NYT on Georgian Opera Sensation Antia Rachvelishvili

This week, the New York Times published an article about Georgian opera singer Anita Rachvelishvili. NYT classical music editor Zachary Woolfe quotes eminent conductor Riccardo Muti calling Rachvelishvili "without doubt the best Verdi mezzo-soprano today on the planet. Without. Doubt."

Woolfe praises the young star's performance in as Princesse de Bouillon in "Adriana Lecouvreur" at the Metropolitan Opera - "Diving into her chest voice, but not milking it or pushing too hard, her tone stayed round, warm and not all that loud, an iron fist in a cashmere glove."

Rachvelishvili, 34 years old, was born in Tbilisi in the mid 1980s, and grew up in a time all Georgians remember as hard, full of suffering, but also of community and warmth. In a childhood she recalls as happy, she tells Woolfe stories of how she and her neighbors would gather in one room they could afford to heat. “We would sing, we would play cards,” she said. “We would play word and spelling games. My dad would play guitar, or mom would play piano. The music was, of course, part of 99 percent of it.”

In her mid-20's, Rachvelishvili "was accepted into the prestigious young singers’ academy at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan" where a lucky cancellation saw her onstage as Carmen for opening night of the 2009 La Scala season, paired with tenor Jonas Kaufmann.

Woolfe explains that Rachvelishvili "has rocketed to stardom over the past few years with performances built from brief moments just like it: combinations of arresting vocalism and thoughtful subtlety. Her sensual, even elemental presence makes her particularly ideal for the daunting mezzo roles that anchor some of Verdi’s most important operas." 


Read the full article, stuffed with high quality videos of Rachvelishvili's performances, here.


By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Toronto Star

31 December 2018 11:01