekoranec’s ranking among the most talented up-and-coming artists of the present-time opera world. He has received several major awards, including absolute victory in the Francesco Viñas International Singing Competition in Barcelona (January 2017). Between 2014 and 2016, he was a member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and its opera studio, and between 2016 and 2018 he participated in the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Program, becoming the first ever Czech artist to be admitted to this distinguished project. As from September 2018 he is entering into an engagement as soloist of the Stuttgart Opera, for a debut season during which he will be appearing in three major roles: namely, those of Rossini’s Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Ramiro (La Cenerentola), and Donizetti’s Ernesto (Don Pasquale). Petr studied voice with Prof. Jarmila Chaloupková at the Pardubice Conservatoire, and he currently works with the Italian educator, Antonio Carangelo.