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A renowned aria by Mozart heralded the short but intense appearance of the French-Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón at the Verbier Festival.
For almost 20 years this event in the Swiss Alps has been a must for classical music enthusiasts and great stars alike.
Mozart features on the programme, but it is not just “Don Giovanni”.
Villazón recently took on the challenge to record the composer’s last seven operas.
“I’ve always thought that Mozart was not a path but a destination, and now I feel I’m artistically mature enough to take on this Mozart adventure,” he told euronews. “I first fell in love with this wonderful composer by reading his correspondence, and he totally charmed me as a human being.
“Sometimes the great Mozart requires artists to show their virtuosity, and also for their individuality to become part of the whole, the group. In his letters he wrote it: ‘I design music as if it were an item of clothing, I tailor it to the singer’. And Mozart wants that in certain passages. We take his music, we steal it and make it something of our own.
“In many other passages he demands the singer turn himself into another instrument, another voice; and it’s wonderful when you move away from your own self and simply become a voice, when you get into the texture and connect with the other voices; and once the singers, the musicians, the orchestra and the conductor are all listening to one another, you enter a sort of musical meditation, a meditation of melody and harmony.
“This music, this fire, this sound and orchestration came to him from heaven in a way, or at times, from hell. In either case it was a place well beyond him… with a touch of craziness, with an undeniable sublime element, and a surprising perfection. With Mozart you can feel the fusion of the heavenly and the really human in a way like no one else.”
In this story you can hear excerpts from Mozart’s “Dalla sua pace” and “Il mio tesoro”, from Don Giovanni, as well as the arias for tenor and orchestra “Con ossequio, con rispetto”