No, not the hallucinatory kind, occasionally caused by the cold, gray days of winter. February compensates for difficult weather (at least in North European climes) with a wealth of opportunities to hear some of today’s most inspiring singers. Here are some radiant vocal stars to melt away the winter frost.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky has audiences the world over swooning. Taste the heat and intensity of the Russian baritone’s vocal arts at Carnegie Hall, where he will perform art songs by Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Tchaikovsky, together with lieder by Richard Strauss.
Not so much a flash of heat as a sustained simmer, Anne-Sophie von Otter’s mezzo-soprano is the ideal match for Händel’s melodic arias. The Swedish diva can be heard this month with French Baroque ensemble, Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble at the Liszt Academy in Budapest.
Baritone Matthias Goerne bring his gift for the fine art of storytelling to his performance of German lieder. Draw up to an imagined fireside, and drive away the winter doldrums than with Mahler’s evocative settings of folk poetry, Des Knaben Wunderhorns, in Amsterdam this month with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and conductor Manfred Honeck.
Flames of Romance
The warmth on stage between American tenor, Bryan Hymel and Greek soprano Irini Kyriakidou is palpable and real. The two rising stars of the opera world are partners offstage as well, married with two children. Sparks fly and voices soar when they appear together, as they will this month with the Prague Philharmonia, at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.