“It could almost be the plot of an opera: a dark, dashing descendant of both Genghis Khan and Tamerlane appears and sweeps all before him. But in the case of Russian-born bass Ildar Abdrazakov — “I’m one-fourth Tatar and three-fourths Bashkirian,” he says with a smile—it happens to be true. A native of Ufa, the capital of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan (also known as Bashkiria), Abdrazakov, 37, has emerged in the past few years as one of the most sought-after young basses in the operatic world. He was pitch-perfect as the brooding prince in the Metropolitan Opera’s production last season of Borodin’s Prince Igor. But what Abdrazakov actually likes best is Italian opera: “I only started singing the Russian roles when I came west,” he says. His supple, burnished bass shines in the lyrical Rossini-to-Verdi canon, along with his comedic flair. …” —Annalyn Swan, Vanity Fair
Ildar Abdrazakov, bass
Constantine Orbelian, conductor; Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Russian arias for bass
The dynamics of power in Russian opera and its most iconic characters
In this, Ildar’s first solo aria album, he offers magnificent examples of operatic art from the greatest Russian composers: Glinka, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-‐Korsakov, Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. Thrilling choral passages come in the Coronation scene from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, courtesy of the famous Kaunas State Choir. The Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra – under the baton of Maestro Constantine Orbelian, often called “the singer’s conductor” – offers sympathetic and sonorous orchestral collaboration.
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