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Track Listing:

Massenet: Werther - Act III: Toute mon ame
Gounod: Romeo et Juliette - Act II: L'amour ! L?amour!
Bizet: Carmen - Act II: La fleur que tu m?avais jetee
Gounod: Faust - Act III, scene 4: Quel trouble inconnu
Massenet: Manon - Act II: Instant charmant
Massenet: Manon - Act III: scene 2: Je suis seul!
Meyerbeer: L'Africaine - Act IV: Pays merveilleux
Halevy: La Juive - Act IV: Rachel, quand du Seigneur
Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann - Epilogue, scene 2: Et moi?
Gounod: Romeo et Juliette - Act IV: Va! je t'ai pardonne
Massenet: Le Cid - Act II, scene 3: Ah! tout est bien fini
Gounod: Romeo et Juliette - Act V: C'est la! Salut!

Vittorio Grigolo :

The Romantic Hero


All-French Program
Documents Several Of The Italian Tenor's
Most Pivotal Portrayals

Vittorio Grigòlo, an exclusive Sony Classical artist, will release his first all-French recording,The Romantic Hero on May 19, 2014. For the new album, the celebrated Italian tenor has selected excerpts from leading roles in operas of Massenet, Gounod, Meyerbeer, Halévy, Bizet, and Offenbach.

Although Vittorio is established as one of his generation's leading interpreters of Italian lyric-tenor roles, the French hero has, in fact, provided a key vehicle in propelling him to international recognition. Particularly significant was his triumph in 2010 as Des Grieux in Manon, opposite Anna Netrebko, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden ("The birth of a star," noted the Evening Standard). When Vittorio returned to London for Faust the following year (with Angela Gheorghiu, René Pape, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky), the Financial Times reported that "his bright, Italianate self-confidence is shaded with subtle French variety and impeccable artistry." In 2011 the tenor was similarly hailed as Roméo at La Scala and Los Angeles Opera, and as Hoffmann at Opernhaus Zürich. His eagerly awaited debut as Wertheris scheduled for June 2014 at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

The Romantic Heroexplores grandly romantic arias that ideally suit Vittorio's natural temperament and personality. The hero "makes me feel alive when I'm onstage, says Vittorio. "I chose the French hero because each aria is special for me in a certain way, and reveals something hidden inside me."

Vittorio is fluent in French as the language figured prominently in his youth. Although born in Arezzo and raised in Rome, he was first educated at a French school before continuing his education at the Sistine Chapel. "I actually find it more difficult to sing in Italian than French," he explains. The Italian way of singing "is native to me, but sometimes in life we change course to follow a sign that is not the one of our birth; instead we go forward in the ascendant. The French hero is my ascendant."

Roméo et Julietteis the opera most substantially represented on the new album, with three selections. Roméo, currently Vittorio's favorite role, he plays as "a real romantic. Sometimes I almost burn myself out, being too passionate in those concentrated three hours of love and tragedy – yet at the same time I'm being myself. In a way the part offers the perfect balance between the character and my own being."

The tenor has included other much-loved arias for French lyric tenor, such as those of Faust, Des Grieux, Werther, Don José, and Hoffmann. There are also highlights from lesser-known operas more closely associated with spinto tenors – Rodrigue's prayer from Le Cid, Eléazar's monologue from La Juive, and Vasco's reverie from L'Africaine.

Vittorio's collaborators throughout the program are the distinguished Italian conductor Evelino Pidò and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI. Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva joins Vittorio for the Roméo et Juliette wedding-night duet; and French/Italian actress Alessandra Martines, speaks the Muse's lines preceding Hoffmann's epilogue aria from Les contes d'Hoffmann.

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