In the 2022/2023 season, the Hungarian State Opera House is launching a new series of intimate aria and song recitals featuring internationally renowned opera singers with piano accompaniment. On the opening night of the series, Simon Keenlyside will perform at the Miklós Bánffy Stage of the Eiffel Eiffel Art Studios on 16 October 2022, followed by Ildar Abdrazakov at the Opera House on 30 October.
Beside pieces by Schubert, Debussy, Duparc, Poulenc and Fauré, Five Mystical Songs by Vaughan Williams will also be performed on 16 October, from 7:30 p.m. as part of the recital by Simon Keenlyside at the Eiffel Art Studios. The Gramophone award-winning British baritone joined the choir of St. John's College in Cambridge at the age of eight, and pursuing studies into zoology, he obtained a degree in singing at the Royal Northern College of Music. During his career of nearly 35 years, he performed at all major theatres in almost every continent, from London to Tokyo, from New York to Sydney.
In 2014, the renowned baritone already gave a concert in Budapest with the participation of the OPERA Orchestra, and now he is performing accompanied by Scottish pianist Malcolm Martineau. The well-known performing duo has been giving joint recitals for several decades, and they have released three albums of songs by Brahms, Schubert, Schumann and Richard Strauss. Martineau is also one of today's busiest piano accompanists, having performed or released joint albums with dozens of today's leading singers, such as Angela Gheorgiu, Elīna Garanča, Bryn Terfel or Sonya Yoncheva. In 2016, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his achievements.
In addition to songs by Tchaikovsky, Glinka, and Rachmaninoff, arias by Mozart, Rossini, and Verdi will also be performed by Ildar Abdrazakov 30 October, at the Opera House. One of the busiest bass singers in the world of international opera, he was born in Bashkiria, Russia, and completed his music studies at the Ufa State Institute of Arts. After winning several Russian music competitions, the Maria Callas International Televised Singing Competition brought him international recognition, as a result of which he made his debut at La Scala, Milan in 2001. Since then, he has earned the recognition of the audience in almost every leading opera house in the world, from Los Angeles to New York to Washington, from London to Paris and Vienna to Moscow, and his opera, song and oratorio productions are preserved in numerous recordings. The emblematic roles of his rich bass / bass-baritone repertoire include Don Giovanni, Leporello (Don Giovanni), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Attila, Philippe II (Don Carlo), and Don Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), many of whom he will also evoke during his recital.
He is partnered with Georgian Mzia Bachtouridze, who has been working as a répétiteur at La Scala in Milan for almost three decades since graduating from the Moscow Conservatory, and in this capacity has worked with almost all the outstanding soloists at recitals, including a future guest of the series, Ramón Vargas, who will visit Budapest again on 29 January 2023, as part of the Star Recital series. Prior to his performance, the legendary Wagner diva Waltraud Meier and the promising young baritone Samuel Hasselhorn will perform on 20 November 2022, with Joseph Breinl as their accompanist. The series will conclude with a concert by Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva on 4 June 2023, who will perform together with pianist Pavel Nersessian.