Who is the greatest living opera star

Anna Netrebko - From pop star to diva: How the greatest living opera star is changing

From pop star to diva: How the greatest living opera star is changing

Anna Netrebko has changed. A look at the summer night concert in Schönbrunn.

She came, sang and won. “Io sono l’umile ancella” (“I am a lowly servant”) by Francesco Cilea. Servant, of all people, a joke. Because wrapped in this voice, so undervantially radiant, generous, and with a noble timbre, the Italian's aria was lifted into higher spheres through the interpretation, while it echoed far, far out into the park of Schönbrunn Palace on a wonderful wave of sound.

The result? A hundred thousand smiling faces. Namely all those who flocked in gigantic crowds and hours before the concert to hear her sing: Anna Netrebko, the queen of classical music alias the greatest living opera star alias the voice of the century alias the supermodel among the opera singers, like her under other has already been mentioned.

The soprano star was flanked on this summer night's concert by the world-class orchestra of the Vienna Philharmonic and by the conductor Valeri Gergiev, who had put his image on the wall because of his undisguised worship of Putin and homophobia. But that evening Gergiev did not have to speak, but to conduct - and the man can do that very well, which is why the cast sounded very pleasant overall: Starting with Rossini's “Wilhelm Tell” overture, which shone with Viennese sophistication instead of Swiss traditionality, to Prokofiev “Romeo and Juliet”, where the violins quickly shed their enamel again - and exchanged for corners and edges.

Girlish elemental force

But all the orchestra play could not hide who was the real star of the evening: Anna Netrebko. When the Russian appeared at the Salzburg Festival in 1998, the opera world was shaken by a tremor. Sure, Primadonne assolute and first class soprano stars have always existed. Just think of the legendary Maria Callas, Monserrat Caballé, Mirella Freni or Jessye Norman, all those sopranos who had the world at their feet - while they stood still statically on their own, spreading their flowing robes and conjuring up heavenly tones from their voluminous torsos .

But Anna Netrebko from Krasnodar was different. Lively, agile, an elemental force on the stage that propagated a "me" without any "too" when performing, dancing, lying down, singing backwards - oh, how she sang! - and let himself fall into her role without a safety net. And the “Netrebko factor”, which was used in everything she sang, encompassed even more. Among other things, that the singer looked dazzling, which earned her the addition of “supermodel of the opera”. And only her voice! With a luminous timbre, easy mobility and effortless cleanliness. Even stupid technique seemed to be a natural form of politeness towards the audience for the soprano, as she repeatedly emphasized: “I want people to feel good”.

She was what she sang

And the audience felt great. At last it no longer had to abstract from the optical appearance in the opera, since Netrebko was actually all those young women she was singing: the pleasure-thirsty Manon, the amorous Gilda, the secretly seduced Donna Anna.

Storms like to have women's names like Katrina or Friederike, and the storm that swept through the opera world at the turn of the millennium was called Anna. He aroused the curiosity of many - and towards the opera. The dazzling world of the highest notes became accessible to a younger audience. Because if Netrebko moved even in the constant thunderstorm of flashes on the redest carpets in the world, she seemed a little one of them: She was interested in high heels from Louboutin, bags from Prada and above all in love, love, love. She also said things like: “I'm incredibly lazy and only practice ten minutes a day” or: “This music is so beautiful. It is a great pleasure to sing that. " Apparently a superficial statement - at the summer night concert in Schönbrunn you could experience what La Netrebko meant by that.

For example in Puccini's aria from Tosca “Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore” (“I lived for art, I lived for love”). Which in itself was a highlight of the evening. Because Netrebko's voice lulled the listeners with its smoothness, with a newly gained depth ("I'm happy for every pound more on the scales. It helps me to produce this sound," says the soprano star) and intense vibrato. But also because the confession of the opera character Tosca (“I lived for art, I lived for love”) could also be Anna Netrebko's confession.

The Netrebko factor works

After all, the Netrebko factor still looks unbroken. And that, although from the once lively Russian, who conquered the stage with girlish elemental force, can no longer be felt during the performance at the summer night concert. Involuntarily, Netrebko's appearance reminds you of her great predecessor divas, from which she had so refreshingly separated at the beginning of her career.

How nasty. And possibly unfair? After all, the singer had to sing for 100,000 people in Schönbrunn instead of for 1,000 listeners; Fill 186 hectares of space with voice and stature instead of the approximately 35 meters distance of an opera house in Schönbrunn (reinforced by microphones). You can literally thank her wide, white robe with integrated feather boa for making the soprano so easily recognizable with the naked eye.

And so on this summer evening the world lay at Anna Netrebko's feet, while she spread out her flowing robe and conjured up heavenly tones from her voluminous upper body.