March 19th. It was a nice recital. In 2005 I saw Il Corsaro by Verdi 4 times, 2 times in concert, 2 times as staged opera. In the concert version José Cura was Corrado on February 3, 6 (Barcelona). On May 14th Rubens Pelizzari was Corrado, on May 15th Giuseppe Gipali in Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice. Then it was more Verdi opera with Un Ballo in Maschera in Royal Opera House, London. Marcelo Alvarez was Riccardo on April 30th. The next day in Deutsche Oper Berlin Cavalleria Rusticana with Peter Seiffert and Pagliacci with José Cura.
On June 22 it was I Puritani by Bellini in Deutsche Oper Berlin with Edita Gruberova and Joseph Calleja. Then back to Verdi Opera with Aida in Verona with José Cura on June 23, 26, in Parma with Fabio Armiliato/Daniela Dessi on June 24. On June 28th it was Werther by Massenet in Torino with Roberto Alagna. And gosh was it a hot summer! Then on July 1st Nabucco by Verdi in Verona with Leo Nucci. On July 2nd I was lucky enough to see Otello (Giuseppe Verdi) with José Cura, I bought my ticket on the steps of Nationaltheater in Munich. Yes, I was lucky even as it was a standing room ticket, but I could see and hear, and I was lucky not to have a back problem then. Viva Verdi- a concert with Daniela Dessi and Fabio Armiliato singing Verdi arias and duets in Berlin July 3rd. Loved it! Then another highlight Verdi's Otello in Munich with José Cura, Barbara Frittoli and Sergei Leiferkus on July 5th.
The most unlucky thing in 2005 was that Turandot in Verona on August 27 rained away. To wait to hear if it is on and wonder if you have lost the money. We did get our money back but almost not. And it surely did pour down that night. August 28th Aida by Verdi with Salvatore Licitra, it was OK and my parents loved it so it passed the test. But finally it was Turandot by Puccini with José Cura as Calaf (on August 30th), and it was GREAT!!!
In September it was more Puccini Opera with José Cura. La Fanciulla del West in Royal Opera House, London on September 15, 18. That was wonderful, too!!!!!!!
In October I was in Norway, in Nordfjordeid and I saw Rigoletto by Verdi twice there. On October 22 and 23 the Icelandic tenor Gardar Thor Cortes sang the count in Norwegian!! The Norwegian veteran opera singer Knut Skram sang Monterone.
In November I saw 2 operas that were new for me, Osud by Janacek (with Jorma Silvestri), and Le Villi by Puccini (with José Cura) on November 6th in Vienna State Opera. I could understand and applaud Osud production but Le Villi was too cartoonish just like Lohengrin on December 3. I would never have traveled to Vienna for Lohengrin if it had not been Agnes Baltsa that should have been Ortrud. Johan Botha as Lohengrin was a wrong as you can get and without Agnes Baltsa it was just dull even as Soile Isokoski as Elsa was trying to make it work. Janina Baechle who sang Ortrud replacing Baltsa got a lot of good press. But I only saw how it might have really worked had Agnes Baltsa sung Ortrud. A silly production of Lohengrin.
Next: 2006 Baltsa 5 - Cura 9 - others 7
For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com