It was in 1997 when Vivica Genaux was hailed on these pages as a star in the making! What better measure of her certain ascent to stardom than this award and a string of recent stellar performances?
It was in Dresden where she made her European debut – in 1996 as Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, which she also sang in Israel, where the first photo shown here was taken. And at the Dresden Music Festival in the year of this award, she sang Rosina in Barber of Seville, a role she has performed at many opera houses, e.g., San Diego Opera (second photo).
She scored her early successes singing Rossini’s famous feminine mezzo roles, but of late she has become somewhat of a purveyor of rarely performed operas: in Seville, Spain – Donizetti’s long-lost Alahor in Granata; at the Dallas Opera – Handel’s Ariodante; and at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin - Hasse’s Solimano. Trouser roles all (complete with beard an moustache!). All charmingly and convincingly performed. And all to critical acclaim.
Vivica has sung both types of roles at the Dresden Music Festival where in May 1999 she performed Selimo (in Hasse’s Solimano) and Rosina (in Rossini’s Barber of Seville) – a display of the versatility and talent that won her the title Artist of the Year*
* The Dresden Music Festival’s Artist of the Year prize is bestowed by the Wernesgruener Brauerei AG — one of Germany’s oldest breweries, its roots going back to 1436. The beer, called “Wernesgruener, Die Pils Legende” is highly regarded and people buy it mainly for important festivities, such as Christmas. Wernesgruener is the main sponsor of the Dresden Music Festival, and the prize awarded to Vivica Genaux is DM 10,000.