Thursday February 22, 2018 10:31 am


Vivica Genaux's first CDIf you haven’t heard or seen her yet, this CD is a delightful way to know America’s up and coming coloratura mezzo-soprano. [Note: Written ca. 1999 when Vivica was a virtual unknown.]

“An Evening of Arias and Songs” by Gioacchino Rossini, Vivica’s first solo album (released June 1999) is a live recording of her March 28, 1999 recital at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Music Hall.

Available exclusively at the FanFaire store:

Her accompanist, Canadian pianist Martin Dubé, is shown here with Vivica, following a similar recital held at the San Diego Opera in October 1997 shortly after her company debut with San Diego Opera in the role of Isabella in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri and her role debut as Isabel in the World Premiere of Myron Fink’s The Conquistador.

Vivica Genaux and Martin DubeIt was one of the first recitals of her then just blossoming career. She sang a delightful program of arias and songs by Rossini in two sold out performances at the Sherwood Auditorium in La Jolla. Below is a video clip excerpted from a tape of the second performance. As masterful as the first, it left no doubt in the minds of the audience that here was a fast rising operatic star. Of course, today we all know that first impression was spot-on!

The clip is from “La regata Veneziana,” a set of three songs by Rossini who is better known to us all as an opera composer. The complete recital was filmed by John Menier of UCSD-TV and is available on video as Ciao Bella! at the UCSD-TV store.

[cvg-video videoId='2' width='400' height='400' mode='playlist' /]

Listen to some more clips from the album and discover the “mellow powerful voice” that has often been likened to Marilyn Horne’s. No small wonder that Vivica’s first CD was a knockout!

from La Regata Veneziana (Tracks 1-3)
from Agnus Dei (Track 4)
from La donna del lago (Track 11)
from Chanson de zora (Track 12)

Other selections on the CD include: Ariette Espagnole, Giovanna d’Arco, excerpts from L’italiana in Algeri and L’assedio di Corinto.

Available exclusively at the FanFaire store:


Also just released as a 2-cd set is a live recording of Donizetti’s Alahor in Granata in which Vivica sang to great acclaim the role of the Moorish prince Hassem. Of her performances during this early period of her career, the NY Times wrote: “Her singing was thoroughly confident, done through a broad smile that left its mark on her vocal color, and accomplished in every way, but perhaps especially in the ardor of her low register.”

1999 was a banner year for Vivica. The 1999 Dresden Music Festival’s Artist of the Year, she was also named one of the 50 top cultural power brokers in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Today, she is hailed as one of the leading exponents of the Baroque and bel canto repertoires which, along with her discography, continues to grow at a breathtaking pace. Yes, this once wisp-of-a-girl from Fairbanks, Alaska who only wanted to sing Eliza Doolittle in a school play has come a long, l-o-o-o-o-n-g way — perhaps the state’s most famous citizen before Sarah Palin erupted into the political landscape.

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