Sunday, May 15, 2011

Erwin Schrott Interview & the Baritone Renaissance

Erwin Schrott talking about his life and opera
Erwin Schrott has become one of the most popular singers in opera along with his wife soprano Anna Netrebko. He is currently singing Figaro at the Opera National de Paris' production of "Le Nozze di Figaro" where he took time out to talk about his new CD Rojotango, future roles (many devilish), his vocal chords, burning out on Don Giovanni (for awhile) and juggling a career and a relationship. In July, Schrott and Netrebko will be back on stage together for a concert with the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra.

We continue to delight in the "Golden Age of Baritones" which Schrott is a major part of with his sold out performances, benefit concerts and best selling CDs. He joins a long list of baritones who are releasing critically acclaimed recordings, including Daniel Okulitch's performance of American composers, Rene Pape's upcoming release of Wagner, Peter Mattei's performance of the greatest baritone arias, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sandra Radvanovsky's thrilling Verdi duets recording,  and Randal Turner's concert of American composers, which includes two baritone world premieres.

Publicity shot for Rojotango

Schrott has become almost the unofficial leader of the baritone renaissance, with his savvy public relations skills, high profile benefits, movie star good looks and scintillating stage performances. It has probably been 50 years since baritones have dominated the world stage as they do today, when Ezio Pinza, Ettore Bastianini, Tito Gobbi, Robert Merrill and Cesare Siepi were considered major audience draws and were prominently marketed by opera companies. Schrott has excelled in the territory that was previously left for sopranos, using sex appeal as a marketing tool. It appears that even the "3 Tenors" phenomenon is giving way to baritones, as recordings like Paulo Szot's "South Pacific" seem to be dominating the "crossover" charts. 

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