Anna Netrebko Sings Her First U.S. Performances as Violetta in La Traviata

She Returns to San Francisco Opera June 13

Feature Film Version of La Bohème, starring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón, Comes to Theaters Across America in September

On June 13, Anna Netrebko returns to San Francisco Opera – where she made her US debut in 1995 in Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila – to sing her first U.S. performances as Violetta Valery in Verdi’s La traviata. Maestro Donald Runnicles, a longtime colleague of Netrebko’s, conducts in his final production as Music Director of the San Francisco Opera. It has been five years since the Russian soprano last performed with the company, where she was once a young artist in the Merola Opera Program. Opera fans will recall her portrayal of the Verdi heroine in the internationally acclaimed 2005 Salzburg Festival production by Willy Decker, which is available on DVD and on CD in both highlights and full-length versions (the latter of which received a Grammy nomination in 2006). San Francisco Opera's Marta Domingo production of La traviata starring Anna Netrebko opens on Saturday, June 13, 2009, with further performances on June 16, 19, 25, and 28.

Netrebko next comes to the US in December for a new Bartlett Sher production of Les contes d'Hoffmann at the Metropolitan Opera; those not able to wait until then for their Netrebko fix will be rewarded in September when a feature film of Puccini’s La bohème, starring the Russian soprano and tenor Rolando Villazón, is released in theaters in select markets across America. The movie is directed by Oscar- and Emmy-nominated director Robert Dornhelm and was filmed in early 2008 in Vienna.

The theatrical trailer for La bohème can be seen at http://www.laboheme-derfilm.de/.

According to Emerging Pictures, the film’s distributor in the U.S., La bohème is scheduled to be shown in theaters in select cities on September 23 and 24. Deutsche Grammophon will release a highlights version of Anna Netrebko’s acclaimed recording of the Puccini opera to coincide with the film’s screenings. The full-length version of the recording, which was released in the U.S. last fall, is used as the movie’s soundtrack.

The Times, in its review of Netrebko’s full-length recording of La bohème, asserts, “It is succulently dramatic – a tribute … to the stars’ power.” The San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “[Villazón] sounds relaxed and lyrical as the young poet. His high notes in the climaxes are vibrant and attacked cleanly . . . Netrebko, too, is in excellent voice, her gleaming soprano filling out Mimi’s wistful phrases with grace and sensitivity.”
More details regarding the film’s release will be announced in the coming weeks. Updates regarding the exact schedules and locations, as well as a list of participating venues, will be posted at operaincinema.com.

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