Decca is proud to present Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in her Decca debut recording: Gioia! Kurzak, supported by conductor Omer Meir Wellber and the Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana, performs arias by Rossini, Mozart, Donizetti, Strauss II, Puccini, Verdi, Bellini and Moniuszko. The album will be released on September 13th in advance of Kurzak’s performances with the LA Opera in Così fan Tutte and the Metropolitan Opera in Hansel and Gretel.
Originally, Aleksandra Kurzak trained to be a violinist in her native Poland and only took her first voice lessons a mere three weeks before auditioning to study voice at the Karol Liniński Musical Academy. She was accepted and started on the road that would eventually bring her to the major opera houses of the world. Though Kurzak won many prizes in competitions, it was Plácido Domingo’s Operalia event in 2000 when she didn’t win a prize that had the most impact on her future. The director of casting for the Royal Opera House was in attendance and this eventually led to Kurzak performing at short notice in Mozart’s Mitridate, re di Ponto as a substitute for an ailing singer. This bravura performance caught the attention of the opera world and Kurzak quickly made debuts around the world.
Kurzak’s early success came with high-flying coloratura roles (The Queen of the Night, Olympia, Blonde, etc) but then she recognized that her voice was beginning to subtly change and with it so did her roles. For her Decca debut she has chosen a variety of arias and roles, some of which she has performed since the beginning of her career and others that are still new for her. Many of these roles served as house debuts and have consistently drawn the highest praise. Of her debut at the Seattle Opera in Lucia di Lammermoor, Opera Magazine stated: “Like Sutherland, Donizetti's coloratura held few terrors for her [Kurzak], and every run and trill had a Sills-like emotional connection and expressivity. At times Kurzak's comely physical grace and detailed vocal inflection even evoked memories of the legendary Callas … It was as if the heady days of the Bel Canto Revival, with Sills, Sutherland and Callas, were back again, eerie and unforgettable.”