Opera star Anita Rachvelishvili receives critical acclaim for Metropolitan Opera role

Rachvelishvili appeared in the role of Principessa di Bouillon for the first time at the Met. Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera.

Agenda.ge, 08 Jan 2019 - 18:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s internationally recognised mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili has drawn praise from classical music critics for her “show-stopping” debut in Adriana Lecouvreur at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.

Appearing as Principessa di Bouillon, one of major protagonists of the opera by Francesco Cilea, Rachvelishvili’s performance was noted by critics of The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Operawire review website.

[T]he real showstopper was not [Anna] Netrebko, fine as she often was, but the mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Adriana’s rival and poisoner, the Princess of Bouillon, singing with an old-school blood-and-guts approach in a voice several sizes larger than that of anyone else onstage, to the loud delight of the audience,” Anne Midgette said in her piece for The Post.

Watch Anita Rachvelishvili and the rest of the ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’ cast in curtain call for the show, filmed by the singer’s partner Oto Maisuradze.

The 34-year old artist also received attention of Zachary Woolfe of The New York Times, whose review stressed how the mezzo-soprano’s “tone stayed round, warm and not all that loud, an iron fist in a cashmere glove”.

Woolfe’s review for the newspaper also pointed out how the Georgian “has rocketed to stardom over the past” and quoted conductor Riccardo Muti as saying Rachvelishvili was “without doubt the best Verdi mezzo-soprano today on the planet.”

Acclaim for the singer was not limited to the two major pieces, with Rachvelishvili also being named by Operawire as Artist of the Week, during the New Year’s Eve, as she appeared in the maiden shows of the Adriana Lecouvreur bill.

The website said the mezzo's Metropolitan Opera appearances as Azucena in Il Trovatore and Amneris in Aida had "showed the young mezzo steal the show and conquer the critics" during a successful year.

In 2018 Rachvelishvili also won the German Record Critics' Award for a recording of works by Jules Massenet, Camille Saint-Saëns and Georgian composer Dimitri Arakishvili, among others.

The artist's first performance in the Principessa di Bouillon role has come at the Metropolitan Opera House, the stage that first hosted the Georgian as Carmen back on January 5, 2011.

The Adriana Lecouvreur bill launched at the Met on December 31 and is set to run with six more shows through January 29.